Well maybe not a prayer, but definitely little sleep! We're broadcasting to you live from Frankfurt, Germany, where the current time here is 9:00 am.
We've made it through the two hardest parts of the trip: the drive from the hotel to the airport, and checking in. We are definitely a sight to see when we pull up to the curb. Picture this... two frantic adults whisking kids out of car seats and making them sit on the curb with their rolling backpacks, putting car seats into carrying cases, dragging out 8 large bags, coercing a Labrador Retriever into a kennel, chucking the stroller next to the kids, finding the rest of the carry-on luggage, and then inspecting every nook and cranny of the rental car to ensure that we did not leave anything behind.
Matt usually hail's a skycap with a large trolley to load all of the baggage and escort us inside, while I return the rental car and meet him in the terminal. By this point he's just getting in to the oversize baggage line, and after generously tipping the skycap for lifting over 500 pounds worth of luggage, we now have drawn the attention of almost everyone in the waiting area. Today was no exception.
The agent who checked us in was fantastic! Everything went smoothly, albeit slowly, though I honestly can't complain. I think that's what happens when you start doling out $10 and $20 bills like they're $1's. Best of all, our upgrades to business class went through and we only had to use half the miles we thought we needed. Score! After 45 minutes at the counter (including time to x-ray our bags and TSA to check Libby's crate), we were on our way through the security check point.
Here's where the problems began. We took the computer out of my bag, we took the DVD player out of Matt's, we all took our shoes off, Matt took off every item that could potentially bee, I folded the stroller, and we put everything we owned on the conveyor belt. We all walked through the x-ray machine, and surprisingly nobody beeped. (As a side note here, every time I walk through one I ALWAYS think of the classic movie, High Anxiety, when Mel Brooks walked through the metal detector while carrying a gun, and beeped, and caused such a stir that nobody knew what to make of it. Though I digress.)
What did happen however, was that my bag had to be searched because I brought a stick of deodorant and my $30 Kiehl's hair smoothing cream to help with the frizz. It's my end all be all of hair products, the one I will spend any amount of money on, and just can't live without. Apparently, my tube of Kiehl's was 4.2 oz and the limit I can carry on is 3.4 oz. I would either have to throw it out, check it in my bag, or go and buy these see through containers and split the cream into two separate tubes. I absolutely refused to let them throw it out. It's my only anti-frizz cream and I know I'm going to need it in India ASAP. I argued with them that the container was already see through, they could tell that I had used a good amount in it, and it was probably within the alloted limits already. No such luck. I wouldn't have been as irritated had they been consistent with their rules. See, I had packed 10 juice boxes in our carry-on baggage... 4 four-ounce juice boxes in Riley's backpack, 4 four-ounce juice boxes in Matt's, and 2 eight-ounce juice boxes in my purse! Did they even notice?
As I had a few extra minutes, I decided to go try to find these other containers and re-distribute my hair cream. I sent Matt and the girls on their way, and back through the terminal I went. I looked and looked but couldn't find where these mystery containers were. I was losing time and I was frustrated. Without incriminating myself, let's just say that in the end, my hair cream and I did not part.
I met up with Matt and the girls at our gate, with ten minutes to spare before boarding. We made brief phone calls to our parents to say good-byes, and while talking with my brother my phone ran out of minutes. It was a sign!
The plane we took to Frankfurt was a new configuration. It was a 747- though half the seats in business class were backwards, as if you were riding on a train. Matt said the feeling while taking off was odd, and Sheridan even asked if we were landing. The seats recline a complete 180 degrees, and they also had a selection of five On Demand kids movies, which was great, except when it came time to sleep! My only disappointment with the flight is that there were no children's meals to be had, regardless of my request and confirmation. Argh...
We're now in McDonald's, sitting, waiting, and relaxing. The next part of the story will eventually be continued... Wishing you a Happy Sunday from Germany. Auf Wiedersehen.