If you recall from our previous post, we were stressed about the luggage situation for our trip across the pond. We were not only worried about the airport, but also if it all would fit into the USA rental car as well as Spain rental car. We were also in fear of the $100 per extra checked bag (if carry on didn’t qualify) as well as our checked luggage either being over weight or over sized (big duffel bag) $200 per bag.
We put the luggage puzzle together in the USA, with much thought. I have to say we made it to the airport a couple of hours prior to departure and sailed through check in. We each had 1 checked bag and all but 1 were in the weight limit. It was 2 pounds over, so with a quick switch of goods from bag to bag, we were now checking all 4 bags with no overage fees! This was a huge success. Now we just needed to clear that carry on dilemma that we anticipated.
We waited at the gate anxiously hoping carry on would just breeze on by. I had my “feel sorry for us” excuses all ready to go. Nope not a problem. We made it just fine. First stop was DC and that was a quick and painless flight. We had about 1:15 there to get to next flight. Keep in mind that each of us has a large hiking backpack as our carry on as well as a smaller day pack with all of our laptops, snacks etc. Anya was a riot. She wanted her fleece blanket to go, but it didn’t make the priority list to get into the luggage. She wrapped it around her neck, wore her jacket, carried the adult sized hiking back pack, her American Girl Doll and her computer/snack back pack. That is one determined 7yr old wanting to bring all of her favorite lovies.
The Trip Across the Pond
Off to Frankfurt we go. Not a one of us slept a wink. They had too many new releases on the movies and we were too excited, a poor choice we are still paying for. The 8+ hr flight was smooth sailing. As we were landing, we heard the flight attendant mention something about picking up our luggage and head to connecting flight. So off the plan we go and head for baggage claim. Just prior to exiting, it just didn’t feel right. We asked a local worker if we were to pick up our bags. (Keep in mind, we have been practicing Spanish NOT German!). The man nods his head, points to baggage claim and waves us along. Off to baggage claim we go. We have about 40 min to catch our flight and our luggage is nowhere to be found. We ask several others for assistance in our non-German way and finally find out we made a huge boo boo.
We go running across this mammoth airport baggage claim, then up to the departure area. Again need to race all the way across the airport and back through security. We now have 30 min to departure. The lady at security said our flight was boarding now and we had to hurry. Another lady at security didn’t feel the same way. She decided to stop me and pull the half full bottle of water and then go through every nook and cranny of my back pack! (oops, I had the water on the plane. we weren’t supposed to leave the terminal and go through security again, so it never crossed my mind). Alan is rushing me along, then I see the other security lady pull Anya and her BIG back pack over! OH NO!
I rush over to fend for Anya with the lady pointing and speaking German to me. Finally she says in English, you have scissors in here. I deny having scissors in Anya’s bag completely. She point to a spot in the bag and I open it several levels deep. She digs in and out comes a zip lock baggie full of string and SCISSORS! As mentions before, Anya is quite the resourceful one and has decided she can’t live without her “friendship bracelet” supplies. LOL I apologized and the lady took over to the big boss for review, I am in a panic as the flight is now leaving in 20 min. Our luggage will arrive in Spain and we won’t!
She returns and allows us to keep the scissors. (HOW did these clear security at RDU???). Oh well, the run was on. Each of us with about 50lbs of goods to carry and Anya with a few more items to manage. Alan and I decide to take on extra luggage so the kids can fly. My arms were burning and we were drenched with sweat. We made it in a huff to the gate and were informed that the plane was late and we were fine. That said, they changed planes and now each of us have a seat by ourselves somewhere on the plane and no one is together. I explain that we have children and she explains to me that I will have to figure that out on the plane. Lucky for me the guy next to me in the middle was more than willing to swap with Anya and take her window seat on the other side of the plane. Lars and Alan were just a couple of rows apart so they stayed put.
Well, we made it to Spain. Rental car was a breeze and we got a free upgrade, so our luggage all fit into the car! Yippeee… we still got the good Karma! Off to the hotel and time for rest.