FEBRUARY 19, 2012 3:07PM


Rate: 16 Flag
I yelled at my daughter to get away from the car.  She replied that she was leaning on it to keep from sliding on the ice.  I pointed out, at high volume, that the damned CAR was sliding on the ice, Park and Brake notwithstanding.

She stepped back, onto the crunchy snow, and I did Reverse and did a more or less controlled roll down her laneway to the low point – where my lane branched off.  I walked back up, on the snowy side, and we got her luggage across the top of the lane and to my garage, then out the back to the waiting car.

Then there was the matter of getting up the common part of our shared Y-shaped lane, which also goes uphill.  I drove as close to the side as possible, to get some traction on snow, and managed to get up – with a quick turn to the right at the top along what the snowplow had left for shoulder in order to avoid shooting out into any oncoming traffic.

Well, all that ate up the extra time I’d allotted for our trip to the airport – extra time because the forecast was rain, which, falling upon frozen pavement, makes for unpleasant driving.  It’s been a nice mild winter…but all this hanging around the freezing point has its problems.

But first we had to deliver the dogs (already ensconced in the car) to our friend the dog-man, who would care for them in our absence.  He has a long icy lane…but fortunately pretty flat. Then an hour-plus to the airport.  One break – the rain didn’t happen.

It was getting pretty close to the wire by the time we got to the park-n-fly.  Which was usually straightforward, but today the entire lot was FULL, and signs and guys were directing us to go far far down, to the very end of the property, by the storage sheds, and park along the fence, right under the sign saying NO PARKING – FIRE LANE. 

Onto the shuttle.

Then the shuttle had to pick up a large Nordic family and their skis and lots of bags.

In the airport, the  check-in machine accepted my passport (which I’d misplaced and thought was lost until 24 hours before departure, but never mind) and spit out boarding passes.  But my daughter on a neighboring machine couldn’t make it work – because we were so late!  So she got in a fortunately very short line and did the counter thing, while I was directed to the get-rid-of-luggage department.  Then I couldn’t see her.  I hovered for a bit, then went downstairs to the screening department.  The guy directing traffic asked what my problem was – hesitating to get in line – and I explained.  He said to go look for her and he’d put us thru the priority no-waiting line.

Just then she appeared, coming down the escalator.  I figured the traffic guy would  then put us in the regular line, but he’d observed the time on my boarding pass and put us thru the short line.

And screening was perfunctory. 


And we were in time…and only a few minutes to wait.

(Fashion note – While waiting we both admired the interesting burgundy coat with little pink puffs, highlighted by a big burgundy and pink datura bloom, worn by a fellow passenger.)

Then of course followed the miserable flight.  Going to Europe, up all night.  At least this flight left at 5, getting us in at 2 our time, when I am still possessed of my faculties.  It’s those flights that leave at 8 or 9 that are inhuman… 

So we arrived at Frankfurt.  Our connecting flight to Madrid was from Gate A42.  So, lugging our hand-luggage (mine contained this somewhat weighty laptop), we went the interminable distance from A1 to A2 to A3 to A4…  None of those little shuttle thingies in sight – except one zipping the other way and another full of newspapers.  There were a few short flat escalators, which took us all of 2 gates each… 

And I’d been looking forward to a German sausage.  I always seem to land in Frankfurt for breakfast, or the middle of the night, or in a hurry, and never get one, dammit.  This time we passed half a dozen stands, but we wanted to get to our gate and then reconnoiter.  You know how this is gonna go…as we got higher and higher in the A numbers, the food stands disappeared.  By the time we got to 42, we were in the wilderness.

However…and hoping you can stand the suspense, the outcome of that particular bit will have to wait until the next instalment, “Ich bein ein Amerikaner”.  THEN, finally, with pictures, something about Madrid:  “Glitter Goat ... and Lost Again!”


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what a pain the arse. i sure hope u brought a good book along.
i would have managed these indignities with repressed rage
and hopefully maybe some wisdom from my book
or eyeing all the travellers wondering
what their stories were.

impatience is my biggest sin.
ja, ich bein ein amerikaner big time, achtung..............
Good luck! Get the sausage next time though.
Isn't there some theory that the best trips start out with chaos? If not, there should be.

Gute Reise!
Getting there, then hurrying, then waiting..... I loathe that part of the travel process. It's nice that the destination is almost always worth it.
Arrrgh. May the rest of your journey be full of joy. You deserve it.
Wow I'm glad you made it but wow what a trip to get there!
The damned Nordic skiers!

Sounds like quite the adventure. I would have been PISSED about not getting a sausage.
Traveling is always exhausting and fraught with fraught. I'm glad you did not find a greasy airport sausage. That might have been big trouble later.

After a short nap, go out and enjoy Spain!
Captured perfectly, that awful rising/falling tension of trying to get away/why am I leaving feeling. & at the other end, somewhere wild.
... albeit a German airport. Still wild.
You can be sure that the driveway is icy now...I sand mine a couple of times a day to save pedestrian lives (I just point the car downhill and it knows where to go, in between the snowbanks) and every day this week it gets warm enough in the day to ice over all the sand and ashes...but frankly, Madrid sounds pretty good about now. Enjoy it, the both of you!
Your airport experience suggests that maybe that recent rating of Ottawa as "second best medium-sized airport in the Americas" is deserved. Imagine that--they spot your problem and help you out immediately. Huh.
"None of those little shuttle thingies in sight" *sigh* there never is :/
looking forward to the travelogue!!
oh and "Entschuldigung, wo ist die toilette, bitte?" most useful German phrase ever.
course you can always just hold your crotch and dance around- they get that, too
Sometimes it is events like this that make the destination so rewarding afterwards. Have a great trip.
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Have a beautiful new week with love and happiness❤¸.•*¨✫
Why do you bother with patriarchal technologies like jet airplanes? Why not just fly across the Atlantik on yer broomstick?...wink
It sounds like you're going to make it to your destination safe and sound. My goodness! Ice and passports and sausage and gates in the netherworld! Such a lot of trouble but the goal is in sight!
I love how you see the trip - each frustrating moment, and yet you can still be interested in someone's coat, or German sausage. I'll have to travel soon and I'm going to try to think of your mentality to get me through it. Glad you guys got there okay (though sorry no sausage), and I can't wait for the pictures!
That is the one thing I miss about Germany bratwurst with a roll and mustard, been a thousand years and I can still taste them with German fries. I've sworn off flying because I just hate all the intrusions that come with it. But if you could would you just do a post on that bratwurst when you come home (and if you're able to get one). I promise I'll rate that post as I've rated this one for the pleasant taste you left in my mouth. Safe travels.