Europe 2013, day zero: The journey so far

The boys on the train.

The boys on the train

We left our house promptly at 7:45 and were very thankful that my cousin was able to take us to the Amtrak station. She complimented us on our packing skills. We have two suitcases that could qualify as carry-on, a book bag, and a snack bag (necessary on a 21 hour journey). Our train left promptly at 9:25 AM. The train was uneventful and the trip flew by. We arrived at the Newark airport at 12:25 PM. We took the sky train and checked our baggage in and then went through security. Both of those had no lines. I am not used to that. Every other time I have flown international I have waited in incredibly long lines. Security said it was because we were on their first flight out for the day. Once we got through security we went to look for lunch. Unfortunately we only had a choice of two restaurants.

One of the two bags we packed.

One of the two bags we packed

The other bag we packed, being pulled by the Rhubarb.

The other bag we packed, being pulled by the Rhubarb

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We then boarded our flight at 3:40. Families were allowed to board first. I was excited that we were still in the bulkhead seats.

No one reclining on us!

No one reclining on us!

No one to recline on us during the flight. The flight was prepared to depart early but could not because we would have arrived in Dusseldorf before 6 AM which is not allowed. We are on Lufthansa and so far the service has been great. Three of us are watching our own movies on our own personal TVs. As we started our entertainment the flight attendants came by with snacks and free drinks. I am enjoying a glass of white wine as I type this. Next they came through with hot towels. They talk to us in German first. I am sure as the flight goes on they will talk to us in English first.

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I am hoping after we have dinner that the kids will be ready to try to go to sleep. Dinner is being served now. I pre-ordered the kids a meal and my husband and I had regular meals. Both provided plenty of options for everyone to find something they will eat. They also refilled my wine when they brought the dinner.

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It is going to be a long day. I finally convinced Rhubarb to sleep some but it will probably only be an hour nap. The rest of us did not sleep any…..

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We are now in the Dusseldorf airport waiting for our final flight. Since we were in the front of the plane we were one of the first getting through security. That was very easy – no forms to fill out and they just stamped our passports. Rhubarb has declared that she does not need to take a nap when we get to the hotel because she napped on the plane. Apparently she is going to take herself out on the town by herself. Meanwhile I have been accused of looking like the Unabomber with my present appearance. I like to put my hood over my eyes….not to mention my eye mask and my neck pillow add to my look. It’s not like I can understand anyone making fun of me.

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I called the hotel at 8 AM Dusseldorf time and as of right now they have no rooms available. Hopefully this will change by the time we arrive around eleven.

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We were able to check in early. Room is plenty big for us. Trying to get everyone to nap now. The Bubba fell asleep on the last plane ride and it took us ten minutes to wake them.

Hoping to head out to see Checkpoint Charlie later and the Bradenberg gate.

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Categories: Airplanes, Amtrak | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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