Wednesday, June 13, 2007

We FINALLY made it!

June 11 and 12, 2007
Our day began as we arrived at the bus station at 5:30am for our journey to JFK. 4 buses, including one that had steering “issues” that felt as if we were on the high seas as we careened down a Conneticut highway, and 7 hours later we finally arrived at JFK where we immediately met our travel companions and fellow KTA parents, Hilary and Tim. We had a few hours to get to know each other and share pictures while waiting to board our plane, which we finally did more than an hour late at 7:45pm. We pushed back from the gate and I began to feel a mix of butterflies in my stomach; excitement about meeting Beck and sadness for leaving Morgan behind and being a half a planet away from her. But we were on our way….. until we were about 100 feet from the gate… then we stopped. We were told that there were some delays and we’d be taking off in 30 minutes. We weren’t too concerned since we were expecting a 10 hour layover in Moscow anyways. Five hours later we were still parked on the tarmac, continuously being told we’d be leaving in just about “30 minutes”. At midnight the crew, probably in part for fear over their own safety, decided to feed us. When I inquired as to the contents of the mystery tin the flight attendant replied in a heavy Russian accent that left no discernable space between her words, “It’smeat”. “What kind of meat?” I insisted. She looked perplexed as she stared at the tin, “Beef…….. I think?”. At that point I didn’t care, smeat and trice-nuked potatoes or not, I was hungry.
I suppose it’s easier to give people bad news while their extinguishing their hunger pains, at 1:30 am the pilot announced we would be returning to the gate, we were not flying out tonight. As an angry group a weary travelers circled the ticket counter in the empty terminal it was explained that all the area hotels were booked, for those who wished to try to get a hotel there would be a shuttle coming and bringing passengers at least 1 hour away to search for a bed and they would be rescheduled for 10am. Since it was now after 2:00am we decided it didn’t make any sense to leave the terminal. We went online and booked a new connecting flight from Moscow to Bishkek to ensure we would not be left in Moscow without hope of continuing on. After which, we said goodnight and made the best of a relatively quiet corner of the terminal floor. It was a night, or what was left of it, filled with random announcements echoing throughout the terminal (I think one airline was having a training session at 3:00am, allowing each and every agent to have a turn to belt out some abrupt, shrill announcement that was still impossible to comprehend even in the now quiet terminal, thus proving my theory that they actually do teach agents to speak some other muttered, incomprehendable dialect when making any and all announcements).
I won’t say we woke up well rested. A hard concrete floor with nothing more than a thin indoor/outdoor type carpet, doesn’t offer much comfort, but nonetheless it was sleep, and we desperately needed it. We were also thankful for having such wonderful travel mates. These types of situations tend to bring out the best or worse of people and I will say I feel a great bond with Hilary and Tim already. They’re my kind of people. As Hilary and I got awkward stares in the ladies room as we did our best to wash and make ourselves presentable… or at least look like we didn’t sleep on a nasty terminal floor, we joked about how we would use this little tale of adventure every time our kids even thought of sassing us. No guilt trips about 18 hours of labor, we may have something even better!
At noon we finally took off for Moscow. My nervousness of the prior day was, at least temporarily, replaced by relief that we are finally on our way. Now, I could go for some smeat.


Tina said...


I'm thinking about you guys SO much! I can't wait for you to meet him too.


Dan & Sandy said...

You have no idea how happy we were when that plane took off the next day....not be be rid of you, HA.... just to know that you were finally on your way! I hope things get better and hope that you are in a nice hotel. Anything is better than airport carpet! We will be waiting to hear from you! Hi to your traveling companions for us!

Sandy and Dan

Jackie said...

What a trip. I wish you all the best!! Keep us posted.

EmilyPie said...

Thankfully, I've yet to spend the night in an airport... have come close.. but as they say.. no cigar.

It does help to have decent travel buddies while going through this... and yes. You're right .. you have an adventure to tell!