Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Travel Day Begins!

The Travel Day Begins!

Now that you have the background on Lithuania and the brief history - let's move onto this trip.

We began on Saturday, August 6th around 4:00 AM. Excited, worried and a bit under the gun with packing and last minute details - we could not sleep. So rather than just lay there and stare at the ceiling - we started out the day with a relaxing showing of "You've Got Mail" - one of our favorites. That small bit of pleasure took us until 6:00 AM - but the flight was not scheduled until 5:30 PM - which means that we need to be at the airport by 3:00 PM or so to get through security.

Security always has me on edge - I always seem to be singled for spot checks - most people believe it is because of my darker skin (although as I age I seem to be getting more pale - like my Dad!) and goatee beard - I must look like a terrorist or something! So I like to get to the airport early just in case.

However we have a lot of chores to accomplish: get to the bank, pick-up a voltage converter, pick-up the kid's school schedules, drop off Steven' bags for Band Camp and just generally make sure all of the loose ends are tied - something that really never gets done.

Finally - after a frantic search for an 85 Watt converter - we are headed to the airport with 6, count them 1,2,3,4,5,6, bags of luggage each weighing 70 pounds! Plus - a carry on each and a briefcase each (I am loaded for bear with technology - digital camera, iPod, lap-top, iPaq and a variety of DVD's to watch). We are flying LOT this time (last time we flew Air France - something I will never do again - the absolute worst flights I ever took - both ways - rude, uncomfortable - just downright a bad flight) so we are hoping for a nicer flight.

Check in was great - we breezed through without an issue - I even got United miles for my legs of the flight as LOT is part of the Star Alliance in partnership with United. I attempted to sweet talk our way into an exit aisle (more leg room) by using my MS as an excuse - while the agent attempted to so this for us, the flight was too full!

The flight itself was uneventful and relatively comfortable. The food was actually pretty good! Roasted turkey, potatoes and carrots with wine for dinner and breakfast lunch meat in the morning! Lisa and I watched "Under a Tuscan Sun" on my laptop before she finally drifted off and I was able to watch a couple of blood and guts films! Nothing like some quality samurai films to pass the time through the wee hours. I did doze a little - but I have never been able to sleep on a plane.

We landed eight and half hours later in Warsaw to catch out next flight, a mere hour later, to Vilnus, Lithuania. From Vilnus we will catch a ride to the hometown of Kaunas - this is where our base of operations will center from for the next two weeks.

So after nearly thirteen hours we find ourselves in an apartment about the size of most living-rooms, surrounded by old ladies shovling food in our direction!

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