No. We did not get a hop from McGuire AFB, NJ to Ramstein or Spangdahlem. I thought I could have stayed a bit longer. I had basically moved into the terminal. What were two more nights waiting for another shot at the next 19 seats? I think my spirit would have stayed strong, but one of the flights that was completely manifested (but delayed over 24 hours, already) was taken straight off the schedule. The other flight (also delayed for over 24 hours, already), was finally going to lift off the ground…supposedly. It didn’t have a load time, yet. Passengers on the manifest were a tidge antsy, to say the least. Maybe nervous is the word to use there.
A sweet angel called me up and told me she hadn’t been sleeping, though. She said she wouldn’t be able to until we made it to Germany…in our own beds, safe and sound, eating real food that wasn’t off a take out menu (I think we did pretty well, though, with fruits and green juices from the commissary). One of the guys hanging out in the terminal with us, though, had been stalking flights. Prices out of Philadelphia were pretty expensive…out of Washington DC, pretty reasonable, but who wants to get up that far?…and out of Newark, unbeatable. Tickets were booked…and just like that, I knew when I was heading home.
But still, I needed to actually get to Newark, which was an hour away. The shuttle was going to run me around $130, and I wanted to head out that night so I didn’t have to sleep on the terminal floor and I could wash the ish off in a snuggly hotel. LUCKILY, a girl from Japan had also been making her way to Germany. She, on the other hand, was going on a little vacation. She wanted to drink a beer and eat a brat with sauerkraut before her 23rd birthday, legitimately, in Deutschland. But, with no prospect of getting out, I offered her to take our shuttle up with me, split the hotel costs and she could reschedule her little trip off the island. She did just that! A couple of phone calls later, and she would be on her way to Washington DC via bus in the morning…out of Newark.
At the airport, we ran into two separate groups we had been stuck in the terminal with. The first couple was headed on a vacation to Milan. He was a helicopter pilot out of Norfolk, VA and she was an RN. The second group was a mother with her two pre-teen children heading back to Heidelberg before school starts. We were on the same flight, a Jet Airways flight out of Newark, through Brussels, landing in Frankfurt on a Lufthansa flight. We were ALL happy to finally be on our way, cost be darned. After a weather delay in Newark, I missed my connection in Brussels. Jet Airways had everything covered, though. I honestly didn’t have to worry about a thing. My tickets had been rebooked on the next flight out of Brussels before we even hit the ground there.
The Man circled and parked and circled for hours while waiting in Frankfurt (remember…that stinking delay). But, he was quite the patient man. I had to file a lost luggage claim for Little Man’s car seat (which has since turned into a damaged luggage claim), but that was so easy. The people were very helpful…and when I called after we received the car seat to make the damage report, I got a REAL LIVE PERSON! Amazing. I think it took 6 months with Delta to accomplish what the first phone call to Lufthansa did.
Now, I am listening to a sudden downpour of rain at 2:00am while everyone else sleeps. I am watching video courses on marketing yourself in your photography business. I had my first cup of real tea for the first time in nearly six weeks today! It was wonderful…with my delicious half and half and raw, unprocessed honey that my mama bought me at the Ely Blueberry Festival (see, had that 5 pound jar not been in my suitcase, I wouldn’t have had the sweet satisfaction). And, my house…with it’s black handrails and improperly folded towels (both remedied, immediately!)…is almost clean.
Give me another day. We will be back in order. For now, I am just so happy to be back home.