Monday, April 15, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way (Back) to Italy....

Tons of you have let us know you've been praying for our return trip to Italy.  Your prayers were not only heard but answered.  The Lord was all over this trip, I knew it from the first moment at the airport.

(Thanks to my wonderful Dad who stayed with us till we got through security.  He might have even wiped his eyes when we went up to departures, I can't be sure.)

In honor of His faithfulness to us and yours as well, I thought I would put together a top ten list (with one extra!) of our amusing antics - or those of the people around us as the girls and I journeyed to Dave. (pictures included) 

1. We had two big issues before arriving at the airport.  a. Ella needed a ticket and b. the girls were sitting nearly 20 rows behind me.  When we checked in, both girls had been moved up next to me.  Yay!  However, it took KLM 43 minutes to fix the computer so I could pay the rate they quoted me on Thursday of last week (Yes, I timed it).  A few minutes later to check our baggage and an hour after arriving, we were onto security, which was a breeze.

2. When we got on the plane, we were sitting by the bulkhead.  We were seated next to a nice French couple with a 5 month old girl, who also used the baby bassinet.  The bassinets were so cute, just clipped right into the wall.  And we got to see our across-the-aisle neighbor's bottom crack, as he adjusted his luggage.  Sometimes track pants aren't such a good idea...

3. When we were getting arranged on the plane, an old man fussed at Sophia for not moving fast enough.  Never mind that she was obeying me to stay put till I got her baby sister settled.  If he'd have spoken English, he would have understood what I said back to him, but my hand gestures were no doubt enough. (Nobody messes with my children...)

4. Our unintentional sleep experiment got some interesting results.  Neither Natalie or I slept on the 9 hour flight and we were in better shape upon landing than Sophia, who slept for 2-3 hours.  Nats slept the entire length of the flight to Bologna, which was about 90 minutes, but Sophia and I stayed awake.  On landing, Nats was the mess.  As you might have guessed I didn't sleep, other than 1-2 minute cat naps, on either flight.  I was the best out of all of us but maybe I'm used to not sleeping. 

5. Thanks to Sophia, we are renaming Amsterdam to HAMSTERDAM.  I like it.

6. KLM is deadly serious about the safety of infants.  I am rather skeptical of their methods though, seeing as how I had to loop in a smaller lap belt onto mine and then strap it around Ella.  If you don't play along though, they get VERY annoyed.  I really don't see how this would keep babies safe in the event of an emergency (see picture) but I obeyed to avoid getting yelled at.

7. On the first leg of the journey, at takeoff, the 2 year old behind us was screaming for her mother.  When her father gave her over, she started screaming for him.  She fell asleep right about the time we hit altitude, then at some point threw up twice.  I'll let you extrapolate how I felt about this.

8. European women think babies will freeze to death at any temperature that's < 60 F.  When we were exiting the first plane, several flight attendants nearly tackled me to cover Ella, who was already pretty well wrapped in a blanket.  They kept saying "It's so cold for her!!"  It was 51 F.

9. Finally got to see the Alps as we were flying over (see picture).  It was a breathtaking view of God's wonderful creation.

10. If it wasn't for the sweet young woman sitting next to me on the leg to Bologna, we might not ever gotten to Dave, who was waiting on the other side of baggage claim.  With all the luggage we brought, including Ella's car seat, I desperately needed a cart.  Unfortunately, I had no Euros!  So, I humbly explained our predicament while we waited and she graciously gave me a 1 Euro piece.  We were able to load up and get out.  (Semantics note: luggage carts in Europe are called trolleys.)

Here's the bonus round (and I saved the best for last.)  This was how Natalie fell asleep on the second flight....

And this was Sophia's response....

We are glad to be "back," as much as we miss Houston.  In the words of Natalie tonight at dinner, "I like our Italian house, but I love our Houston house..."  Truer words have never been spoken.  More to come from the Traveling Vogels!

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