Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Europe 2016: Day 15 and 16...Coming Home...

On Friday, June 10th, I woke up and ran around Vienna. We were staying in Old Town, near the Danube River, so I took the opportunity to run on the trail that runs along the river.  It was a well needed run for what I knew was going to be a long day.

As I had mentioned before, we had not had a lot of luck in Hallstatt and Vienna with the locals being all that friendly.  We had a few waiters be very nasty to us and then a Viennese lawyer that Ken spoke to at the bar one evening who was not rude, but certainly was not fond of the United States.  I think the funniest part of the exchange was the man asking Ken his opinion of Vienna and other European cities and then completing dissing Ken's opinion and basically telling him he is an idiot.

Anyway, we did not have a lot of luck in Austria, with the exception of Salzburg.  The morning of our departure, we had the pleasure of being exposed to a few of the nicest people of our trip.  Ken went down to the hotel breakfast area to order lattes for us.  He was chatting with the waitress and she told him thank you for being so kind and did not charge us for the lattes.  Ken said she was so pleasant and he really appreciated talking to her.  We also decided to take a cab to the airport instead of messing with the train and our cab driver was so sweet.

We talked to him about where we had been and the cities we loved.  He was so pleasant to speak with for the 30 minute cab ride.

Security at the airport was simple. We had a short flight from Vienna to London.  Once we arrived to Heathrow, we had lunch and boarded our long flight to Seattle on British Airways.  I had reserved us aisle seats directly across from each other since I definitely did not want a middle seat with all of the rows being three seats wide.

I ended up sitting next to a British couple, Barry and Maureen, that was flying to the US to go to Montana and Yellowstone.  Barry ended up being my BFF by the time the flight was over.  He and I talked for about half of the flight and Ken and I stood at the back of the plane hanging out with the flight attendants for the remainder of the flight.

We arrived in Seattle and were delayed a bit because of an issue in London.  We were also further held up in customs because sadly, Ken got the black X on his customs card.  The customs officers were super nice and got a kick out of my customs card picture only showing half of my face since I am too short for the cameras.

Sadly, we arrived to our connecting flight to Kansas City just as the plane was pushing away from the jetway.  I have never felt such disappointment in my life.  I just wanted to get home.  There may have been a moment in the Seattle airport where Ken and I thought we might kill each other.  Emotions were running high and we could not make a decision about what we were doing.  We were too tired to think.

Alaska Airways booked us on a flight for the morning and Ken and I ended up staying in a hotel that British Airways reimbursed us for.  The biggest issue was that I was worried about getting Kya from daycare since we would not get home until 5:00 pm on Saturday.  Thank goodness for friends like Michelle.  She and Rob picked Kya up for us on Saturday and dropped her off at home.  I felt such relief knowing Kya would be waiting on us!

We had breakfast at the Hilton on Saturday morning, thanks to British Airways and boarded our flight for Kansas City.  We wished we hadn't been so tired so we could have explored Seattle on Friday night, but we were too exhausted.  I am pretty sure we both were asleep by 8:00 pm!  Next time, next time.

We made it home Saturday evening and had three happy hooligans!

Kya was so excited to see her daddy!

These two were thrilled we were home!  Thanks to Scott and our neighbor Laura for checking on these two.

One of my favorite part about visiting Europe is the chocolate and desserts I eat there.  I was so happy to get some of my favorite chocolate bars to bring home.

My loot.  The blue bars on the front our my favorite.  I bought most of this while we were in Lauterbrunnen and I carried it around for the remainder of our trip.  I was happy it all made it home safe and sound.  That is commitment.  

All and all, we had an amazing trip.  We cannot wait until we can make our next trip to Europe.  I wish I could say we knew where, but we just are not sure yet.  I do know one thing for sure, Lauterbrunnen has not seen the last of the Jackson's!  

Thanks for such an amazing trip Ken!  There is no one else I would rather spend two weeks with, wandering around not understanding a word being spoken, and washing my underwear in the sink with on a trip!  Thanks for working so hard and making this trip possible.  

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