It's no secret that I am deathly afraid of flying. It terrifies me to a point where I am trying to prepare myself for the case that I won't return from my trip. If you are wondering, yes, I am a delight to travel with when there is a plane involved. The terrible part about this: I have never had a truly scary experience and I can't blame it on being PTSD. It's all in my head. Where in face most of my greatest ideas come from...
As usual, when I am leaving on a morning morning, I don't sleep the night before. It's not that I can't, you know, because death is near. It is strategical sleep deprivation so that I just don't care anymore about anything thats going on and just want to sleep. (Yes, this has actually helped before. Once. Five years ago. But it helped!)
I had two flights to get to Newark (Berlin - Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf - Newark) and had booked a train to go to Baltimore the night of my arrival. Because it's always hard to tell in advance if all the planes will be on time and if immigration will be quick (or packed with about 5000 people like last time), and because I am generally an extreme planner, I chose the last train, which left at 8pm - 5hrs after my arrival.
Little did I know ... BOTH of my planes ended up landing early. As much as I hate flying, I am a big fan of Lufthansa. (Lets not talk about flights being canceled these days, due to a strike.) We boarded within minutes on both planes and both flights must have flown really fast.
The best part was: on my flight from Düsseldorf to Newark, the plane wasn't full. There were plenty of seats available, so I ended up with a 2seat bench just to myself. Perfect to sleep. Unfortunately, I had to watch out if there was anything weird going on with the plane, so I didn't sleep for one minute.
|What a waste of an awesome little bed.|
Now this is going to make you jealous. Usually, the food on the plane isn't really what one would call delicious - but this was just unbelievable. I had steamed salmon on basmati rice with green asparagus for dinner (lunch?) and it was amazing!
|definitely worth two pictures|
It seems as if planning ahead and making sure there is enough time to get from A to B, doesn't always end up working out the way you had in mind. My planes were early and immigration, baggage claim, customs, and walking to the train station took less than an hour! (!!??) They let me reschedule my train ticket and I arrived in Baltimore 4 hrs before I was supposed to be there.
|Don't let the blue sky fool you... it was COLD!|
All in all: my flights were not only smooth, but empty, we were fed amazing food and wine, we landed early, and I arrived while it was still light out! (Plus, I was still alive.) I felt as if I won the lottery.
Like last time, I stayed with our good friends and again, the days just flew by too quickly.
I ran a lot, met with a lot of professors, took care of a bunch of administrative things, and looked for an apartment for August, when we move back. Everything ended up really successful. We are so happy to have already found a place to live, because Baltimore is truly not the easiest place to find a nice, affordable apartment in a good neighborhood. Our new home will be close to campus and very close to the friends I stayed with. We just signed the lease a few days ago and can cross it from our things-to-do-before-we-move-back-to-Baltimore-list.
Some other random things from my trip:
|Have you ever tried these?! I bought them at Trader Joe's and |
am now completely hooked.
|The Aldi in Baltimore now carries Müsli. |
I am convinced they did this just for me.
Baltimore had a rough winter and not only did I get a taste of it when I was running my 11 miles around campus, but also the day I left. Sure enough, we woke up to about 10 inches of snow the morning of my departure. So convenient!
It wasn't the only moment of shock for me. I also didn't expect my first flight to be on a plane that's just a bit bigger than our car...
This time, I went from Baltimore to Toronto, from Toronto to Frankfurt, and from Frankfurt to Berlin.
As I got on the plane to Frankfurt, you know the one that carries you over the ocean for about 8 hrs, I found my neighbor to be a lady, who had caught my eye at the airport before. Lets just say that the first thing she shared with me was that she had a terrible rash as she was itching her arms, face, and legs without stopping. Ugh.
I know that this doesn't normally happen, but the plane was once again not full. While I was feeling bad to leave the lady and relocate to an empty 2-seater, she shrieked in excitement. Maybe she was happier than me?
I watched 2 movies: 12 Years a Slave (great movie!!), Amadeus (one of my favorites) as well as all the episodes of TV shows they had available. I also had a very, very strong gin and tonic, wine, and food that was similarly tasty as the salmon from my previous flight.
The best thing was that Nick picked me up with my favorite thermos mug, filled with coffee.
We will see. Maybe having wonderful travel experiences like this will help me not to freak out before getting on a plane one day?
Are you a frequent traveler?
Do you like flying?
Have you ever had a "favorite arrival"? Mine was on January 8, 2009 at the Buffalo airport in NY. We were the first plane landing after a terrible snow storm and I was greeted with a dozen red roses. Those roses are now in storage in Baltimore, waiting to be hung up again.