Loooong day yesterday! I was actually in the States for the last week. (I didn’t put it on the blog for security reasons. You know, stalkers, bad guys, and the like.) But we are back in our home sweet home now!
I was prepared for everybody and their uncle to ask me how I was liking Germany while I was home. I did get that question a lot, but even more people asked me how long it took to get from Germany to Dallas. (I didn’t know a basic little factoid like that was so interesting. Or maybe it isn’t interesting at all; people were just being polite.) I can tell you that there is a direct flight between Frankfurt and Dallas that lasts all of 10 hours. Small potatoes, if you ask me. Unfortunately, we did not take that flight. And our travel took much longer than 10 hours.
We had the first flight out of Nuremburg the day that we left. Stephen and I went back and forth on whether we wanted to drive to the airport or take the train. Travel time would be about the same, but we weren’t crazy about leaving our car at the airport for a week. In the end, we decided to take the train. Alas, the early train doesn’t pick up at our stop early enough to make our flight. That meant we had to go to the airport the night before. Our travels were as follows:
10:00 pm – take a 10 minute taxi ride from our house to the nearest train stop.
10:30 pm – take an hour train ride from the local train stop to the Nuremburg train station.
11:30 pm – take the 15 minute subway ride from the train station to the airport.
11:45 pm – Get our boarding passes and find a comfy bench. Stephen and I slept lightly and uncomfortably for a few hours. Apparently this is a pretty common occurrence as every other bench had sleepy passengers in various states of sleep draped over them.
2:00 am – Wake up to the sound of people talking and realize that the airline is checking people in. We spent a total of 30 minutes getting checked in, going through security, and making our way to our gate. Once there, we promptly went back to sleep on a different, more comfortable bench.
5:00 am – Relocate benches again after going through passport checkpoint. Sleep a little more.
6:00 am – Board the first of three flights. Takeoff was about 20 minutes later. It took a little over an hour to go all the way from Nuremburg to London Gattwick Airport.
6:45 am local time (7:45 body clock time) – land and go through customs. The Gattwick airport is really nice. All the shops (and there are a ton!) and restaurants are in one main area. It pretty much looked like a mall. You can’t go to your gate until shortly before your flight boards. That sucks because you can’t nap (no space!) but you can shop. Stephen and I decided to eat at the Armadillo Café.
Breakfast = amazing! Stephen had some sort of breakfast burger with an egg. My food was a cooked banana, scrambled eggs, corncakes, and some veg on the side. We putzed around as long as we could, but this was by far the hardest part of all our travels. We were so tired and the airport was so loud. We somehow managed to kill 5 hours here, but by the end of our time in Gattwick, I was so ready to go.
12:20 pm local time (1:20 pm body clock time) – we boarded our flight. Thankfully we sat in a three-seater row and no one sat next to us! Score! (I have the best luck with this. No one sat next to us to and from Australia, also.) I watched two movies and tried to sleep, buy my body wasn’t having it. It didn’t help that it was light outside the whole way and everyone on the plane around us was chatty. (Normally transatlantic flights are much quieter.) I was awake the entire 9 plus hour flight.
4:40 pm local time (10:40 pm body clock time) – we landed in Tampa. I was so annoyed that we had to go through customs then go through security again. Lame. But I was jazzed to discover that the airport had free wi-fi. I also got my first Frappuccino in over a month.
Never has it tasted so good.
6:45 pm local time (12:45 am body clock time) – We were in the air again, this time headed for Dallas. This flight was completely full and Stephen and I both had middle seats many rows apart. Not a fan. I used this time to read a huge chunk of my book (You Are an Ironman by
8:30 pm local time (3:30 am body clock time) – We landed in Dallas in one piece. My brother scooped us up. We stayed the night at Stephen’s brother’s apartment, but not before staying up until almost midnight talking. If you are keeping track, that means we were awake until 6 am body clock time – 32 hours after leaving home! Needless to say, I was pretty jacked up. We managed to be troopers the next day. (I spent that day getting a mani/pedi and free lunch with my future sister-in-law the day before her wedding. It’s not like it was hard to suffer through!)
Getting home was much easier. Our layovers were shorter and we didn’t get to the airport hours before our first flight. We even sprung for the first class upgrade from Dallas to Florida!
From Florida to London and London to Nuremburg, we didn’t have any seat-mates. Once again it was just the two of us! (Can you say, spoiled?)
So how long does it take to get from where I live in Germany to where I used to live in Texas? Answer: a long, long time! But it is so worth it. We had an awesome visit with so much happiness. I can’t wait to tell y’all all about my big brother’s wedding! (Short version: it was awesome.)
What was your longest and/or worst travel experience? Australia was our longest single flight, but I think this was our longest day of travel of all time. I’m not too eager to repeat it.*