Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Our trip to Europe 2009 part 1

Ok, here is the beginning of my story..I hope it was worth the wait.

The night before our trip Bek had come over to spend the night. We were both so excited that we could hardly sleep. I was amazed at the size of her suite case and all that she had packed. Her mother and I have traveled the continent with various drum and bugle corps in our youth and we know how to travel light so it just always blows me away when I see someone with a suitcase the size of a mattress. I talked her in to going through her clothes and doing what she could to lighten the load. In the end she took out maybe 3 tee shirts.

Our plane wasn't going to leave until late in the evening and our pick up service was going to pick us up after work so I had to take Bek to the office with me. On the way to the office IMOM called and I answered the phone. It was only after answering the phone that I saw the motorcycle cop right behind me. I hung up as soon as I could and tried to give the police officer the "nothing to see over here...just move on"...look but it didn't work. I got pulled over. I'm not good at talking to police officers so I didn't even bother to try to explain why I was actually talking on the phone instead of using my blue tooth. I had just activated a “global phone” that I had borrowed from Verizon and my blue tooth wasn’t synced up to it. He was very friendly when he gave me my ticket and seemed kind of amused when I found my 2009 license plate tags in my glove box instead of on my plates where they should have been. What a way to start my vacation!

Later in the day my mom and my sister arrived at my office. As I was telling them my tale of woe they laughed because my mom had gotten a ticket that morning, too! Hers was for parking her car in the street on the day the street sweeper was scheduled to sweep that particular side of the street. I was hoping that this was not going to set the tone for the rest of our trip.

I had arranged for my oldest and dearest friend that I've known since kindergarten to use my car while I was away. She and her son were coming to my office via the city bus. She called to tell me that they had gotten off of the bus but couldn't find my office. I told her to start walking south and I'd send my sister to find her. In the 20 minutes that Tori was gone with my car I managed to 1. Almost have a heart attack because I couldn’t find my car keys..(which of course were in the car with my sister…) 2. Send my niece to my car to get my suitcase 3. Panic again because I couldn’t find my car keys. I was Lucy and Ethel and the 3 Stooges all rolled up in to one person! ( I couldn’t help it…I WAS EXCITED!)

When the town car,(Um I ordered a town car and they sent an SUV) arrived Tori was still off looking for my friend however my friend had already made it to my office. I was going to call Tori on her cell phone to let her know this but of course she had given her phone to Bek. When she finally came back down the street that we were on she could see that my friend had made it to the office and that our chariot was awaiting. We did a scene straight out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon trying to get the truck loaded and then say our goodbyes to my friend. (Tori and my friend hadn't seen each other in over 20 years and there was a lot of catching up to do~)

By the time we got to the airport I had finally settled down. Here Bek strikes a careless pose with our SUV:
We had printed our tickets out before getting to the airport so we didn’t have to stand in line. All we had to do was scan our passports and our boarding passes popped out of a machine.(YAY) But when it came to going through security, as usual my, sister had to go through 3 times before the alarm didn’t sound off. She never remembers to take the change out of her pocket and it gets her every time. (I thought we were going to breeze right through because I had begged her to wear slip on shoes. We usually have to wait for her to put her tennis shoes back on and it is just so much quicker to wear slip ons... and this time she did, but the metal detector still grabbed her.)

