Trains, trains, planes and automobiles

I’m writing from the Lufthansa lounge at Frankfurt airport and can hardly believe I’m here! That train we booked for Sunday night from Sandpoint to Spokane was two hours late. Rather than it’s scheduled 11:49 pm departure, we boarded around 1:45am. We very seriously considered hopping in a car and driving to Seattle instead, but after some more research it seemed very likely the train would make up the time between Spokane and Seattle. They made up only about an hour of the delay, arriving at the station in Seattle at about 11:50am.

Brief interlude to plug train travel——-I must say the sleeper car on the train is brilliant, and train travel is downright romantic and of another era. By the way, one barely has enough room to wedge oneself into the sleeper bunks, so when I say romantic I don’t mean like that unfortunately. I just mean that train travel has this very civilized feel to it. The uniformed attendants, the air-lock doors between cars, the dining car with sit-down breakfast while you watch the lovely scenery go by. It was very cool. And we lucked out because National Train Day was the day before, on the 7th, and the National Parks Service had a representative on the train to point out highlights of the mountains, historic bridges, waterfalls, even the types of trees. Seriously, it was GREAT! It would have been better if we weren’t fairly high strung about wanting the train to hurry up so we wouldn’t miss our flight.——–Ok, back to the story.

With the clock ticking loudly for our 2pm flight, we considered our options for getting from the train station to the airport. Light rail sounded smarter since a cab could get stuck in Seattle’s awful traffic. The light rail train got us to the airport at about 12:30, but unfortunately it drops passengers at the far end of the airport and one has to weave one’s way through the parking garages to access the terminal. Once inside we found the Lufthansa ticket counter to be on the opposite end of the airport, the last position, as far away as it could possibly be! You should have seen my husband and I, laden with backpacks and too much luggage (we are toting two large suitcases of donations for the orphanage in addition to luggage for a family of five!) running through the ticket hall. I’ve never wished for a moving walkway so desperately. We made it with about two minutes to spare before they would have not let us check in for our flight. What a HUGE relief! What a victory against all the odds that felt like they’d been against us!

We were so hot and sweaty and happy to be going through security! The rest of this part of the journey is cake. When we finally were ensconced in our business class seats we were so grateful to have a champagne toast for this awesome adventure!

How about having enough United miles to bring our family home on award travel? AMEN!! I forgot how nice it is to fly in business class with the reclining seats and the attentive staff. We thought about how much fun the boys are going to have pushing buttons on their seat, wearing the headphones, watching movies, eating fun snacks. What in the world? They have no idea what they are getting into! And the little goodie bag happens to be a metallic tote (“Oh! do we have more of these?” Name that Target lady skit). My husband can’t wait to help them take off their shoes and put on their nifty socks for the flight. Oh, it is going to be a whole other experience than the relative leisure of the trip TO Ethiopia!

We have a few more hours before our final leg to Addis. I think that’s another 6 hour flight. We’ll arrive at about 9pm Addis time on Tuesday, and hope to find a car waiting to take us to the Ritmo guest house where we’ll get some sleep in preparation for our embassy appointment Wednesday morning.

My next post should include some photos!

3 responses to “Trains, trains, planes and automobiles

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