Friday, August 6, 2010

It was a long strange journey (part 2)

We decided that we have too much of a technology need to rely on the computer in the hotel lobby.  Matt found a T-Mobile Hot Spot subscription that should keep us connected in all the cities we visit.  Thank goodness because I need to see my babies via Skype!

Here's a longer run down of Day 1 of our travels.....

We started out with a taxi ride at 5PM to O'Hare.  We cleared security with no problems and grabbed a bite to eat before heading to the gate.  We were happy to see that our plane was already at the gate. 

The first 777

A family of three from Britain sat behind us and we dubbed the boy as G's doppleganger.  We could see him doing all the silly things that this boy did when he gets to be 3 years old.  The accent helped the cute factor exponentially.

After a while Matt noticed that our 8:15 flight had been delayed until 9:30.  Then the plane that was waiting so patiently at the gate was pulled away.  I suppose that was the reason for the delay.  While waiting we had a lengthy conversation with the British family.  They had just spend almost two weeks in Chicago and visiting friends in Iowa.  The dad remarked that he'd love to move to Chicago.  I interjected that we'd love to move to London and had a great house in the suburbs.  He smiled and added that their "detached" house was only 25 minutes outside of London.  As our conversation continued we found that his wife was a teacher of kids with behavior disorders.  The more and more we talked it seemed that this family was the perfect match for a potential house swap :)  I would bet the conversation would have gone that direction as they come to Chicago each year.  However, the flight attendants made an announcement that the flight was oversold and those that volunteered would receive $800 per seat, overnight hotel accommodations, and choice of flights for the next day.  We seriously considered it, but knowing that we had to go further on to Munich it just didn't make sense.  However, our British family took them up on it and we had to part ways.  Oh what could have been.....

Once we finally boarded the plane we thought we were on our way.  How wrong we were.  The pilot said that the ground crew was still loading luggage and needed about 15 more minutes.  We speculated that the delay was to look for the luggage of the people who took the bump.  After 15 minutes the pilot told us they needed an additional 20.  It was at this time we were introduced to Curmudgeon Alan and his Oblivious June.  Alan had nothing nice to say about anything.  Every time the pilot made an announcement about a delay he would state some expletive "under his breath" that all could hear.  Matt loved when the flight attendant's announcement thanked us for flying American Airlines and Alan says, "Yeah, right."  I will say Alan has been added to our inside joke vernacular for ever.  All in all we had a two hour delay leaving Chicago.  That had an impact on our connecting flight from London to Munich.  American easily rebooked us on a flight for later in the day.   

I think the pilot forgot how to get to Heathrow

We figured out tickets and stops for the S-Bahn rail to get into Munich from the airport.  The only damper on the afternoon was that it was lightly raining in Munich and a bit cold.  We did not pack umbrellas so I put up my hood and off we went, but where we weren't sure.  Matt had to get his bearings to figure out the compass directions.  A short walk through some neighborhoods got us to our hotel by about 6:30.  Thankfully the front desk employee spoke English because after almost 24 hours of travel I was not in the mood to do charades. 

Our room in Munich is comfortable, but slightly stuck in the early 80s.  We've got a TV that has over 150 channels of foreign speaking channels.  We've found Bloomberg, CNBC, BBC news, and MTV that speak English.  I have wanted to catch up on my music videos, so I suppose now is the time.  Our anniversary was yesterday (10 years, wahoo!), but we were too pooped to celebrate.  We got some take away pasta from the restaurant next door. 

Happy Anniversary!

One common amenity of German hotels is free breakfast.  That sits well with me as it's the best meal of the day.  We had to figure a few things out for ourselves this morning, but overall I think we did a great job.  The chocolate pastry was delicious and the yogurt is my very, very favorite.  We know for tomorrow that the kitchen can make scrambled eggs and omelets, too. 

The weather today continues to be rainy but it's much colder today.  For now we are chilling in our hotel room watching MTV and still trying to get used to the time zone.  The unfortunate thing for today is that all the things we want to see are outside so we are making a contingency plan.  There are a few national museums that could keep us occupied for a few hours.  More later!

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