In Germany!

Our space A mission has been accomplished:

Get to Germany as soon as you can,
so you can play with Luka and Fran.

Zoe and I were using that rhyme as our mission goal for our trip; just like Jack and Annie in the Magic Tree House books.  Anyway, it worked!  Tuesday night everyone in the terminal was selected for the Ramstein-bound C-5 flight, and the crew got all our bags checked, security screened and our $5 meal boxes made in record time.  We then boarded the bus for the flightline and rushed out to the plane.  After sitting there for a loooong time – maybe a half hour, the bus driver said they had no idea where the crew was and that we’d have to go back to the terminal and wait.  Great, nothing like missing the folks that fly the plane. 

So, we sadly drove back to the terminal and sat around in the super – boring holding area for an hour or so.  Zoe was in a funk since she had fallen asleep and been awoken to wear her backpack too many times.  She started playing around on the chairs and fell off twice, so I told her to stop and she lost it…like really lost it….tantrum through the roof.  She was just too tired to be coherent.  A very nice grandma-type from Oregon took Avi while I took Zuzz out to the bathroom where she screamed her head off.  After calming down we had a nice discussion about how we are all so frustrated.  This is actually a first; she has had amazing behavior during this whole endeavor.  I let the whole thing just play out without punishment since I knew she was just exhausted, though I did tell her if she couldn’t calm herself we might not be allowed to fly.  She calmed and we had some snuggle time in the waiting area.  Oregonian grandma had gotten Avi to sleep and asked if she could just hold onto him until we got settled on the plane.  YES! 

Eventually we did re-board the bus and drive out to the airplane only to watch the air stairs drive up to the plane and not really work – couldn’t tell why, but they aborted that idea and had us go into the back of the plane and climb the ladder to the seating area.  It’s a pretty steep open ladder.  Zoe did great, and Oregon grandma took Avi….we had been talking earlier about hunting and living in the woods, so I knew a woman who got both a deer and an elk this year could handle taking my baby up some ladder.  We settled into our seats and Zoe promptly fell asleep on her daddy quillow.  Avi then woke up, so he nursed and played.  The whole crowd was ready to go only to be told that the plane needed fueled.  I guess that was supposed to be happening while the crew was at dinner (apparently that’s where they had been lost too), but they didn’t fill up.  So fueling took a miserably long time.  Avi started to get cranky; didn’t want to nurse and wouldn’t settle.  Finally it was time to crank the engines, so no one could hear Avi fussing.  I swaddled him up and he instantly fell asleep. 

We took off at the bright and early (or super late) time of 0310.  In a C-5 you sit in an upstairs passenger area with commercial-style seats that are backwards-facing.  There are only 2 little porthole windows on the emergency exits, we were a few rows away from those.  Not much to see or do, but we were sleepy. After leveling off I spread us out on the seats – we had our own row, and I brought a sleeping bag – and passed out.  Slept for a good 5 hours (off and on) before Avi woke to nurse and went back to sleep.  He and I woke for good about an hour before landing.  The flight was 8 hours long.  Zoe slept all the way up until the end and wanted to watch Marmaduke on the computer.  She got 5 minutes into it when we started final decent.  Avi hung out with Oregon grandma while I packed up our junk and the plane landed.  Zoe felt yucky for landing; it was pretty bumpy for weather and it’s odd feeling to land backward. 

yippee we made it!  Local time was about 1700.  Ramstein passenger terminal looks like an airport, not a military base.  It’s incredible.  We got our passports stamped, picked up the checked stroller and backpack and walked out to a break in the weather.  Quickly popped into the bathroom and got on skype to call Bethany.  She was waiting!  We took a cab to the gate since I couldn’t get a straight answer on how far away it was.  For the record, it’s probably a half mile and very walkable, could’ve saved $8.  There was Bethany!!! yeah!!! It worked.  Space A worked. 

We packed up her rental car and went to the Hacienda for dinner then drove to Neuss.  It took about 3 hours, so it was dark when we arrived.  Of course the kids were wide awake, but I was exhausted.  They let go and fell asleep pretty quickly after we got the beds in order.  Her apartment is great, and she got me and Zuzz bikes!!! whoa.  can’t wait to go get a pretzel.  So, our Space-A adventure is over and our Germany adventure has begun.  It took us 1 day of driving to Charleston, 1 day sitting space-A in Charleston, 2 long days sitting space-A at Dover, plus we kind of lost a day flying over night into the time change.  Left the house Saturday morning around 11am and arrived here at 10pm Wednesday evening.  Not too bad, but it would’ve been awesome if that first Ramstein flight took us!  tee hee.  we’ll see how the way back works out next month.  For now, though, I’m going to do laundry and take a nap.

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