Monday, September 7, 2009

August 9th - Day One

Well, I've finally gotten motivated to recap all the days, and Steve may come back through and add his two cents. I was asleep in the car a lot, so didn't get to see all the near head on collisions!

Really this is August 9th, 10th, and then into early August 11th - all travel just to get to Novokuznetsk, Russia. Honestly, nothing really exciting happened. We left the house at 9:00am on the 9th. Got the the airport and made it to the gate with no problems. Luggage was a bit exciting, I guess. We were going to be gone for 24 days, with a guaranteed 8-10 days with the boys, so there was all the boys related items, food for 24 days (since last time we weren't sure if and when we were going to eat), clothes for court, and clothes for us (which we really only packed about 2 weeks worth). We ended up with 2, 50lb suitcases, 1 40lb suitcase, and a 25lb duffel, which we carried on, plus 2 backpacks, which each weighed roughly 20lbs. That's right, 205lbs of luggage! We had no problems on Delta, but S7 in Russia is a story for later.

We were delayed slightly out of CVG. There was rain forcasted for our arrival in JFK, and per FAA regulations, there has to be an inclimate weather plan in the event we couldn't land at JFK. Sure enough, it was sunny without a cloud in the sky when we arrived.

Let for Moscow as scheduled. This time we had the plane with the individual video screens in the headrest, so we could watch what we wanted instead of the mass movie shown to all. We also learned that while exit row seats are great for leg room, they are not great of wider bodies, so we sat further back in the plane, skipped the exit rows, and had a much more comfortable ride. We didn't sleep very much, which was not such a great thing. It was an 8.5 hour flight, and the only one who slept was me, at a whopping 2 hours.

We learned on the flight that we would need to complete a swine flu verification card, including where we had been 10 prior to flying, and where we were going 10 days after we arrived. Once we landed, we were greeted by a doctor who was going to take every passengers temperature before deplaning. Thankfully, the temperature was taken via infrared, and nothing was probed.

Our driver arrived to get us, and head to the other airport on the other side of town. This meant a 2 hour car ride (yes, Moscow is that big) for us to sleep. We slept off and on for about an hour of the ride.

We arrived at the next airport around 1:30pm local time (5:30am Eastern for those keeping score at home). We checked in for the flight and got rid of the luggage. Remember that 205lbs of luggage? Well, on the flight within Russia, we were allowed 20kg checked at 7kg to carry on per person, which amounted to 120lbs total. The other 85lbs? We paid handsomely for it, to the tune of $300. We looked at it like this: it would cost way more to ship it, and if we had to buy all the things that we took with us, it would have cost us more than $300. Anyway, we got several looks from the airline employees as we checked 4 bags. Oh well.

We found a quiet corner to try and catch some shut eye. Our flight out didn't leave until 1030pm, so we had plenty of time to sleep. We slept off and on for around 5 hours. None of it was good continuous sleep though, and it was in very uncomfortable airport seats. About 7:00pm, we finally grabbed some dinner at Sbarro (so glad it's a universal airport food), and made our way through security. For the next 3 hours we walked in and out of every store in the airport, as well as sat in every seat in the airport. We found and outdoors store that sold the Russian fur hats, but as airports are oft to do, the price was so jacked up, it was over $1000. We didn't want it that bad.

The good news about the S7 flight - it wasn't 90 degrees this time! I actually had a blanket and was quite comfortable. We also knew what we were asking for when the food was served. Again, little sleep on the flight. It seemed to be a theme. We finally arrived in Novokuznetsk around 7:00am on Tuesday, August 11th, which was 7:00pm Monday, August 10th in Cincinnati. The rest of the day was quite an adventure, but I'll save that for tomorrow...I have a 3 year old who can't stop saying "momma."


sarah true said...


Snobound said...

All sounds so exciting, but I got chills at your last have a 3 year old who calls you "momma". That's gotta make your day for sure!