Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We're back!

Yesterday, 3AM Swedish time (that's 9PM EST). Our alarm goes off, I roll over and look out the window and see that the sky has already started to lighten. Sweden is crazy - they have about 3 hours of darkness in the summertime. We went to bed when it was light and awoke when it was light.

But I digress. We had packed the night before, so we got up at 3:05, took a quick shower, and ate just a little. The taxi van was downstairs when we stumbled outside at 3:50. The vans in Europe are nothing like our here, so we ended up having the boys and me squish in the backseat (Benjamin and Jonathan shared a seatbelt) with Chris next to the driver who spoke broken English. 20 minutes later, we were at the Arlanda airport checking in. They had pre-assigned seats, and we had seats together for the Stockholm-Frankfurt flight and the Dulles - Orlando flight. The 8 hour flight from Frankfurt to Dulles, however, was a different story. We had 2 seats together and then 3 seats close to each other but not next to each other. The woman checking us in assured us we could change them in Frankfurt.

The first flight was uneventful, and we had 1 1/2 hours to get to our next gate. At the gate, I stood in line for about an hour to change our seats and we ended up with 2 and 3. We were worried about this flight - 8 hours where the boys need to sit and be relatively quiet. We had the borrowed Nintendo DS's, but were unsure of how long the charge would last. We piled onto the plane, gaped jealously at the first class and business seats, and found our seats. A woman generously offered to switch so we could have 5 seats together.

It turns out we didn't need to worry about the flight. The boys were occupied with the Nintendos and the in flight movies. They watched Horton Hears a Who numerous times, along with Fools Gold and some Disney channel shows. That, along with Nintendo, was enough to keep them occupied.

In Dulles, it took us about an hour to get off the plane (20 minutes to search for one of the Nintendos), go through customs, retrieve our luggage, go through customs again, and hand our luggage back to the baggage handlers. I'm actually glad it took us an hour, because we had a 4 hour layover. We occupied ourselves by playing travel Trouble, making some phone calls on my poor phone that's been ignored for the past 5 weeks, and, of course, eating. By 7:30, we had full bellies and two sleeping children, just in time to board the plane.

We touched down in Orlando around 9PM. Chris' parents picked us up, and we had a pleasant ride home, soaking in both the humidity and the total darkness. We realized we haven't seen total darkness since Paris, when we went atop the Eiffel Tower at night.

By midnight, everyone was in bed and asleep. The boys slept until about 5:15 this morning, which was later than I expected. Now we have the monumental task of unpacking and doing laundry. First, however, Chris is watching the rest of the baseball All-Star game he packed last night, and I am going out for a run. I hope to start downloading our pictures throughout this week, so stay tuned for highlights. We have over 2,000 pictures, so I'll try to be judicious in sharing them!

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