Well, I'm back.
Which you knew already if you've been paying attention at all to FB and my amazing ability to have all 800 pictures loaded up a mere two days after arriving back in the states. I also had all the laundry done prior to going to bed on the night we got back (pulled into the driveway at about 5.30pm. I really have no idea what's wrong with me - most people would give themselves a week or so to decompress and unpack...but I feel the need to just knock it out.
So...how was it...?
It was amazing, of course! As a review - we hit Sweden, Finland, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands and England. We did not hit Estonia - but we tried.
Obviously covering all that in one story would be impossible....so we'll stretch this out as long as possible.
As of about an hour from now...it will have been five days since we arrived back in Raleigh. And yet at about 8.30pm every night - my body goes into shut down. Evidently, it's still on London Time.
Which is surprising - usually I work the other way around...my jet lag usually means being fine until bedtime, but then waking up at 3am, wide-awake so my brain can tip me off to the fact that it's 10am in some other country.
This kind of sucks - especially since I have a whole slew of television to catch up on.
Although, in fairness to my DVR...I spent the day on Sunday watching all missed episodes of The Real Housewives (NJ and DC), The Rachel Zoe Project, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Real World, Teen Mom and Kate Plus 8. Which is linked directly to how I got my pictures done so quickly.
Okay, back to the trip.
Stockholm. This is where we started - eventually. Our flight from Raleigh was a bit late (barely) - got to JFK in New York and prepped for a five hour layover by signing up for the Delta Sky Miles Club. We'd planned to hang there with my dad's travel agency clients - but we'd forgotten...these are folks that have to be first EVERYWHERE. So, by the time we got off the plane from the coach section - they had dusted us from First Class and disappeared. We later found out they were at another DSM Club.
You know what's worse than a five hour layover?
A five hour layover that suddenly becomes six and then more because there's a delay.
The summary is that our initial plane had 'mechanical' issues. Which, personally - when I hear this I automatically think, "New plane please."
Basically it was an eight hour overnight flight in which I was wide awake for six hours of it. Which was fortunate - because we had the Keystone Kops serving our meals.
Now, the first signal of things to come was back when our flight crew showed up (an hour late). We'd watched the five of them share one crumpled piece of paper to type in the security code to Gate 4. They typed, it didn't work. They passed around the paper - someone else typed. No dice. And this went on.
Finally...a security officer showed up on the other side of the door to Gate 4. And was kind enough to point out what we all knew...that the flight they were trying to get to was at Gate 5 and its doors were on the opposite side of the waiting area.
Now, I wouldn't say I fly a LOT - but I do know that only one food cart fit though the aisle at once. I also know that you should generally start one in the middle and one on the end....thus keeping a nice distance for passengers who might have to make their way to the potty.
Our group failed that lesson. And the one where meals are served prior to midnight. And the one where meals are cleaned up prior to 1.30am. And the one where the folks in the three very middle rows of the plane count - and if you HAVE forgotten them...you don't debate who is 'covering' those rows while standing there with the drink cart like a big tease.
But - my motto continues to be the same - a good flight is one that lands safely. So a good flight it was.
And we arrived in Stockholm, Sweden - tired, dirty and cranky. We made it to the hotel - did some debating and opted for a walk downtown. Dad took control on the map (where everything looked really close by) and off we went.
An hour later we'd made it to the Icebar - one of our goals. It was about 1.30pm as we triumphantly charged the counter. Only to find out that they had no openings until 3.45pm. Did they not know what we'd just gone through? Clearly not.
Fortunately, we were able to find a nearby pub and work through our first round of Fish & Chips and foreign beer - thus reenergizing the pep in our step. Back to the Icebar.
All grouchiness slipped away as the Vodka laced drinks came on board...enough so that we threw caution to the wind and decided to just re-walk the 2.5 miles back to the hotel instead of hailing a taxi.
Plus no taxis would take us.
Strange. I think we look like a trustworthy group: