On Sunday, we slept in a little bit after our late night arrival the night before from the Transylvania 100 Race. Julie and Big Sam's church's worship service and Bible study begin at 5:00PM, so we had time to wash clothes and buy groceries before preparing for the service (which meets in their home).
Since we had so many clothes to wash (from the muddy race), Jimmy made Julie a clothesline on her balcony. I was able to wash many loads in one day because they dried so quickly on the balcony.
Here are a few pictures I took on our walk to and from the grocery store.
I guess McDonald's is everywhere! However, I never saw a Chick Fil A over here.
I'm not sure WHAT this is.....
Romanian parking spot
more examples of Romanian parking
Cars are parked everywhere you look here.
Monday was our last day before heading back home. We spent this day packing and visiting the city center one more time. Jimmy took the kids to the closest park to play while I did some packing before we went to the center.
We bought this banner while shopping one last time in the center.
We are on Julie's balcony.
The suitcases--packed and ready to go.
Yes, there are nine of them! Three and a half of them have our stuff in them, and the rest have Julie and Big Sam's belongings that we took home for them.
This is the stairway that leads to the top (4th floor) of Julie's apartment. (They live on the top floor.)
in the city center
in the city center
the underground bathroom in the city center
This is where we ordered our lunch. We got the wraps that they are known for, and they were delicious!
I can't remember what this building is, but it is a focal point of the city center.
This was a cool soccer ball in front of the mall in the city center.
We enjoyed Starbucks one last time together.
Sam is taking a picture of his Gumby and Pokey.....he poses them in various places when we are traveling and takes pictures of them.
Monday night I completed our packing, and then began stressing a little bit over whether or not the suitcases would fit in the vehicles that were carrying us to the airport. Dan was taking some of us in his car, and Big Sam borrowed a minivan from an American evangelist he recently met in Craiova. That was so very kind of him to let us borrow his minivan! Since the minivan was parked four flights of stairs below, and since we did not want to leave all our luggage in the vehicles overnight, Clay and I measured the size of each suitcase, and then we measured the interior of the minivan and the luggage carrier on top to see if the luggage would actually fit. Based on our calculations, and if Dan's car could hold three suitcases, everything would fit.
We set our alarms for 3:45AM, and tried to sleep.
Tuesday morning, May 22, came early, and Jimmy carried all nine suitcases downstairs. Then Clay and Big Sam placed them in the two vehicles, and yay! They fit! We left for the Bucharest airport at 4:45AM.
We made it to the airport about 8:40, and thankfully, quickly made it through security and passport control and then found our gate. We left at 10:00AM for a short plane ride to Istanbul, Turkey. We had about a two hour layover there that passed by quickly. We sampled some Turkish delight, Jimmy and I got coffee, the kids got Turkish ice cream, and then we began the long walk to our gate. We had to go through security again before we could enter the seating area to wait to board our plane. I even had to take the cover off my iPad....shoes off again, we were swabbed, inspected, etc.
We boarded our plane bound for Atlanta, Georgia, USA at 1:30PM local time. We were on that airplane almost 14 hours before we deplaned in Atlanta! It was about 8:00PM EST in Atlanta when we landed. Somewhere up in the sky we gained/lost? seven hours, and on our way home to Mississippi we gained another hour (or lost an hour? I am not sure!) Anyway, once we finally arrived at our house, it was Wednesday, May 23, 2:30AM. We had been traveling about 29 hours, I think.
Since our long flight was mostly during the daytime hours (for what our bodies were accustomed to), I slept only an hour, maybe. I watched three entire movies: You've Got Mail, Gone With the Wind, and Wonder. We were served two full meals and had self-service to sandwiches, dessert, and beverages.
Jimmy brought compressions socks for the whole family to wear on the trip back, and they made such a positive difference for me. My ankles did not swell at all, and my legs did not hurt like they did on the trip over. I also got up and walked around the airplane at least ten times on this trip.
IT WAS SO GOOD TO BE BACK IN THE USA! I could tell immediately that we were on American soil as soon as we entered the Atlanta airport! We had to go through passport control one more time and were briefly questioned one last time, and then we were released to gather our luggage and go to our car!
We fit the suitcases in my vehicle....six in the back (I folded down two seats) and three on the back on a carrier on my trailer hitch.
HOME SWEET HOME!
I am gradually getting over the jet lag. The first 2-3 days I was profoundly sleepy at 5:00PM, and was in bed by 9:30PM, but by midnight or 1AM, I was wide awake!
We left Thursday morning to go to Alabama for Parker's wedding (Lynn's son). We got back home from that late Friday night......no more traveling for us for at least a couple of weeks!