Because we had business class seats we got to hang out in the executive lounge at American Airlines. We hadn't even made it through the foyer before my cell phone rang. It was my cat sitter calling to tell me that Ashleigh had given birth to 5 kittens. I had put her in a huge dog kennel with a box and blanket and anything a mother could want and of course she didn't have the kittens in the box or on the towel...she had them the one spot on the kennel floor that was not covered.. on my white carpet. At the time this picture was taken she had only had 4 kittens. The 5th one was born before we hung up.
There was a huge gala going on in the lounge because AA was celebrating 50 years of flying to Brazil. The lounge was full of semi naked women dressed in huge feather head dresses and not much else. They were playing music and the ladies danced and shook what their mamas gave them.
When you go in to the lounge you get two free drink tickets per person and Tori and I have made it a tradition to have dirty martinis. We are semi nervous flyers and a martini always seems to make the flight better. (What? You don't drink your martinis with a straw, which causes you to put Brazilian feathers in your hair? Try it! It's fun!) (Oh, and I didn't write a post about it because I was still sick with mono when it happened but can you see what IMOM got me for my birthday...I'll give you a's a carat but it's not orange..)
I swear that I only had one martini but I can't for the life of me remember what was so funny in this picture:
I also can't remember what prompted Rebek to sit on my lap but I do remember that I was trying to lick her before she could lick me. She is very sly about her new fun game from Kenner....she will sidle up to you and act like she is going to give you a hug or tell you a secret and the instant you let your guard down she will lick your face! This also is a good time to explain the bright green thing and the bright pink thing we have around our necks. They are "document holders" but we called them "dork packs". It has only taken me 3 previous trips to Europe to realize that having your passport and tickets easily accessible is the key to easy travel. We knew that we looked dorky wearing them but it was sooooo much easier than having to dig through our purses or carry on luggage every time we needed to show these documents. (It also stopped me from clutching at my purse and saying, "WHERE IS MY PASSPORT??", every 3 seconds. And just for those of you who haven't traveled internationally, (MOTHER), you have to show them to a different person every time you turn around.
They called our flight and most of the lounge cleared out. The Brazilian gala disbursed and we all got lovely parting gifts as we exited. I gave most of my gifts to Rebek as I didn't need any flowery perfume or brightly colored nail polish. I did keep the lip liner and a deck of cards, an emery board and a couple of other trinkets. Here Tori and Bek look at all the booty:
We were among the first to board the plane so we had time for MAC Book photos:

We were lucky enough to have a non-stop flight. I watched 99% of the Renee Zellweger movie, “New In Town” and a couple of sit-coms before I went to sleep. I like to sleep on airplanes because if there is turbulence I prefer not to feel it! Tori is a bit more of a "nervous Norvis" because she can't really sleep on airplanes. She took pictures of her view from her seat...Here she is ...

Then here is Rebekah:

And then this is me:
They woke me up to eat and I don't know if it was the fact that I was still half asleep or what but I had no idea what to do with all of this silverware:Why would anyone need 3 knifes?
Our flight was very smooth and we didn't have any turbulance at all. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon when we landed in London/Heathrow. Tori and I had told Bek what a huge united nations it is when you walk through the airport so of course when we were there you could have done cartwheels down the aisles and not hit anyone. The airport was empty. I'm so disappointed that Bek didn't get to see the people from all of the different countries dressed up in their native garb. I found that to be very exciting on my first visit to Europe.
We were ablel to find our luggage on the first try. As a matter of fact someone had already taken the luggage from our flight off of the carousel so all we had to do was walk up and take it. (I'm always afraid I'm going to grab my suitcase off of the carousel and go flying down the way with my arm yanked out of the socket...)
We walked outside and it was a bit of a thrill to get to see Rebek see the typical "Nanny 911" taxi cabs all lined up. We jumped in to a taxi and we were off on our European adventure!
Stay tuned for more...



Blogger Kathy said...

Your adoring fans would like a close up shot of that nice trinket shown on your left hand....

More, more, more of the story!! :)

8:51 PM  
Blogger Tami W. said...

I have tried to take a picture of the trinket on my left hand but I will need to try it again with a better lens.

Please note that the trinket goes on what ever finger I feel like wearing it isn't a designated left hand trinket.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I'll see if I can remember the lens that we rented last year because it took amazing pics of diamonds - I posted them on my flickr I think. Try turning your flash off and see what you get...

5:39 PM  
Blogger Diane F. said...

You two sound like fun travelmates. Sleeping on the way to Europe is a must, unless you want to be a ZOmBie for the first few days! I can't wait until the next installment!

10:43 AM  

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