The great adventure began at about 2 PM with a teary goodbye to Katie and the girls while my girls, mom and I drove down to the airport! After a...trying...time getting to Terminal 2 with mom's first time driving to the airport, we arrived. We all hung out in the terminal (my family and Braden's) and eventually April and her family joined us as well. Mom was the first to leave with the girls to drive up to MELROSE for Travis' football game.
(There are Italians behind me speaking very loudly)
Well, we ate at the airport and went on up to the gate. I was struggling like there was no tomorrow at security and managed to DOWN my Mountain Dew...except the little bit that I spilled all over my bags. Maria showed up and soon after that it was time to board. The plane took off and our adventure really began!
We flew about 6 hours until we arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland at 6AM their time. The airport was mostly uneventful except that I had purchased 2 Mountain Dews so I could savor the last few I had for months and it turned out we needed to go through security again and they were thrown out. Someone had the same backpack as me :/. I wanted to buy a postcard, so I took time and picked out a nice one only to discover they do not take Euro...S.O.L. We ended up just waiting it out and getting on the plane to Frankfurt.
We got to Frankfurt around 12:50 PM German time and were immediately hungry. We had not gotten food on either flight, only water, so it was time for some chow. So, we did what any self-respecting American would do when arriving in a foreign country, we exchanged currency and booked it to the nearest McDonald's. :) It was delicious. After hanging out in the airport for a while and getting our bearings (and calling home quick) we got on the tram with ALL OF OUR LUGGAGE and made our way to the train. One would think that wouldn't be too far of a walk, but they would be very wrong. I had two rollerboard bags, a backpack and another bag (all of which were very heavy) and I had to go up flight upon flights of stairs and down them in order to get to the train station. When we finally arrived we were dripping in sweat, but the train got there, after a nice Turkish man took a picture of us, and off we were to Jena!
When we got to Erfurt, we had to say goodbye to Braden and leave him all on his lonesome, thankfully, his tutor was there to meet him.
After that, Maria, April and myself continued on to Weimar where we changed trains for the fifteen minute trek to Jena. While standing at the station waiting for the train to arrive we had a lovely conversation about the woes of Germans thinking we were from southern states. We decided to ensure this did not happen. The train pulled up and we were instantly dismayed...the steps were SO STEEP! Getting our luggage up to the train was quite the ordeal, not one that I really ever want to do again though I know I will.