Here is a recap of our traveling halfway across the world!
- We left our house in Mississippi on May 7, at 6:45 AM (CST) for the 4.5-5 hour drive to the Atlanta airport.
- We checked in our flight, got our boarding passes, found our gate, and waited for our 3:25 PM (EST) departure.
- Next, we flew to Toronto, Canada, and arrived there at 5:53 PM (EST). We flew Air Canada, and the kids all watched movies on the airplane screens while I read a book, The Bridge Ladies.
- We had about a 4 hour layover in the Toronto airport. We went through passport control, got our little tickets, and proceeded to find our next gate.
- We left for our flight to Istanbul, Turkey at 10:30 PM
- We flew Turkish Airlines, which was a wonderful experience! As we boarded the plane, we were welcomed by soothing Turkish music playing in the background. There were fresh flowers on display, and the airline attendants were so kind and professional. We walked through first class (which was amazing!) on our way to our economy seats. We sat on the second row of economy seats, and they were really nice! We got settled, and soon we were in the air for our 9 hour, 45 minute flight. All four of us watched our own movie--I watched Me Before You which was a good movie for most of it, (I had no idea what is was about) but about halfway through it took a disturbing turn.....assisted suicide. I was so sad! Anyway, we were served "dinner" about midnight, and that was delicious. Soon after I finished my movie, and then we tried to settle down for some sleep. I slept on and off from 2:00 AM until about 7:00 AM when the airline attendants turned on the cabin lights and cheerily announced "Good Morning!" and promptly served us a hot breakfast. It was yummy too! Of course as we flew overseas the time changed, and by the time we landed in Istanbul it was 3:15 PM local time, and I have no idea what time our bodies thought it was. It was Tuesday, May 8.
- We had to go through security again at the Istanbul airport. I was not mentally prepared for that, and I had to rebag my contact solution and remind the kids of everything they had to remove from their backpacks before going through security. We made it through, and were own our way to find our gate.
- Our layover was 3.5 hours, and by the time we did security, shopped for Turkish delight (delicious), and found our gate, we really did not have that long to wait before our 6:45 PM departure for Bucharest, Romania. The plane was delayed about 30 minutes. We had to ride a bus to our plane, which seemed very far away. I think the bus drive was at least 10 minutes. Then we climbed stairs to board the plane. It was also a Turkish Airlines plane, and while it was smaller than the previous one which had 10 seats on each row, it was still a very large plane (6 seats per row). We did not watch a movie on this 1 hour, 20 minute flight, but we were served a wonderful supper. Turkish Airlines is now my favorite airline!
- We landed about 8:45 PM, and going though our final passport control was not as scary as I thought. it would be. The man asked us how long we would be in the country and why we were there, and that was all. It wasn't far to the baggage claim area, and our bags were already there. Yay! Our baggage made it. We exited the airport, and we there were Julie and Big Sam!
- And we were off and running. Since our plane was delayed, we had to rush to the train station to try to catch the 9:20 PM plane to Craiova (where Julie and Big Sam live). We crammed our luggage and ourselves into 2 taxis and drove to the train station. The ticket attendant said we could not possibly make it on the train, (we had 7 minutes until it left) but she was wrong! We ran with our 5 huge suitcases and heavy backpacks in tow, and just barely got on the train before it left. Whew! The next train to Craiova wasn't until 11:45 PM!
- It was a 3 hour train ride to Craiova. We passed the time eating Turkish Delight, laughing, talking, and just delighting in each other's company. After a while, all three boys fell asleep, and Julie set an alarm on her phone so we would not sleep through our stop.
- We got off the train at 12:30 AM (Wednesday, May 9). The buses to their apartment had stopped running, so again, we crammed into two taxis for the 10 minute drive to their apartment. Finally, just before 1:00 AM we arrived at Julie and Big Sam's apartment. I think our total travel time was 34 hours, if my math is correct.
- We were in bed by 2:00 AM, and I slept until 12:45 PM the next day (today).
My prayers for safe travel were answered!