Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The trip, part 2

So far, not so good on our trip to Italy. However, the trip from that point seemed to go a bit better. The annoyances were typical travel issues, no unbearable surprises.

The flight we were booked on was supposed to leave Wichita at 1:00 PM and actually did not leave until 1:40 PM. This left us only about 30 minutes to catch our connecting flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam. We met favorable winds and ended up landing 10 minutes sooner. My poor son Patrick, age 7, was a trooper. He was very tired and stressed out, but pulled the carry-on bag through the Atlanta airport at a breakneck speed. At the same time,  I pushed the stroller. We went down escalators with both a stroller and the pull carry-on and finally found the train, which was good.

We got to the ticket counter after most boarding calls had been made. The staff was relatively helpful in that they changed our seats so we all sat together. It must have been my comment that I would be happy to let my 16 month old sit in another section that got them to accommodate us!

Don't even get me started about the overseas flight. Jackson, the 16 month old, decided that he hated flying and cried the better part of the 8 hours. He did sleep for 2 short 1 hour stretches. A well-meaning gentleman would get him to be quiet every now and again. However, he did not know when to stop. He'd continue talking to Jack and teasing him, which started the bawling all over again.

Comatose was a good description of how I felt in Amsterdam. Navigating an airport that is rather large with only a few signs in English was an interesting experience. We did have plenty of time to find our gate. We ran into a family from Canada that were talking about the time and realized they were from the same time zone as us. I'm not sure why that felt comforting, probably the combination of English and the shared jet lag.

Looking back, I wish I would have been awake enough to take some pictures of the airport. There were quite a few interesting characters there. The one that stands out in my mind was a "gentleman" who was probably in his fifties. However, from the back, I thought he was a teenage girl because he was dressed in leggings, a mini skirt and high heels. His blonde hair was most likely a wig, but man he gave me a start when he turned around and had some facial hair.

The flight from Amsterdam to Venice was pretty uneventful, except for the fact that the stewardess or flight attendant yelled at me for changing Jackson's diaper on a seat. Never mind there were no changing tables in the plane's lavatory. I guess I was supposed to set him on the 12 inches of floor space that was available and do some contortions to change the diaper. The male flight attendant spoke great English and babied me and the boys. I think he recognized that I was very near a total breakdown and wanted to avoid it at all cost.

We saw some beautiful mountains as we flew over the Alps. When we landed in Venice, we got views of the famous canals. We were so happy to arrive. After landing, it was very obvious that while we had arrived, our bags had gotten lost somewhere in the transition of the four flights and however many airports that had been scheduled for us.

I waited in the lost luggage line for a very long time. Finally, I left the line found Gary. After handing the children over to him, I went back to the lost luggage line only to find I was now behind 3 people who had arrived in the two minutes it took for me to find Gary.

After getting in the car, it was less than five minutes and I was out cold. No memories of the drive to Vicenza or Camisano for me. I woke up and we were one block from my new house. All I wanted was clean clothes and a shower.