Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Germany Vacation... Day 1

Happy Tuesday everyone! Thanks for stopping by! As promised, today is the beginning of our Germany vacation pictures and daily story to go along with it. But please note that today's post is going to be a long one due to all of the drama of day 1 before we ever left the ground. So, without further adieu.....

We left for our trip on Thursday evening, September 3rd. When I arrived at the airport, Steven was waiting at Terminal C for me when I got off the air train. We went to the car, changed clothes, grabbed all 4 of our suitcases along with our carry ons and passports and headed back to the terminal. Thank goodness he has free parking since he is considered an airport employee - not having to pay THAT fee for 9whole days was a plus! We got to Continental's check-in and printed out our boarding passes and gave them our bags. Luckily for us, the lady behind the counter who was assisting us knew Steven from buying clothes from him at Brooks Brothers and decided to give us the "Elite Status" for our luggage, which meant our bags would be the first ones OFF the plane in Frankfurt when we landed. YAY - Another plus! :o) After we got our luggage tagged, it was time to head through security. There were at least 300 people in line - UGH!

Well..... this was our lucky day - since Steven is considered an airport employee because he runs stores there, we were able to bypass ALL 300 people and go directly through the employee's line - no wait! Ahhhhh -talk about HEAVEN! :o)

Once we made it through there, we decided to stop by his Brooks Brother's store as they were having a 70% off sale and I am always on the lookout for some cheap but NICE Brooks Brother quality clothes. I went in and purchased an adorable bright yellow, sleeveless pullover dress and a nice white blouse. The two together were over $300 but with the sale and his discount, I was able to get them both for $54.00 and there is no tax here on clothes in Jersey - YAY - another break! WOOP WOOP!!!

Afterwards, we were ready to just spend some time together and relax before our flight. We were really looking forward to sitting down and having a beer in the pub before we boarded the plane - we still had a good hour or so and started heading that way. Along the way, however, Steven started getting bombarded by the ringing of his phone - ARGH!!! He had "issues" that had to be dealt with right then and so our relaxing time went out the window. Well, he's the boss, so I guess he had to do what he had to do, you know???? So.... I went in search for a "Rootbeer" instead - I mean, hey - who wants to drink alone, right.... and then I found a seat at our gate to wait for boarding to begin while Steven walked around outside the gates talking on his phone handling work issues until they started calling our seat numbers. On his way to get in line, he decided to stop for a coke and a can of Pringles - "just in case".

(Our plane in Newark)

I, personally thought he was NUTS as I just KNEW we were going to be taking off right on schedule - however, he proceeded to remind me that we were in a New York airport and that they NEVER leave on time.... So, we got boarded, found our seats (2 on the right side at the back of the plane) - it was a large 747-400 with 2 seats on the left of the plane, 3 seats in the middle and 2 seats on the right of the plane. We got all settled in, put gum in our mouths and special earplugs for take off and was ready to go. We drove out on the runway while the stewards prepared for take off and we waited for our turn to be airborne. While we waited in line (with about 10 other planes ahead of us), we heard the captain come over the speaker and mention something about a genarator on the plane not registering properly - WTH??? He said that they were having the maintenance crew come out and take a real quick look at it and then we should be on our way. Then after about 30 minutes (and getting out of the way of the other planes taking off), he came on again and said we were heading back to the gate and as they still couldn't get it working properly and had to have another long look at it.

(us on the plane before takeoff)

Well...... THREE hours later - YES I said, THREE hours later..... (darn Steven putting a jinx on us like that- HA!), we were on our way and were airborne finally.  Thank goodness he stopped for that coke and can of pringles as they only came by and offered us a 1/2 cup of water during the entire 3 hour ordeal - thankfully, there were no small screaming children on the plane during this time. :o)

(after returning to gate)

Now we were told our flight was going to be a full 8 hour flight but the captain assured us that it would take no more than about 6 1/2 which was news to my ears as I am terrified of flying anyway and the thought of being on a plane that long was giving me the heebie jeebies! After everything was said and done and we were in the air cruising at 30,000 altitude, they brought us out dinner which was very good and hot. We finished our meals, drank our cokes, and settled in to watch a complimentary movie. Needless to say, we didn't last long watching the movie, and drifted off to sleep - though not sleeping very well - ever try to sleep for 6 1/2 hours sitting up in a plane seat that has little leg room?

Since our flight was an overnight flight for obvious reasons, we woke up in time for them to start serving us breakfast - which left little to be desired! They gave each of us one small croissant, and a VERY tiny bowl of fruit along with a small cup of juice. Once that was done and cleaned up, everyone began preparing for landing. We put our shoes back on (yes, we went comfy on the plane) and took a few pictures as we were coming in for landing in Frankfurt.

(flying into Frankfurt)

(flying into Frankfurt)

(flying into Frankfurt)

(Flying into Frankfurt)

(Flying into Frankfurt)

(Flying into Frankfurt)

(Flying into Frankfurt)

(Frankfurt Airport)

(Frankfurt Airport)

Once we landed, it took about 5 total minutes before we were finally off the plane - we went through customs, got our luggage (remember the Elite Status we were given?) and were on our way out the door where Chris had his assistant, Monika, waiting for us where she spotted us immediately as she had cased me out on Facebook so she'd know what we looked like - LOL.   After Monika found us and we headed to the car, she took great care of us and took us right to our hotel without ever getting lost even though she'd never been to Bad Homburg before.

(Driving on the Audobon (sp?) - with the speed limit at 120 mph - YIKES!)

Once she helped us get checked in to our hotel, she left us to rest and we headed to the room for a shower and some sleep.

(our room from the outside)

(our hotel-The Comfort Inn)

It then began raining and we had our windows in our room opened just enough to enjoy the cool breeze blowing in where we peacefully drifted off to sleep for a good 6 or 8 hours before we were woken up by the ringing of our phone to alert us that Chris was on his way to get us for dinner. So.... we made a mad dash to throw on some clothes for going out in, had dinner at this yummy restaurant and a had a beer (they don't believe in small beers)we headed back to Chris's apartment for some more beer and relaxation and visiting before leaving at 11:00 p.m. Germany time (which was 5:00 p.m. EST) and headed back to our hotel for a nice relaxing slumber. :o)

Well, that is the end of Day 1 - I promise (I hope - hee hee hee) that the other day's posts won't be near this long! Enjoy the pictures - they aren't really scenic at this point other than when we were flying into Frankfurt.

Until tomorrow.......
Hugs, Trac~ :O)

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