Monday, December 15, 2008

9 airport visits in 60 hours

Friday evening Dennis just got home and we decide to call the Lufthansa airline as the Budapest airport is still on strike. We call and get some information. Because we lost Kevin’s ticket we need to buy a new one but we have a problem. They open at 5 am and our flight is 6.20 am so this will not give us enough time to buy the ticket and check in. The solution: Dennis needs to drive to the airport tonight to get the new ticket. Not a fun idea. I pack a sandwich and off he goes to battle rush hour for an hour drive to the airport, getting lost on the way.
I feed the boys and start preparing them for bed. They need to sleep by 7 pm so they can wake up at 3 am.

Saturday 3 am. I am awake since 1 am. I just can’t sleep. Dennis is sleeping and he doesn’t even hear the alarm. I wake him up and get Ryan up and dress him. Kevin is so sleepy that even when I put the snow suit on him he doesn’t wake up. The taxi comes before 4am so we rush out the door. The airport is a mass of people. People everywhere, big lines. Where do we start? Dennis sees the man who helped him print our tickets last night and he agrees to check us in as we have a small baby. Other people try to skip the line by standing behind us. He prints the boarding passes and we need to take our luggage to the other terminal and check the luggage there since the baggage handlers are on strike. We go outside, walk to the other terminal and look to check our luggage at counter 64.
As we wait there we hear rumors that our flight to Frankfurt is canceled. Dennis runs back to the other terminal to tell them what these people are telling us. There he catches the end of an announcement in English about our flight. They are going to put us on a bus. To Frankfurt?! That will take days! Dennis runs back to find out what they are announcing in terminal A. Nothing in English, so we ask. They will put us on a bus to the Vienna airport and fly us to Frankfurt from there. There will be a bus leaving from the B terminal at 6.30 am. “Have we already checked our luggage?”, she asks. No, that is good. So we take our luggage back to the B terminal. I can’t sit outside in the cold with 2 boys, and we expect them to announce when the bus is here. So we sit down to eat yoghurt, hard boiled eggs, and apple cake. How wonderful we were prepared, and needed to empty our fridge. Between breakfast and urgent trips to bathrooms with Ryan, our bus left. They didn’t announce anything. Now all flights before 1pm are cancelled and I see some people crying. Some have already been here several days.

6.45 Dennis is back in line at the Lufthansa counter to see what we do next. The lady is unhappy that we missed the bus. I came and put Kevin in Dennis arms as Ryan needs another trip to the bathroom. She softens seeing our little ones. She tells us to get on another bus, but there is no way to make our Frankfurt connection so she writes a handwritten ticket out of Vienna for tomorrow. Where to sleep is our problem.

8.00 We are on the bus heading toward the Vienna airport. We start calling some of our friends on the cell phone to get some tips on where to stay overnight. None of them have any good tips. We pray and wait to see what God has for us. I express my desire to be close to the airport as I don’t want another 3 am wakeup call to get to the airport.

11.00 We are at the Vienna airport. A man helps us to put our suitcases inside the airport as we don’t have any Euros coins to get a cart and have to hold on to 2 boys. Dennis goes to check as I stand in the middle of the terminal with 2 very tired boys and a pile of luggage. No place to sit down so I tried to keep them busy.

11.30 Dennis comes back smiling. He went to the Austrian airline and told them our story and they decided to put us up overnight at a hotel just across the street. This was more than I prayed for. They even loan Dennis a euro to get a luggage cart. We walked into a 5 star hotel with our backpacks and pile of luggage. We had even the meals assured. I was overwhelmed by God’s goodness toward us.

12.00 We had a good lunch in the hotel restaurant. We took the day off to rest as we were exhausted.

6.00 pm We eat a buffet dinner with fancy cheeses, great bread, lamb, fish, and various desserts. We use the evening to walk our luggage back to the airport again to be easier the next morning.

Sunday 5.30 am We wake up and have a quick breakfast and walk back to the airport.

7.05 We fly Austrian air to Frankfurt. What a great airline! After another hour the flight takes off for San Francisco. We don’t have seats together, and there is no basinet for Kevin. So I hold him all the time. Not fun but I will survive L

1.30 pm We arrive at San Francisco. We are 1 hour late as the airplane could not land right away due to storms. We hurried up to pick up our luggage and to check in again for our flight to Medford OR.

