Wednesday, May 03, 2006

First Week

It was a long day one week ago when we flew home for a visit. We did not sleep at night because we were going to leave our flat at 1:45am to catch a bus to the airport. The next bus was an hour later and we figured we should be there about 3 hours early for our international flight. When we arrived I wondered if the airport was open! I had never been to an airport in the middle of the night. There were about 20 people there and they were all sleeping. Even the Costa worker was sleeping!

We found out that we didn't need to be there that early because check-in didn't even start until an hour later. I had seen another one of our buses arrive during that time. So, we checked in, got on our plane and headed for Amsterdam. A one hour flight, then a 2 hour layover. The next flight was 8 hours. I really wasn't looking forward to the long day.

We flew KLM and I have to say that though they were the cheapest, we enjoyed (as much as you can enjoy a long flight) flying with them. We had a great attendant and the food (which, by the way, we didn't have to pay for) was good.

We arrived in Chicago about an hour later than we were supposed to, so we had to rush to our train, or the 'el'. We were going to take the el to our train downtown which was going to take us to Indiana where my mom would be picking us up. We had about an hour to get downtown. Not positive that we would make it to the train in time (the next train left an hour and a half later), we boarded the el to later hear "Because this train is delayed, we will run express until Jefferson Park." Praise God! At least that would cut out 3 stops. I think it was because of this that we actually did make it to our train with about 5 minutes to spare.

So, another hour train ride until we could relax. 17 hours from the time we left our flat, we made it home. We still had a few hours to make ourselves stay away in order to get on the right time schedule. 48 hours from our last real sleep (we were able to nap a little on the plane), and we were finally in bed. We slept good, but we were up at 5am.

I forgot to mention that we were sort of 'stuck' in our seats for the long flight. We were by the window and the isle seat was occupied by an elderly lady who did not speak English. We hated asking her to get up any time we wanted to move around, so we just wanted for her to go to the restroom, where we would jump up and do some walking. She only got up twice during the entire flight.

It has been an enjoyable week seeing family and friends again. We have been spoiled by everyone. We have been out to eat and had some of our favorite foods ready for us at home. Our church in Chicago had a wee get-together when we arrived and served Chicago style deep dish pizza for us. MMM! Today we will get have lunch with Josh's sister and brother-in-law who have driven down from Michigan to see us. We will also be looking forward to camping and a get-together with some of my friends from high school this weekend.

I thought it would feel strange to be back, and some things are a bit strange. I am still having the problem of looking right first when crossing the road. But it does feel like we have not been gone so long. It has been good to pick up with people again like we have not been so far away for so long. Whatever sort of accent I might have had is totally lost now. :)

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