Travel with us to Europe Feb-Mar 2005
ATT: TOM CARL Please email
There were lots of NON-REV's around me. These are passengers that are flying under a status called NON REVENUE or no pay. My seatmate was flying over to Europe to board a Northwest jet to bring soldiers home from the WAR in IRAQ. It was a great flight, she talked about how hard it was to take them over to IRAQ (via Germany) but she really enjoyed flying them home. She talked about how they have so much gear that it's ALL over the plane, and that there's just a narrow aisle for folks to walk through. The overseas flight took off at 3:35pm and then cause you're flying into the night, it's a tough flight for me. We're going to land in Europe at 6:40 the next morning, which is a new day with sunshine-or at least daylight and a lot of hours to be awake. BUT flying on the 3:35 flight makes it really hard to sleep cause in Minnesota time you're on the plane till 11:40pm (my regular bedtime). If you can take the 9:00PM flight, but the time the plane is up and you get a glass of wine and dinner it's midnight Minnesota time and so you can usually get in a 3 or 4 hour power nap which then get's you ready to meet the new day. PLUS you get to Europe about noon the next day and so the time is shorter till you can put your head on a pillow again...definitely always try for a late evening departure!!
If you haven't flown across the oceans in First Class/Business Class, figure out some way to do it on your next crossing. It's a DIFFERENT WORLD! Not coming from a background of servants, and mostly being to cheap to stay in those four star hotels, I'm just not used to having people dote on my every wish and need. I got to tell you that after a while I just tell them that I'll let them know if I need anything but in the mean time, "I'M FINE!" I've been across the ocean now at least 10 times that I can remember, having the luxury of sitting in the front cabins. It's been on TWA, Western, KLM, and Northwest. Sometime you need to ask me about the TWA and Western flights. TWA was back in the glory days of flying (83) and we went Las Vegas-Phoenix-NYC. Then a plane change and a 747 from NYC to Paris, and return. I was on a "fam" (familiarization) trip with the Mayor Protem and some of the City Councilmen of Las Vegas. The highlight of the flight other than the nice wide seat, was that this was the first time in my life that I had had some good LAMB! A rack of lamb and it was awesome and has keep me looking for the equal ever since.
We landed in first class on a trip to Hawaii via Western Airlines through an accident and some quick thinking. Lorie and I had tickets to Oahu (Honolulu) and hotels for a week as part of a trade out that I had done with a client in California ('86 I think). We had seats on the bulkhead of the coach cabin, it was a DC10 and so we were just the two of us as the seats across go 2-5-2. It's hell for the person in the middle of the center row. No window to sit by and 2 people either way that will have to move so that you can get up. God Bless the folks that end up in those seats! I had heard that the airplane was overbooked and that they would probably be asking for volunteers. We didn't even have a hotel confirmed at the Hawaii end (one of the "benefits" of trading out a holiday for work) and so really didn't have any reason to get to the "islands" on any time schedule. I didn't even fasten my seatbelt. We had already agreed that if they asked for volunteers that I would bolt for the gate and Lorie would follow with our carryon luggage. Well they did, I did, she did, and it worked! We got a six hour delay, a food coupon, first class on the next flight, and 600 dollars in vouchers to use in the future. AWESOME! So we got to fly to Hawaii First Class! The food was great, the different Hawaiian drinks really put us in a good mood and we met Vern and Bonnie. the Carillios were from the Phoenix area. Vern was a janitor at the public school system and I don't remember what Bonnie did then. Well they were on their 2nd honeymoon but had a bit of a quirk going on. Bonnie's best friend had heard that they were going to Hawaii and so she right away booked passage for herself and her mother. So here were Vern and Bonnie and the gal-friend and the gal-friends mother. This was not exactly what they had in mind for a 2nd honeymoon. On the other hand Lorie and I were out to have a GREAT time, so they spent more of our week in Hawaii dumping their friends and hanging with us. We just laughed and laughed and laughed. Went swimming and crawled out on a breakwater that was green and growing with moss. A big wave came along and swept us off and threw us into the lagoon. It was then that I realized the amazing power of water in motion! Well enough of this, let's get back on the DC10 heading from MSP to AMS...
But this time I didn't have the luxury and so I only got a few minutes power nap now and then, but no real REM sleep! We got in Early because of favorable winds and so 6AM Amsterdam time, WELCOME TO EUROPE. It's NOW WEDNESDAY MORNING.
Wednesday February 9
A new problem to that was that
Then comes the announcement that we would be rebooked on other flights
later in the day. So, ironically, I end up waiting for several more
hours before my passage was complete. Instead of arriving in Berlin
about 1pm I got in right during the rush hour. Fortunately Henry, my
first foreign student, good friend, and host in Berlin, had gotten a message
from KLM in Berlin as to what flight I would actually be on! He
whisked me off to his 3rd story (no elevator) apartment right in the heart
of the former East Berlin in a section called Mitte. I got unpacked a
bit and we were off to supper. His NEW, FAVORITE, GOT TO GO TO, place.
A Viet Nam style restaurant just around the corner. Although it was
very good (cold spring rolls sort of) there just weren't enough Carbs to
satisfy this Minnesota Farm Boy!
Thursday February 10
Friday February 11
Saturday February 12
Sunday February 13
Monday February 14
Tuesday February 15
Wednesday February 16
Thursday February 17
Friday February 18
Saturday February 19
Sunday February 20
Up early. Another great Bavarian breakfast and off the train station on Ulm. 2 hour train ride to Frankfurt, picked up by Fabian. Dinner on the Kaiser Strasse, the main street that leads away from the great train station in Frankfurt and a wonderful evening of catching up with Fabian.
Tentative Frankfurt Broadcast Locations:
Monday February 21
Tuesday February 22
Wednesday February 23
the Staedel Art Institute, StaedelMuseum.de
Thursday February 24
Friday February 25
Saturday February 26
Sunday February 27
Monday February 28
Tuesday March 1
Wednesday March 2
Thursday March 3 Departure Germany Arrival Home
Friday March 4
Saturday March 5 FINALLY ON MY WAY HOME
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