My most frequently read post here on Thrifty Travel Mama is the story of my journey from Orlando to Frankfurt one year ago. I actually haven’t read it since then. I’m pretty sure I might explode in fit of laughter and then put the fire out in a stream of tears. For sure, it was one of the hardest trips of my life thus far.
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a very dear friend’s wedding and take that (almost) same journey. Am I crazy? Well, yes, but we can discuss that later. The main (though not the only) difference between that trip and this one is this time, I got to go all by myself!
Back to the craziness, if you’re aren’t totally convinced yet that I’m a few Fruit Loops short of a bowlful, this might change your mind.
Last Friday, I left on the first tram of the morning, 5:19am, to take the train to Frankfurt Airport. I then had to take a bus to Terminal 2. I barely made it to the Delta counter; if I had been with boys, I’m sure we might have missed the 60-minute checked baggage cutoff prior to departure.
(If you’re wondering why in the WORLD I flew Delta again after my awful experience in April, my reason is three-fold. First, technically, my ticket was purchased from Air France (haha), and it was the absolute cheapest I could find. Second, I looked up the flights using trusty ol’ SeatGuru to make sure I would have an AVOD device, not an overhead movie screen. Third, I was traveling by myself and if flights were delayed or seatmates were annoying, I only had myself to worry about.)
Security at FRA was a breeze, and a few minutes later I found a People magazine in the duty-free store. I browsed it without any fear of boys knocking over 50 euro bottles of perfume. I don’t even give a rip about People; I just savored a few quiet moments of reading in English before the bi-lingual boarding announcement blared in my ears.
On the way to Atlanta, I watched three whole movies and took two naps. Whoa. I seriously can’t remember the last time I took two naps in one day for any reason other than despicable sickness.
It wasn’t all R&R though. Irony of ironies, I found myself three rows behind a screaming little boy about the age of Screech. He let it rip on and off the entire ten hours. (Seriously!?)
The flight to Atlanta was late (duh – Delta). Even so, I managed to re-check my luggage and run (yes, run) to the gate just in time to catch the flight to Orlando. My luggage even made it. Thank you, God!
I arrived Friday night Orlando time and left on a Monday morning. In less than three whole days, I attended a sweet wedding, had dinner with three different friends, mailed two packages and one letter, enjoyed Chipotle and Yogurtland, ran 12 miles with an old college roommate in the blazing sun, shopped at Target three times, and bought new Puma shoes. I think I slept a little here and there, too.
After a quick iced tea with my mother-in-law in the Atlanta airport, I was on my way back to my boys. How did they survive without me? Easy – I left a 13×9″ pan of lasagna, a freezer full of chicken nuggets, fries, and vegetables (which they did eat!), and a meal plan. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right? Apparently, that goes for little men as well.
As is my custom on overnight flights, I only watched one movie with dinner on the way back to Frankfurt. I then donned my eye mask and covered up for the night. I found myself regretting the sweet tea. Though my eyes were closed, my mind was awake. all. night. long. Stupid caffeine.
We arrived early in Frankfurt (of course), and I had over two hours before my train was scheduled to depart. In the months since I’d been to the Frankfurt Airport Fernbahnhof (long distance train station), a Rewe (grocery store) had opened. Lucky for me – I was able to snag breakfast (yogurt, bread, and an apple) for less than 2 euro.
I dozed off for an hour on the way home, but woke up to my alarm. If you’re going to sleep on an ICE train in Germany, make sure you know what time you’re scheduled to arrive. Stops are two minutes (or less) and you could find yourself in a heap of trouble not only because you’ve missed your stop but because you now no longer have a valid ticket.
Upon arriving in my city, I rolled my duffel bag full of BBQ sauce and tortilla chips to T-Rex’s kindergarten. He looked like he hadn’t seen me in years. So delightful to see all my men again. I appreciated and needed this break, but I missed them all the same. After naps, I took the boys to turnen, and cooked Broccoli Chicken for dinner.
Welcome home, mama!