"We're Leaving on a Jet Plane!"

Trip Start Jul 17, 2010
Trip End Aug 07, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Saturday, July 17, 2010

From Greg:
The first 9,000 miles: In case you were wondering, the Chili's at O'hare is a great place to go to die. Other than that, Chicago is how you'd expect. Humid, busy, full of travelers. And speaking of which, some of the French travelers need to work on their personal hygiene. Just because I don't shave my legs doesn't mean that everyone has the right to go al-natural...

The flight it's self was pretty smooth and quick. Though while flying, I did find myself contemplating my own mortality more frequently than is probably considered healthy. What if a wing snaps off due to sudden and unexpected turbulence? Or more likely, what if the engines  break while over the mid-atlantic? With these thoughts, sleep doesn't come overly easy. Unfortunately, my survival doesn't lead to overly interesting stories and all I have to report is that Lufthansa is a great airline and the flight attendants kindly tolerate your attempts with German after extensive, one day, rosetta stone training.

From Cari:
We left Greg's house at 945AM. He told me 930AM to trick me into being ready on time. It worked; however, I don't think he appreciated that I had to paint my toenails on the way down the interstate because I "ran out of time" in the morning.

After we stopped to get Starbucks for breakfast, it was off to Chicago to catch our flight. The drive went relatively smoothly except for some police cars just before Tippecanoe County that were slowing down traffic for a wide-load semi.

When we got to Chicago, everything was going well until it came time for us to get on 290. Our Mapquest directions told us to exit, but there were two and the directions did not specify as to which one we should take. We chose the one that said, "Cars only." We chose the wrong one. We quickly realized our mistake as we watched the road we needed fade into the distance. We took the next exit off the road we were on and, after some sweet navigation skills, we were back on the road we needed. Except that we were going the wrong way. We turned around and headed back North toward O'Hare.

We made it to O’Hare without any more issues. However, once we arrived at O’Hare, we couldn’t find the parking lot. We entertained the thought that the lot didn’t exist, but a call to the main office dispelled that fear and got us back on track. We had to turn around again, but we found it.

The bus didn’t take long (maybe 5 minutes) to get us to Terminal 1 where we checked our bags with Lufthansa and made our way through security. Despite Greg picking the line with a line, it moved really quickly. I had to wait to reclaim my stuff, however, because the group of Asian women in front of us decided to redress right in front of the conveyor belt.

We had a lot of time to kill (about 3 hours) so we wandered around Concourse C and back into Concourse B to eat at Chili’s. It wasn’t our first choice, but it was two gates down from ours and very convenient. We might have chosen differently if we would have known that our waitress was going to leave us thirsty practically the whole meal and apparently loved to hide back in the kitchen until food was ready. We bonded with the woman whose table we were practically sitting at because the tables were so close over how much time the waitress was killing for us.

We paid and headed to Gate B16. We found two empty seats next to a woman and her grandson. I saw nothing out of the ordinary until Greg pointed out that the hair on the woman’s legs rivaled that of a yeti’s. It made me uncomfortable that my legs were somehow going to end up looking like this woman’s somehow magically, and unfortunately. I had to keep checking.

As always, when the gate personnel announced that the plane was ready to board, the people around the gate rushed it like the plane was the last helicopter out of Vietnam. I prefer a more subtle approach. Greg and I took our time gathering our things and going to the bathroom, but we still got to cut the line for Economy since we were flying Business class. I have flown Business class before, but only domestically. This was a big change.

When we handed our boarding passes to the check-in lady, she yelled something in German to a man standing by Gate B16. Everyone else, you see, had been going through Gate B16A. The man unlocked a special door for us, and we got to go down the ramp through first class and to Row 4 where our seats were located.

It was flippin’ sweet. The chairs reclined nearly out to a flat bed, including a leg rest. I think it was obvious that we were entertained since we had to try all of the buttons before we could settle into our seats. The leg room was phenomenal. Each seat had its own personal TV. The flight attendants served us free wine before take-off. When it was meal time, they handed us a menu and laid out a tablecloth on each tray. The food was excellent; we got three courses. I slept the best I have ever slept on a plane (granted, only for about 2.5 hours). Breakfast seemed to follow dinner rather closely, and I wasn’t the least bit hungry, but it was still good.
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