Saturday, September 19, 2009

It wasn't smooth and it sure wasn't pretty...

…But we are back in Iceland with VISAs. 

Here’s a recap of what we had to go through  in the last 3 days:

1.       1.   Three hour train ride from Jyvaskyla to Helsinki, Finland.  Colby’s backpack broke. Had to shop for another one in the Helsinki mall and transfer everything into it.

2.       2.  Got to the airport.  Got into the slowest line at Czech Airlines.  Finally it is our turn at the check-in counter. We find out we are only allowed to check 80 kilos and we are required to check our strollers (which we have never had to do).  We open up all the suitcases and try to carry on as many pounds as possible.  We are charged for the extra weight.  We are NOT happy.

3.       3.  We trudge through the airport—Colby carrying a heavy backpack and dragging two garbage bags full of clothes, me -- a backpack stuffed with 20 pounds plus my other carry-ons, and Haley carrying the camera bag.  We all have our winter coats on (we had to bring them in case).

4.       4.  Arrive in Prague.  Only have 45 minutes between flights.  Run to next gate.  We look like a scene out of Home Alone.

5.       5.  Get to Heathrow Airport in London.  At Border control, Haley is nearly in  tears, frantically grabbing herself because she is about to wet her pants (we had just gone to the bathroom on the plane). Hold on Haley, we just have to answer 20 questions first.  

6.       6.  Go to Baggage Claim.  They have lost our double stroller (the double stroller we had paid 80 dollars to check).  Colby goes to try to locate it, leaves me with all the luggage, and Darcy wets her pants (she had JUST gone to the bathroom on the plane).

7.       7.  We emerge from Baggage Claim to meet someone from our company…Darcy dripping with urine, Haley upset because she had just lost her new Hello Kitty bracelet, and Colby and I with bags under our eyes.

8.       8.  One-hour drive to our hotel in Gatwick.  We arrive, take everything to our room, and then realize that we are so hungry we won’t be able to fall asleep.  Colby goes to find food.  It takes almost another hour.

9.       9.  Next morning, Colby gets up early to get directions to the Embassy.  The wireless internet isn’t working.  He figures something out, we chug breakfast,  and catch the Gatwick Express to downtown London.

10.  10.  Walk for an hour.  Arrive at the Embassy 45 minutes early.  The woman at the counter looks confused, and says, “I’m sorry.  You don’t have an appointment for today.  I have you down for Monday morning.  And today we’re packed full.”

11.   11.  Colby looks like he is about to hurt someone.  He gets assertive.  “I’m sorry, there must have been a miscommunication.  We agreed on Friday and we have flights to Iceland tomorrow morning.”

12.   12. Clerk responds (with a perfect British accent), “Ah, sh*#... (head in hands).  Okay, out of the goodness of my heart, I’ll try to squeeze you in today.”

13.   13.  Find out we need passport photos.  We get a map and run for 15 minutes until we find “Snappy Photos” where we have a quick photo shoot.  Run back and get in line.

14.   14.  They call our name.  Find out our credit card will not work and we need 112 pounds CASH.  This time Colby goes alone and sprints to the nearest “hole in the wall.”

15.   15.  Get what we need.  Go to Kensington Gardens where I lay on the grass for an hour trying to recover. 


Dagný said...

Oh my gosh!!!

That's insane. No wonder Colby kept saying "I'm so happy I'm not getting on another plane for a while." guys are heroes!

And I can't believe they lost your double stroller!! Are they gonna reimburse you for it?

Veroníka said...

Phew, I'm exhausted just reading about your day. Ditto what Dagny said.


Anonymous said...

Czech airlines? and you expected everything would arrive...just sayin´.


Battle Maiden said...

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. At least Czech airlines didn't make you drink your breast milk before bording in Prague...

Josh and Jadey said...

All I could think of while I was reading this was my freshmen year at LU. I stood in the finance line for 4 hours, then once I got up to the front they told me I had stood in the wrong line and I had to go stand in another line. Nightmare...

I don't know what to say about this whole drinking your breast milk post!!! Glad you guys made it, its official though.

Annie Garman said...

Oh, Heidi...did that seriously happen to you? I've heard horror stories. (Pumped breast milk in a bottle that is, Jadey....not straight from the tap! ha!)

Frank said...

Annie, good thing I wasn't drinking anything at the time I read your comment. It would have come out my nose :-) You make me laugh. Seriously, glad that you made the trip safely. The stroller, and any other stuff, can be replace. Irritating for sure, but at least all of you are safe. Love you guys.
Frank & Gale

MelissaSnider said...

Wow annie, that is dramatic. I wouldn't have it any other way. {I love it} Glad you survived. Your blog makes today seem like a breeze.