The long awaited tale of exciting world travel is here! It’s full of dragon slaying, mystery solving, princesses, and adventure! Ok, not so much, it’s more like- full of confused airport personnel, terrified looking neighboring passengers, and lots of juggling bags, bottles and a baby. I am a walking circus all on my own. Tickets for admission should have been sold, I could have made a killing!
With no further adieu, I present, “Halfway Around The World In 16 Hours.”
* a disclaimer. . . the flight was 16 hours, the total day, so much more than that! This accounting will tally up the total time, or at least attempt to, because I’m not even sure what the total count was. All I know is- tired is, as tired does, which is to promptly pass out in the vehicle of the person who was kind enough to pick up your sorry, ridiculous-amount-of-luggage-hauling, jet-lagged, and probably-in-need-of-a-shower-self (cause lets be real here, no one gets done traveling across the globe looking glamorous, and those who say they do,
are full of shit are fooling no one) I’d bet money that even Mariah Carey, the diva of all divas might smell a tad bit like an onion after a trip like this. Not that she’d ever do a trip like this, or handle her own baby/luggage/customs forms/etc, but if she did, Onion-Mariah for sure.
4am Sigmaringen Germany CET (Central European Time) UTC +1
It’s dark, like blacker than the inside of a cow out there kind of dark. Why the hell am I awake? What is that noise? Why can’t I find the alarm? How does the Bigger Captor sleep through EVERYTHING?!? I suddenly remember I am flying today, how in the hell could I forget that? Didn’t I just spend all day yesterday packing up the family while the Bigger Captor went skiing? (He says it’s my matronly duty to be the family packer- I call bullshit.)
6:18 am Sigmaringen Germany CET (Central European Time) UTC +1
We’re now 18 minutes behind schedule, I can’t find my shoes and my english muffin is cold. Ugh.
6:28am Sigmaringen Germany CET (Central European Time) UTC +1
We are FINALLY in the truck and on the way. The GPS is actually working this morning, which is a huge surprise because usually it has a temperament and when it’s cold, gives us the proverbial middle finger and tries to send us off to Siberia.
8:12am Stuttgart Germany CET (Central European Time) UTC +1
Made it to the airport relatively unscathed- parking lot was empty, so getting the truck in there was actually easy. We finally get the bags unloaded, the baby in the stroller and into the terminal. The line for the ticket counter is a tad bit daunting, but thanks to the miles plus status of my benefactor, I get to use the premium line (Ha ha! Take that suckers!) But in reality, this is only good for them getting to tell me I am screwed out of the bassinet I had reserved faster than if I had just waited in the other line. Understandably, there are only so many oxygen masks per row, and you can’t have two babies in one row or one won’t get an oxygen mask should “sudden cabin pressure loss occur.” I say let them duke it out, winner takes all, but the airlines don’t share my sentiment. At any rate, they comped me a free seat next to me so I could keep her in her bucket, which was just as awesome.
9:12am Stuttgart Germany CET (Central European Time) UTC +1
They’re calling for boarding and I’m not even through security yet! Had to make the obligatory drain-the-boobs stop, otherwise I might experience some sudden cabin pressure loss of my own.
As a first time traveler with an infant, there are some things you should know! They want the bucket and the stroller to go through the x-ray (sans baby of course) then they want to check your milk, the breast pump, and every nook and cranny of your backpack, all while your infant is protesting VERY loudly and your husband is yelling at you over the crowd that your flight is boarding (I can clearly hear them, Bigger Captor!!!) Everyone is frazzled and you are starting to look like an entertaining show for the crowd around you.
The next stop is passport control, which is just another term for gaggle and a half! The agent is very confused as to why the Tiniest Captor didn’t have any stamps in her passport. “How did she get here?” he asks. “They won’t accept this in the USA” he then says. I smile the best smile I can and say, “She was born in Austria, she’s never been anywhere before.” He still looked confused. I then point to the part on her passport that said BORN IN AUSTRIA. He isn’t convinced, and spends the next 3 minuets silently staring at her passport before finally putting an exit stamp in it and handing it back.
10:05am Stuttgart Germany CET (Central European Time) UTC +1
On board, baby is settled and we are outta here.
