Avery and I got the most sleep on the flights, despite the lack of what most would assume to be common sense boundaries and some good ole discipline in the seat behind me. When we approached our seats, I found Mom and Crying Baby and assumed they were the only threats. However, Grandma and Screaming Toddler soon found their way back from the bathroom and ruined any chance for a pleasant flight.
Mom and Granny were getting tag teamed by these two little monsters. As soon as Baby would go to sleep, Toddler emerged from her state of contentment. At many points Screaming Toddler turned into Erratic Toddler, during which she would violently kick or beat on the back of Ivan's seat next to me.
This mother looked plum worn out, tired, fed up. So, I'll cut her some slack. But Granny on the other hand, merely laughed for longer than necessary when Possessed Toddler shook out a bottle of water, heavily spraying me from the gap between the seats. Grandma, I was not amused.
I've given you the low. Now for the high. I do need to give props to Lufthansa airline for the most comfortable temperature of my international flying experience to date. And, my all-time favorite in-flight meal was served for lunch on the way to Frankfurt. I chose the pasta, which came with a crunchy lettuce salad and tiramisu. All delectable.
The professional label Keith added to the lid of each tote.
Keith single-handedly collected all 18 pieces of our checked bags (17 totes + 1 small suitcase deemed by the airline as too large to carry on), while I stood to the side of the chaos with the kids and 10 carry-on pieces. He also wisely found some airline workers who agreed to help move us and our 4 carts through the customs line.
The mass of people and luggage carts at the customs x-ray machine were so crazy that Keith "forgot" to put his backpack full of electronics and cash on the conveyor belt. And, those kind airport workers ushered me and the kids, suitcases in tow, around to the other side without having to be scanned. Bless them.
Well, 3 totes and the carry on with electronics were flagged for searching. I took the kids and luggage carts around the corner from the window where 2 workers sat, who would eventually deal with Keith. The travelers in line before Keith were flagged for cases and cases of Trident gum (52 to be exact...Keith counted) and enough body spray to start a Bath and Body Works.
The item in question for us: a power converter/inverter purchased stateside via amazon for $105. The guys at customs were saying it cost $1,500 USD. Finally they let Keith come behind the glass window and show them on his account the item he purchased and the same item through another website. In the end, getting through customs cost us 3 hours and $180. Duty plus a nice tip for the guys who helped us from baggage claim to our driver.
To those of you who prayed for our travels, thank you. We saw God's favor in countless ways during the last 2 days. We were charged $0 for 6 extra checked bags (totes, that would have been $200 each). Safe flights in which no children were harmed. We arrived at a guest home (bed and breakfast) and had the kids tucked in by 1:00 A.M.
We are blessed.
On the way back from the airport, being blinded by the flash.