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Trip Start Nov 09, 2006
Trip End Nov 22, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Thursday, November 23, 2006

Our journey homeward was even longer than the trip to get to Turkey, and it started about two hours earlier in the day. We ended up in line for the Lufthansa check-in counter about 20 minutes before its 4am opening, despite having to go through security (including full x-raying of all luggage) just to get into the airport! The section we had to cross to get to passport control was packed with people in traditional Jewish dress who weren't really in line for anything but looked like they could have been in line for everything. Once we realized that whatever they might be in line for wasn't "non-Turkish citizen passport control," we managed to zip up to the front and pop right through.

After an unpleasant experience at a coffee shop with something that turned out to be almost but not quite completely unlike a fruit muffin despite the sign that clearly said 'Fruit Muffin,' we had a couple of hours left to kill before take-off, followed by an uneventful (but full) flight. Oh, and we had to go through security again before boarding.

Our return visit through Frankfurt Airport wasn't quite as distressing as the first because at least this time we knew what to expect. We had a 4-hour layover this time, so we found some precious space in the tiny non-smoking area of the food court in which to zone out. We also killed some time by bugging the lady at the one United Airlines counter until she gave us a free upgrade to the 'Economy Plus' section. That extra leg room does make a difference! Oh, and we had to go through security again.

We were expecting madness, since it was the day before Thanksgiving, but almost everyone had a group of 3 or 4 seats to themselves. Amy zonked out and slept for most of the 8-hour flight, but Nathan was wide awake after sleeping through the previous flight.

In Washington, D.C., we had to make our declarations and get the form stamped by one customs guy, pick up our luggage, hand our declarations to another customs guy, then drop our bags off at the 're-check' point. Oh, and we had to go through security again. Thankfully, all these gyrations chewed up most of the layover, and soon we were on our last flight.

After 27 hours on the road and in the air, we were home! Our kitties were a little spooked at first, but very glad to see us anyway. Here's a shot of our newest, Riley, checking out the kilim we bought the day before.

We hope you enjoyed this travelpod! Cheers!
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