**The flight was easy, the Tiniest Captor only had one 60 second squeak out session towards the end but that was all. The big giant ugly baby who got my bassinet row up front however screamed THE ENTIRE FLIGHT. So glad I wasn’t them! The Tiniest Captor was a complete angel compared to that kid. Though, if I had a head as big as that kid did, I’d probably scream too.
01:15pm Newark NJ, USA EST (Eastern Standard Time) UTC -5
Landed, woo-hoo! Finally back on the terf of good ol’ USA.
01:40pm Newark NJ, USA EST (Eastern Standard Time) UTC -5
Waiting on a REALLY cold jet way for the stroller that was gate checked. Gate agent comes in to say it’s too icy to bring up the stroller, though two guys clearly JUST WALKED UP THE STAIRS. Resigned to our fate, we start the trek to customs, only to get there and see that the line is 15 miles long. AWESOME.
02:15pm Newark NJ, USA EST (Eastern Standard Time) UTC -5
The same gate agent comes and plucks me out of line, and I’m thinking oh awesome, nothing like a good cavity search at customs with a baby. But then she apologizes for not getting the stroller and cuts me to the front of the line at the next agent. Sweet deal!, Except I can feel the hate and anger of 1500 people at my back. I don’t dare turn around or their gazes will surely cut me into a 1,000 pieces or worse. It is New Jersey after all. I mentally make plans to vacate the premises and get to my next gate as quickly as possible in hopes of avoiding a confrontation with the angry Asian lady who I was put in front of.
02:30pm Newark NJ, USA EST (Eastern Standard Time) UTC -5
Wendy’s bacon cheeseburger in hand. GOD BLESS AMERICA
03:00pm Newark NJ, USA EST (Eastern Standard Time) UTC -5
Clearing security AGAIN, but I am on to their little games and am well prepared this time! Except just as I went to reach and put the stroller on the belt, I get a charlie horse in the arch of my foot! Those my friends, can be deadly. Just an FYI. Again, I look like a freak show for my fellow passengers.
04:25 pm Newark NJ, USA EST (Eastern Standard Time) UTC -5
Boarding finally starts for my next flight. Upon entry I find my seat and tell a very annoyed looking man that I am in the window seat next to him. I think he might be the one to try and toss us out at 42,000 ft. He is one grumpy individual. I hope Tiny Tolin poops on him.
The lady in the aisle seat just got bumped to first class, Grumpy Man looks even more Grumpy. Maybe if he weren’t so grumpy they would have offered it to him. Now Grumpy Man has moved over and taken the aisle seat. Good, at least there is a buffer zone now, though it will be much harder to get poop on him. . .
04:45 pm Newark NJ, USA EST (Eastern Standard Time) UTC -5
We’re finally out of here, though I’m pretty sure I just watched the ground crew break my stroller. The guy picked it up and now the tray is swinging. . . it’s not supposed to swing.
07:05 pm Denver Co, USA MST (Mountain Standard Time) UTC -7
FINALLY HERE!!! Except they’re telling us we don’t have a gate. I’ll just pop the door and use the emergency slide, thank-you-very-much. The other natives on the plane are restless, many of them have connections that we are watching pull back and roll away. Sucks to be them.
07:15 pm Denver Co, USA MST (Mountain Standard Time) UTC -7
Now we have a gate! But the jet way is broken. . . SERIOUSLY?!? Oh well, I don’t have a connecting and the Tiniest Captor hasn’t made a peep the whole flight. Take that Grumpy Man! I hope you get a splinter!
07:25 pm Denver Co, USA MST (Mountain Standard Time) UTC -7 (03:25am CET- 23 hours of traveling so far)
Off the plane and my stroller is most definitely broken. Fantastic, THANK YOU UNITED AIRLINES. Cause guess what? Strollers are the one item they DON’T cover. Jerk heads. I hope you guys get splinters, too!
The rest of the trip home was pretty much a blur and I don’t remember parts of it. I was too tired and couldn’t hold my eyes open with toothpicks if I had to. Joals and I got some food at a BBQ joint and then kept on rolling. I of course, passed out in the car. I don’t even remember doing it. I’ve never been so drunk that I’ve passed out like that, so I think I hit a new level of epic tired.
11:15pm Cheyenne Wy, USA MST (Mountain Standard Time) UTC -7 (07:15am CET- 27 hours of traveling)
Let the screwed up sleep schedules of myself and the Tiniest Captor begin!