Small confession: I actually had to open my blog up to make sure I hadn’t written about this stuff already… *sighs*
We had a bit of excitement right off the bat. We were at Avis returning the car and started unloading all our junk. A guy came running up and said not to unload it, that he’d just drive us to the airport and drop us and all our junk off at the curb. Great, except there was no way 3 adults, the baby, 2 dogs and all our junk were fitting in there. So he was chasing down the bus and yelling at one of us to get on the bus and that we’d meet at the curb. It all happened fast and so I grabbed 2 bags and got on the bus. I had to borrow the lady bus drivers cell phone to call Mark to ask which airline to get off at since I wasn’t sure. But we met up at the United departures curb, only to find out our flights were at the Lufthansa terminal, even though we booked through United. So Mark and I had to hike 5 terminals back with all our junk. It was an adventure. I had a luggage cart piled so high that I had to look around it because I couldn’t see over it. And Abbie was on my back yanking on my braid the entire time. She thinks it’s her reins. Mark was behind me with the 2 dogs in their crates, barking the entire time and he was pulling a big suitcase. A little nuts. And in all the commotion, we left our GPS in the car. Oops. Luckily my parents are handling that and getting it back for us. (Thanks mom and dad!)
Checking in took quite a while. We had to put stickers all over the dogs cages and their shot records and have the cages inspected and then we zip tied the doors shut. I got a little teary eyed watching them leave, but they made it safe and sound.
Overall, the flights went very well. Abbie slept for about 4 hrs total on the 11 hour flight and at one point Mark said he really wished we had a “spud”. (Our neighbor in Phoenix, Thomas, referred to laid back babies who would just sit on the couch for hours as “spuds”.) Our little one just has issues sleeping and she was trying her hardest to figure out how to lay on her stomach in the car seat. Obviously, that didn’t go over so well. But eventually she crashed towards the end of the flight to Germany. She was a little bit fussy, but she wasn’t doing her loud shrieks, thank God. And she slept the entire flight from Germany to Italy.
We flew over Venice before we landed and it gave me butterflies. I just finished reading a Steve Berry book that partially takes place in Venice. It was so pretty, even from the air.
After landing, we got all our luggage (so we thought) and the dogs, and changed Abbie (she had a blow out at the end of the first flight and naturally I didn’t pack any extra clothes for her in the 14 carry-on’s we had – not one of my brighter moves, but oh well) and took the dogs to go potty. Our sponsor, Laura, was there as soon as we got out of the baggage claim area. We loaded up the car and headed towards Aviano. She explained quite a few things on the 50 min drive and I probably remember about 1/4th of it.
We got checked in to our hotel room, got the dogs settled and then headed to the BX/commissary to get a few things. Laura took us to get our mailbox set up and I had 4 packages (3 of which I mailed to myself) already, so I was excited about that. Then we went out to eat with about 10 of the wives from the squadron. (All the guys are gone right now.) It was nice to meet people already. We were going to go out for gelato after dinner, but Abbie was fading fast and I wanted to get her to bed so she didn’t get a little nap in and then stay up for another 4 hours. Luckily we made it home in time. We got her to bed about 9pm (which was 1pm Phoenix time) and she slept until 3:30am. Not bad!
We got up at 3:30am and then Abbie took a nap from 6-8am and then we ran a few more errands around base and called a bunch of places about renting houses. Abbie slept from noon to almost 3pm just now, and now we’re headed out to look at a few places. We’ll see what we find. Decent houses seem scarce around here and it’s odd calling people about renting them, especially when you’re not sure if they speak English. I wish I knew Italian. Eventually I will, but that doesn’t do us any good right now.
I’ll write more later and hopefully I’ll get to take pictures soon!