Saturday, January 11, 2014

Travels With Sadie, Part One: The Trip Over

Well! We are back from America. Now that we are home, it almost feels like we never left. I'm going to break up blogging about our trip into pieces, since it would be a looooong post if I did it all at once. The first thing I'll tell about is the trip over.

We were flying out of Dusseldorf, and since our flight was in the morning we stayed the night at a hotel. The Sheraton is right at the airport, and I got a room for free using my American Express points. The room actually had a king bed, instead of the two twins pushed together that Germans are into. We ordered room service and got drinks from the mini-bar, just wanting to have a relaxing time before the plane ride. One interesting thing I noticed about the hotel is that they don't keep your credit card on file, and when you check out you just tell them what you took from the mini-bar. If you didn't tell them, you wouldn't be charged for it. This is kind of emblematic of the German attitude. For one thing, I think for most of them, it just wouldn't occur to them not to say what they took. And for another, they just seem to be okay with doing things for the greater good, like they know if everyone were dishonest the system wouldn't work, so they are honest. In a Prisoner's Dilemma situation, I feel like a German would co-operate every time, where the American attitude leans more toward betrayal.

Anyway, we headed to the airport the next day and got on our flight. We were going through Chicago and then on to New Orleans, flying on America Airlines. I had paid extra for the bulkhead seats, which I think they call "Economy Extra" or something like that, since with a baby it was likely I'd need to get up, plus the extra space was nice. The plane we were on had a bassinet that attached to the wall, although it could not be used when the seatbelt sign was on and despite being a pretty smooth ride, the seatbelt sign was on for most of the trip, so we ended up not taking advantage of that. Being an... American airline, American Airlines is pretty no-frills, although the flight attendants were friendly. In coach, we had the communal video screens, which I didn't watch. I slept a little while holding Sadie, who was pretty quiet for most of the flight. Really, the only time she cried was when she needed something, so we were pretty pleased about that.

Our layover in Chicago was 2.5 hours, which we weren't sure would be enough time. In addition to travelling with a baby, when you fly into the US from another country, you have to get your bags and recheck them. But that actually went really quickly and we made our next flight no problem (plus I think it was delayed a little bit). At the point we got on the second plane, we had been travelling for a really long time, and it was showing. Sadie was a lot fussier on the second flight, but nursing calmed her down a bit. We got to New Orleans around 6 o'clock local time, which for us was like 1 in the morning+limited sleep for the past 24 hours. I went to get the rental car while Hunter got the bags and when I put Sadie in the back in her carseat, she started screaming, I mean I had never heard her sound so upset before. I think she was lonely and since the carseats face backwards, she couldn't see that I was there. Hunter sat in the back with her once I got to him so she would feel safe.

All right, next post I will talk about our time in New Orleans and should also have some pictures to post!

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