Friday, December 28, 2012

October 30th and 31st: Heading home...

After a pretty bad night's sleep, Mark and I got up, grabbed breakfast, and checked out of the hotel. It was time to head home! We drove to Geneva in rush hour traffic (ugh) and dropped off the rental car at the airport. There wasn't anyone at the counter, so we left the keys in the box and ran. Goodbye, smart car!

And goodbye, Switzerland! It was really pretty looking back at the mountains, but I don't know if I've ever been so relieved to get off the ground.

The flight to Dublin was a couple hours long and Mark felt sick the whole time. I'm not sure if he had the same kind of stomach thing I did or if it was something leftover from the race, but he didn't have a very good time.

All I could see when we landed were Aer Lingus planes. Gee, I wonder what country we're in...

We had to go through a whole bunch of extra security in Dublin and essentially cleared customs right there in the airport, which saved us the aggravation of standing in line in Boston. I grabbed a sandwich for lunch and Mark curled up in a ball and tried to feel less sick. The airline did a really good job of making sure that we knew that our last flight, from Boston to Philly, was canceled because of the hurricane. I think they must have told us five different times!

Shortly after takeoff from Dublin. Ireland was really pretty from the air...someday I want to go back and see more than just the airport!

As usual, the long flight was fantastic. Each seat had its own movie screen with movies, music, and games, so I spent the flight watching the Katy Perry movie, The Dictator, and playing sudoku. Even better, they fed us! I wasn't sure if we were going to get snacks or anything, but we got a full meal - chicken casserole, potato salad, a roll, and even coffee and cookies for dessert.

I just happened to look out the window somewhere over the ocean and saw an Air France jet slowly passing us.

As if lunch wasn't enough, a couple hours later they announced that it was tea time! I love flying foreign airlines overseas...mmm, coffee and scones with butter and jelly.

Mark spent most of the flight still not feeling well and trying to sleep a bit. We made it to Boston an hour early (which is nice when the flight is normally seven hours long to begin with) because they sent us a lot further south to avoid the hurricane. We already knew that our connecting flight was canceled and we'd be stuck in Boston for the night, but rather than call the number for the airline I told Mark we should just go to the ticket counter when we got on the ground. That worked great! Within ten minutes we were rebooked on a flight for the next day and had a discounted rate on a hotel room for the night. We went to the hotel and both passed out.

As much as I wanted to sleep late the next day I was awake at 5am (darn five hour time difference). I couldn't fall asleep again so we went downstairs to the restaurant for breakfast. Our flight didn't leave until late afternoon, so we had the whole morning to kill. I went back upstairs and tried to sleep and Mark went to check out the hot tub (he was feeling a lot better). We eventually checked out, took the shuttle to the airport, checked in for our flight, and had lunch while I tried to not to fall asleep in my food from the jet lag.

Goodbye, Boston! Maybe someday I can see more of Boston than just the airport, too.

Our flight back was fine; we flew over the hurricane leftovers for most of it. Our bags made it just fine, Mark's parents picked us up, and we drove back home to VA the next morning (and went right back to work that night).

And that's it! Our trip to Europe was really neat; while it wasn't always fun, overall it was a really good trip. We're already working on planning our trips for next year: The Netherlands and Belgium in May, a long weekend in Paris in July, and a week in Oregon in September, along with two other long weekends that are still in the works. We won't be doing a two-week trip next year, but we'll still get to see some pretty neat places. I'm excited!

I'll also be keeping up with this blog on a much regular basis from here on out. This trip made me realize that I really got away from photography for a while, so I'm bringing back my Picture of the Day project for 2013. I'll most likely group the pictures together with one post covering each week, but I'm planning to stick with it for the whole year. Let the pictures begin!

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