Everyone dies. Not everyone truly lives. -William Wallace "Braveheart"

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Frankfurt

I landed in Frankfurt with the intention of catching a train into town, but it was proving to be complicated. I needed to put my carry-on bags in storage, but couldn't get clear directions on how to get to storage, I would stand in one line, get to the front and explain what I wanted to do, be told I was in the wrong place (even though I wasn't). I finally decided to kill time in the airport. I went for a walk for, what seemed like, 2 hours. I looked at my phone....it had only been 15 min. I realized then that there was no way I was going to make it 13 hours. I pulled up my big girls pants and finally found customs, the baggage storage, and the train. After I payed to store my bags the attendant informs me that it is a national holiday in Germany and that everything is closed. At least I can stretch my legs and get some fresh air in my lungs before my next 10 hour leg. 
I get on the train, not sure where I'm wanting to go when I see a large blended family staring at the train map. "Hmm," I thought to myself,"they look just as lost as me." I inched closer...they were speaking English. It was my lucky day. I struck up a conversation with them. They were from Washington state and had 2 sons of their own and 3 adopted Asian girls. The trains were confusing, and it didn't help that each town sounded remarkably similar to the one before it. At one point we realized that we had reached the end of the track and had to hop off that train, figure out where we were, and catch another, but we eventually made it. They told me I was welcome to join them and I didn't hesitate to accept the offer. We walked around town and took some pictures, then grabbed a bite to eat. I had some sort of a schnitzel. Their flight left much earlier than mine, so we parted ways after lunch. 
I thought I would continue to explore Frankfurt on my own, but once I was left alone with my thoughts the lack of sleep caught up with me. I sat down to try to find a wifi connection to call home, but no such luck. I woke up on the stairs to some museum and came to the conclusion that I should probably go back to the airport and find some vacant chairs to crash on, so I didn't look like a vagrant. 
I had even more trouble getting back to the airport, but eventually made it with 5 hours to spare. 
As I boarded the plane, I was informed that they were changing my seat so that I would have 4 in a row to myself...SWEET! I slept much better on that flight.

And the Jouney Begins!

After much difficulty checking my bags (called Lufthansa and was told I only got one bag, stayed up until 2:30 am repacking, went to check my bags at the airport and was told it was too heavy, but that I could've checked 2 bags....) I made my way into the airport in search of a little something to take the edge off. I sat down at the bar and spent about 10 minutes looking at the drink menu just to be told that the drinks started at $13!!! Not willing to spend that much on one drink I plotted my escape with the intent of sneaking off quickly to avoid embarrassment. I succeeded and found another bar where the drinks were a little cheaper. When I reached for my phone to check the time I realized that it wasn't there. If you are thinking it was back at the other bar...you are right. So, instead of avoiding embarrassment, I doubled it. I had to sheepishly approach the woman I had run from and ask if she had my phone. Thankfully she did and I boarded my flight to Germany. The flight was packed, but I sat next to a really friendly woman named Sue who was on her way to Paris with her yoga group. She had the ingenious idea to pre-buy mini bottles of alcohol at the duty free shop to add to the airplane soda. It turns out, however, that on Lufthansa EVERYONE gets free drinks....even us measly coach flyers :-) Great Success!!!
I couldn't sleep at all on the plane, so I watched Mitty and American Hustle instead.