Saturday, December 20, 2008

In One Piece

Yes, we did make it to the U.S. in one piece. Unfortunately, I left a little piece of myself all over United Airlines.

On Thursday morning the Dude woke up with no idea that the day would be filled with so much change and adventure. We left for the Bremen airport at 8am (German time). Even though I had called the airline twice over the past few months in order to reserve a bulkhead seat, they repeatedly told me that I could only do it when we checked in. In Bremen the Lufthansa representative could not access the United computer system and we had to take the seats that we could get. "Check in at the gate in Frankfurt. They will help you." Uh, huh. Sure they will.

Everything went really well with our Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt, but then it was pretty much down hill from there. At the Frankfurt airport we had no idea where our connection was and how to get there. We spent half an hour wandering aimlessly. Good thing that we had such a long lay over. The Dude slept for about an hour and we all had some lunch.

As I predicted, the gate only opened up an hour and half before departure time and I finally got an answer about the bulkhead seat. "Oh, no. Those are already reserved. You have to call in advance." "Really, that is not what they said the two times that I called." Economy plus was all they could do for us. When it was time to board the plane, there was no pre-boarding for people with small children. In fact, boarding was pretty much a free for all, with the German and the Dude getting trampled in the process.

The flight to DC was actually okay. I was surprised at how little turbulence there was. Unfortunately, the Dude could not figure out why everyone was awake and why we would not put him to bed. He fussed and cried and slept off and on for about three and a half hours before finally crashing somewhere over Greenland. And then I got sick.

I started vomiting over Greenland and continued to do so every 45 minutes for the rest of the flight. I felt TERRIBLE! The German looked at the baby and then looked at me and then looked at the baby. He could not figure out what to do.

When we landed in DC I managed to pull myself together to go through immigration and customs. Thankfully we had no problems. But I could feel the next wave of illness coming over me. The German, for some reason, was in good spirits. "Honey, how about a Mushroom Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy's." Huh? I looked to my right and saw a picture that made my stomach turn for the 100th time that day. Seriously, who eats this stuff?

Even in lying in the DC airport transported on waves of nausea, I could still tell that something had changed in my homeland. Then I realized that it was the gate announcer that was bothering me.

"Now boarding all row. All seat. These flight are full." I turned to the German. "Sweetie, did the MLA do away with plural forms since we were here last?"

On the way to SC, the German and I had to sit in separate seats. Because he had an emergency row seat, I had to take the Dude on my lap. We both conked out from exhaustion on the runway. When we got in the air, I could feel the need for the bathroom. Luckily, I was sitting next to an angel in disguise. "Excuse me, ma'am, could you hold my baby for a minute so that I can go to the rest room." I passed over the Dude and went to do my business.

When I came back the Dude was still asleep in the woman's arms. She held him for about 40 minutes so that I could have a rest and we chatted. Turned out that she was on her way to visit her first grandchild. The Dude slept the entire time.

My mom was there to meet us in Charleston. She was more than happy to take the Dude so that I could go to the bathroom. Again. At home the Dude slept until 6am and is doing a good job of getting into a normal rhythm. I on the other hand spent entire first day at home lying on the sofa trying to keep water in my stomach.

Today everyone is doing a bit better and the weather here is WON-DER-FUL. But there are some changes around town which bother me a bit. But that I will blog about later. Right now, it is time for some pepto.


Rositta said...

Oh wow, and I though Olympic was bad. I have never had a bad experience with Lufthansa, ever! Glad you made it safely though, I hate flying and were doing it again next week, grrr...Merry Christmas

christina said...

You poor thing! I really hope you're feeling better by now and I'm glad you guys got there in one piece even with all the annoyances.

Snooker said...

My! That sounds like the crossing from H-E-Double Hockeysticks.
I'm happy to hear that you made it there safely and eventually managed to feel a little better.
As for the language of the steward/ess... We ran into that last month on a flight from Chicago to Wichita. The stew was Mexican and had a horrific accent. My sweet N. (German) couldn't understand a word he said. I shudder to think what I will face flying into Phoenix next week.

Carol said...

It sounds like Elisabeth's adventure in the hospital last week -- with food poisoning! (Either that or... hmmmmm -- pregnancy?!)

(You said the ride was smooth, so it doesn't sound like air sickness...)

Odd, still, but I used to get sick every time we'd see my mom, knowing (I think) that I COULD be sick and things would be taken care of.

Glad you're better.


Rabble Rouser said...

I'm seriously impressed that you made it through so well. I had to travel from Vegas to Philly ill and barely made it. No way could I have done what you did!

I hope you are havinbg a soectacular time in Summerville. I'm so jealous!

Carrie said...

You don't normally get that ill do you? Preggy again? j/k I'm mad you haven't scheduled a visit with me. j/k again- kind of.

Christina | AmiExpat said...

I hope you're feeling better and ended up having a wonderful vacation. Happy New Year!

Berlinbound said...

I've done the Germany - SC trip: It's a long one. The stomach turbulence part I haven't experienced. I'm sure you were happy to be back on solid ground. Welcome home - again.