The Way Home

4:42 am

It’s the morning of our travel day home and we’re awake before either alarm or wake up call, imagine that.  I had two pockets of deep sleep – I hope that’s enough.  I can’t wait to get home and sleep in my own bed even if the a/c needs to be on.  This has probably been the worst trip for sleep and I’m not sure why exactly though the heat and unfamiliar settings has something to do with it.  It’s not like we haven’t exhausted ourselves with all of the walking.  I’m guessing not being able to cool down at the end of the day has a lot to do with it.  I remember in Peru not being able to sleep until the train ride because I finally cooled down then and at the resort at Machu Picchu.  The lack of sleep will catch up with me eventually I’m sure. Before that though I come back to the trip itself — so packed with adventures and all.  I’m not sure what to make of it.

3:16 pm (Atlanta)

9:16 pm (Munich)

Long day and it’s still not over.  We gained six hours only to lose it here in Atlanta since there are no earlier flights.  We spent our nearly 10 hour flight watching movies as opposed to trying to sleep.  I got through five.

The day was all about eating and sitting.   We got down to the front desk at 6:30 and our driver, Klaus, was there waiting for us.  As he took our bags to load up, I checked out and picked up our “to go” lunches provided free from the hotel because our early departure prevented us from eating at the breakfast buffet.  I don’t know what either of us expected – sandwich in a bag, I suppose.  What we got was a shopping bag with a vertically loaded cardboard box filled with a sandwich, pear, apple, bottle of juice, bottle of water, candy bar, a bag of gummy bears, and package of nuts.

DSCF1183germany 1165Since today is a Saturday there wasn’t as much traffic on the road.  We also faced something unusual this morning as we left … rain and cool temperatures.  So, this is what it was supposed to have been like instead of the hot sun.  Hm.

When we arrived at the airport we stood off to the side and ate our boxed lunches as quickly as we could.  I packed all of the “snacks” for later.  Once on the plane, the flight attendants came around with water every other hour and the beverage cart on the other hours, plus there were pretzels early on, then lunch, then a snack – like a hot pocket plus ice cream, then peanuts.  I’ve never gotten so much on one flight before.  Additionally, I dug out the snacks and had those too.  Now I’m all messed up on meals and times.  It should be bed time and I’m ready for dinner.

Once we arrived here in Atlanta there a mass exodus to customs.  My sister was all nervous, it being her first time through.  While it can be a little intimidating, I was a little more relaxed about it having gone through the process before.  We had filled out a form on the plane regarding what we were bringing back and the value of it all.  The clerk asked a couple of questions, stamped my passport and welcomed me back and that was it.  After we retrieved our luggage we attempted to find an earlier flight – no dice.  We got rid of our suitcases again then crossed nearly the entire airport to get to our next boarding gate. Once there we settled in for the long haul.

 germany 1179I find it interesting to compare customs and check points from country to country (state to state).  In Europe we didn’t have to take off our shoes.  They, however questioned the jar of jam in my overnight back while nobody said a word about it here.  Yet, here I had to remove my cap so it could be examined – especially the bill.

11:30 pm (Grand Rapids)

Home.  Tired.