We’re home! (!!!!!!!!!!!!) We’re home and could not be happier. The early morning snow Tuesday morning definitely added to the fairytale that is Vienna as well as answered prayers as my husband and I often found ourselves earnestly wishing we were in our apartment, in our living room, listening to quiet music and drinking coffee while watching the snow fall. We were so afraid the snow would take a break and not stop back by for awhile, but it’s here and this morning we fulfilled our living room lounging, coffee drinking, music listening and snow watching wish.
Getting back to Vienna was an adventure in and of itself. My in-laws drove us to the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport early afternoon Sunday and had us there at the recommended “two hours prior” time. Our flight was scheduled for 4:45pm but upon checking in were told the flight had been delayed 15 minutes. Not a big deal. But by the time we made it through security and got to the gate, our flight had been pushed back all the way to 7:00pm. Will checked with the attendants to make sure we would make our connecting flight in London and was assured twice we wouldn’t have any problems, which always means we were about to have problems. The flight to London was the bumpiest, rockiest, most terrifying flight I’ve ever been on. I’m not a huge fan of flying as I tend to picture the opening scene of “LOST” every time I’m on a plane, but I do pretty well and knock myself out with Dramamine. This flight had me scared awake and sweating through my clothes. Every time I calmed down enough to watch my movie (If you haven’t seen Hotel Transylvania, you must. It’s so good.), the plane would shake and my water would fall over and slide across my tray and I would start praying and ask the Lord to please keep the plane in the air because there’s no way I could survive on a life raft in the middle of the ocean as I have a huge respect for the power of the ocean and all of its swimming, human eating creatures.
We landed, and I was thankful.
We landed in London a tiny bit later than expected, but Will and I, having been assured earlier that we’d have no problems, thought that our lateness wouldn’t cause trouble for us. We speed-walked through the terminal only to be stopped at a lengthy, extraordinarily slow moving security line. Everyone was in a huge hurry except of course the people working security. We put our bags on the conveyer belt and walked through the security door, and I was stopped because I’m always stopped even though nothing is ever on my person. I’ve been behind people who’ve walked through with dangling chains and giant winter coats and still manage to get stopped. At the precise time I was stopped, the security system that sees through your clothes (I don’t know it’s actual name) shut down. By then we only had 5 minutes to get to the gate. Will told the guards nearest him that we had to go, but my person had to be checked so we waited. I was finally “examined” and released with 1 minute to get to the gate. We grabbed everything and bolted for the gate which is the second worst thing that’s happened in these three months. Vienna really put us in great shape with all of the walking and bike riding and healthy eating we do here, but the States un-shaped us and made running a horrible business. We ran as fast as we could with our carry-ons weighing us down quite a bit. We made it to the gate while “CLOSED” was flashing on the screen. The gentleman working the desk laughed and said we were fine but that they had paged us a few times. We didn’t catch our breath till we were sitting in our seats on the plane to Vienna.
Two hours later we looked out the window and couldn’t believe our 90 day wait was finally over. We were ready to get through the airport, find our luggage, and hug our friends’ necks. One of the six pieces of luggage made its way around the belt to us, but the other five were not in sight. Luggage from Rome and from Paris joined in and still our luggage was missing. Will went to the Help Desk and was told our luggage had not made the connection to Vienna and would be coming in at a later flight and returned to us later in the night. It wasn’t a huge deal at all, but after a lack of sleep and the initial stress of not knowing where our stuff was did make our “Welcome Home” a little… sleepier. When we exited the airport we were instantly met by our favorite little friends and their parents. In my head I had imagined this reunion to be a loud, ecstatic time on my part. I was going to scoop up all of the kids (one at a time) and scream when I saw Kim and Josh and Jake and Amanda, but my reaction was more like “This is a dream, right?” I guess I thought since I’ve traveled a fair amount that the transition back in to a place I wanted to get back to so badly would be an easy one, but really every redo of a transition is a pretty odd experience.
Our apartment was just as we left it: clean with a dash of “Eh… I’ll do this later”. We were reunited with Tobias which at first was heartbreaking as he didn’t really know who we were and took to hiding underneath the couch, but he came back out about 5 minutes later and he’s been normal ever since. Jake wound up staying over longer than he anticipated due to our heat not working. If it hadn’t been -3 degrees Celsius outside we would’ve waited to get it fixed, but it was and our apartment felt like the inside of a freezer. Jake worked some magic and our heat started working but probably didn’t fully heat up the place until sometime in the night. After he left, we were left in our apartment – a surreal feeling. We had sandwiches and went about our night waiting for our luggage which was delivered around 11:00pm. We went to bed, and it was the best night’s sleep we’ve had in 93 days.
Here’s to more adventures (the good kind).