We are exhausted and children as well. Both of them fall asleep on the chairs at the gate as our next plane is delayed. So we wait and wait for 6 hours and our plane is canceled again due to bad weather. They hope we will be able to fly at 10 pm but this is too much for us. No one can pick us up at midnight and we are totally exhausted. Dennis finally gets in the correct line for customer service and problems. The manager sees our children asleep and sees that we came from overseas and has pity on us. So she gave us a voucher for a hotel and meals and she will put us on the flight for the next morning. God is so good to us!

Monday 6.30 am We woke up again and hurry to the airport again. The weather is so nice now. Sunny and clear skies.

8.45 We are on the last leg of our trip. Welcome home to Medford OR. We call Dennis’ father to come and pick us up. We are tired but very happy to land in a place.

Now we start the challenge to adjust to the new time zone and get the kids to sleep through the night.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Life is never boring on our end!

After misplacing Kevin ticket… maybe Scrooge took it when we were asleep…
We didn’t find some lost items from last month either even we search our entire house. The mystery is continuing here.

We didn’t find it but we got more acquainted with people who work for United airline and also got to see more of the Lufthansa website. Anyway we are on our way tomorrow morning 6 am.

As I mentioned our life is not dull here. The Budapest airport is on strike!!! Couldn’t they find a better time? I am guessing not. Maybe is more nice to sit home than be outside in a freezing weather to direct the planes. But for a strike there is good news and a bad side of it. The good news is that the airport is open and there are some flights that will depart. Which one? It’s a secret. You need to go there in person to find that answer.
The bad part is even your flight is going you will leave with a delay from 30 minutes to 1 hour. What about our connection in Frankfurt? Maybe they can catapult us in the next flight. Or maybe we will get bump in the 1st class. (This is my dream … but I doubt that they will like us there with a baby..)
So this is an opportunity for more prayers on our side. Please pray with us!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Life at a high speed (I could get a ticket maybe)

We have just 5 more days till we are leaving for US. So I try to get everything done in those 5 days. I still need to finish packing but…

Packing with 2 kids around is not easy. Ryan wants to help but his idea of packing is different than mine. Also he wants some clothes to pack that are not for winter. He still thinks he can wear short pants in the frost. Also anything you put in the suitcase is out when you leave the room because Ryan is checking on what you put in the suitcase. Or the best scenario is with any thing you pack in the suitcase is coming a question “What is this mommy?” And is fun for the first 10 times to answer the same question (even your child know what are the names for those things) but then is not fun at all I guarantee. Also I need to pack things in Kevin room when he is not asleep and he does not want to be hold. So I feel that I need to move super fast. Also I need to move fast to guess as well how much he will grow up in the next 3 months. So I packed a couple of things then Kevin decided that if mommy is around he wants to be held. Holding is okay but he likes to chomp on my hand as well. So I offer my arm better. He is at the drooling stage so my left sleeve is soaking wet.

Yesterday I took Ryan to give him a hair cut and it was a circus. It was my hair appointment but Hungarians are very nice with kids. Kids are the main attraction every place you go. They don’t need to be just babies any child will find a grandma or a grandpa in a store who will entertain your child for you as you try to find your food. So I took Ryan in, left Dennis with Kevin who was asleep in car. So all the ladies are happy to see a child and talked to him in Hungarian. Ryan is smiling to them. I start to prepare him and calm him. His turn came for a haircut so then we had a crisis. He started screaming mommy, mommy mommy HEELP!. And the lady had not even touched him. He was just sitting in the chair. After more negotiations, bribes, and threats, I needed to give up. Dennis came and tried to convince him but to no avail. He jumped out of the chair and hung on daddy’s leg screaming Mommy help me! Just then he realized that was quite a long leg, not mom’s so he switched quickly: daddy let’s go!
I got my hair cut and walked to the office in high speed as I knew Kevin needed to nurse. He was happy to see me but the most happy was his dad who endured and hour of high volume screaming. I never felt more wanted in my own life.

Today I went with Kevin to his 4 month doctor appointment. I was the first one in line. Then more moms with children start coming. Everyone who came asked me who is the last in line. I don’t know Hungarian but I know the protocol. It was quite funny when the second person came and asked me even I was the only one waiting there. Then the third one came and asked me as well. Then the forth one did the same thing asking me again. So I start to point as my Hungarian is not coming. Other people are coming and asking me so from now I pay close attention to who is the last. Point my fingers there and there … I could become a traffic agent with all this motion. Some came and asked me where the doctor is. She just stepped out in another room so I did more signs.
Now time for more packing… Ryan is excited and is waiting to tell me what clothes I need to pack for myself…