We went to the National Air and Space Museum Sunday before we left for the airport. I had never been there before, and it was great. We will definitely be going back there with the boys some day. They would love it. After we were done there, we just had our hotel shuttle take us to the airport. We had already checked out of our room, and I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get checked in, given the disaster(s) the day before.
I may or may not have felt like we were headed for disaster again when this man was checking us in. . . The woman who "rebooked" us the night before had put us on the plane but not issued tickets. So we had a boarding pass, and a seat, but no ticket. What the hell? I have no idea. I clearly don't understand how that works. So instead of it being a five minute process to check in, it took us about 45 minutes. But we were all checked in, and he assured me that our bags were checked to our final destination and would arrive there. I didn't believe him. At. All.
We had plenty of time at that point, so we went on our way to our gate, via the subway. I love that there's a subway in the airport - that seems genius to me.
There was lots of funny browsing and people watching to be had. Who knew that being a Republican was the right way to fresh breath?
FINALLY we got on the plane to Germany. I never thought I would be so happy to leave the United States. Our plane ride was about seven and a half hours long, "overnight", and arrived in Germany at 7:20 a.m. (or about 12:20 a.m. at home). I didn't sleep at. all. I did, however, watch The Descendants, the new Twilight movie, CSI Miami, Californication, The Middle, read, and chat with Chris.
We finally arrived in Germany!
The airport in Germany is very clean! We got something to eat. I had a panini with some great cheese, spinach, and some prosciutto and Chris had a chorizo sausage baguette - it was delicious! And I was so relieved to find that they had "Coke Light", which is Diet Coke. Hallelujah! We had a four hour layover in Germany, which ended up being five hours. There was a ground crew strike in Frankfurt, which slowed the process of having people's bags removed from the planes, etc. so every flight was late departing. At that point, I was completely EXHAUSTED. But Chris went to sleep, as you can see, so I didn't. I certainly didn't want to miss some announcement about a gate change, delay, or something similar. I was literally asleep on our plane before we pulled away from the gate. I slept nearly the entire flight. I remember getting a meal, but I didn't eat it. I didn't have a drink or move from my seat at all during the three hour flight.
These were our first views of Katie's country - it looked cold and barren! We landed and Chris changed out of his shorts. This does not surprise anyone who knows him in real life. . . I was positive that our bags wouldn't be there. And we were about an hour and a half late landing, so once we got through customs, etc. we were about two and a half hours late. I was pretty sure our driver may not be there either. Thankfully - my first pleasant surprise on this trip - both were waiting exactly where they should be. Our luggage arrived without incident, which is a miracle in itself. And our driver was waiting, in the sea of people who were waiting for passengers, with a neat little sign with our name on it.
We drove through the city, and I assure you I'm glad I don't drive here. There don't seem to be many real speed limits or rules. . . and crosswalks would change their lives. I'm just saying . . . It was dark already, so we couldn't see much, and I'm very curious to see it during the day. Our driver took us to exchange some money and then to a small grocery where we got some things like yogurt, bread, milk, cereal, cheese, water, and some "coke light". Our driver also owns the apartment we're staying in, so he brought us here and showed us around. It's so tiny, and I cannot imagine actually living here, but very comfortable and exactly what we need for our time here.
Right now it is very early Tuesday morning here, and we have Skyped with the boys. They were so surprised that it was already morning, because they had just eaten their dinner. I miss them so much! This is literally the first time since we got married that Chris and I have been away without the boys. I didn't have time to think about missing them until I saw their little faces on the computer.
Our driver is picking us up at 9:00 this morning to go to our referral appointment, and then we will go to the orphanage. I asked the driver if he has been to her orphanage before and he said, "Yes. Has been long time. I go there last year. It is quite far." We are really trying to have no expectations about the first meeting and the facility, because we cannot be disappointed. We have certainly learned that we need to go with the flow on this trip, because NOTHING has gone as planned. And that's OK! We've had a lot of fun already, despite the travel snafus, and we are so anxious to lay our eyes on this little love we've been working so hard to get to. Before we landed Chris said, "I can't believe we're so close to that little munchkin," and it seems completely unreal to think that we are finally in the same country as her. I hope my next update will have photos of Katie for you!