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Hitting the Road Again

Hello from D.C.!

It’s so nice to be back in the U.S. and not sitting on a plane right now. I had a lovely morning, filled with a walk with my mom, a short run, and some Bob Harper yoga. Plus, a healthy breakfast — yum!

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I love coming back after a long trip away and having all my favorite foods again :)

Lunch consisted of a billion crackers with hummus — oh, hummus, my love, how I’ve missed you.

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Plus an enormous spinach salad topped with tomato, green pepper, and tuna salad made with dijon mustard, a light laughing cow cheese wedge, and some chopped celery. Plus balsamic vinaigrette!

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SO delicious and fresh — just what I wanted.

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Dessert was a big sliced grapefruit :) Mmmm… so juicy.

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I’m just about packed up and getting ready to hit the road for the 4 to 5 hour drive back to Chapel Hill, North Carolina! As I mentioned, classes start tomorrow. Whew! Can I get a vacation from vacation?! ;)

In other news, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll already know that traveling back from Europe yesterday was a complete debacle. First, my flight out of Venice (at 3 a.m. eastern US time) was delayed because someone randomly got off and they had to rifle through all the bags to get their luggage. We arrive in Zurich, the Swiss Air people come over the loudspeaker and say that our connections have all been guaranteed and not to worry. I literally run through 2 intensive passport checks, ANOTHER security checkpoint (yes, after coming from another plane — I loathe the Zurich airport), and finally make it to my gate 15 minutes before the flight is scheduled to leave, only to find that they have closed the doors and won’t let me and two other people on, even though they earlier assured us they would. Awesome. The United/Swiss Air staff say they have already rebooked us into business class and that I’ll be flying through Chicago to D.C. now, arriving at 9 p.m. instead of 3:30 p.m. as planned. Grrrrr. But business class would be nice, right? They then direct me back upstairs to the transfer counter. Upon arriving there, I meet very surly and rude Swiss Air staff, who say that no matter what the United/Swiss staff told us below at the gate, there’s no way in hell that we will be booked into business class. Economy, sorry, nothing else. Thanks a lot. I ask if I can have a passcode for their internet to email my mom to tell her I’m going to be 6 hours late, they refuse. So unimpressed.

Finally, a billion hours later after a 9 hour flight in which the lady in front of me has her seat reclined literally into my lap the entire freaking time, I arrive in Chicago. There is a 40 minute line for passport check. Then I wait for my bag. Then I wait at the United counter to re-check my bag. When I get to the front, I’m told that the Swiss Air staff didn’t actually bother to book me onto my connecting flight to D.C. from Chicago after all. @#($@(#$* At this point, I’m on the verge of a total meltdown. Luckily, there’s still a couple seats available or else I would have been screwed. Then, I’m told that once I leave my bag for rechecking, I have to go back out through security, take a train to another terminal, and go back through security AGAIN (for the third time that day) to get my connecting flight. Are you serious?  Ugh.

My mom met me at the airport in D.C. at 9 p.m. to give me a ride home, and I was so happy to finally see her! So bummed that I didn’t get to spend my last day at home with her as planned. :( Finally, at 10 p.m., 22 hours after I left my brother’s place in Vicenza, Italy, I arrived home. What a day. Although, it could have been worse. I could have been the lady that threw up in the aisle on my Zurich to Chicago flight just before we landed. Yikes. Poor thing.

Whew. Sometimes you just need to get things like this off your chest, you know? Do you guys have any travel horror stories? Lay ‘em on me!

Catch you guys tomorrow from back down in NC! I’m looking forward to getting back to normal life — stay tuned for the return of healthy recipes, quick and easy lunches and dinners, and the start of my half marathon training (posting my new training plan shortly)!

Comments

  1. 1

    Home Sweet Home, right? The only horror story I have is 2 years ago at the Orlando airport, I had a glucose meltdown and had to have a wheel chair to get off the plane. How embarrassing. (I am a diabetic) I am so glad my husband was with me, he is the one who insisted on the wheel chair. I really could have walked off the plane with his assistance but he wouldn’t hear of it. Thank God for loved ones.

    I am afraid if I had been in your shoes, I would be in jail by now. I don’t have the patience you seem to have. Oh well, as you stated, it could have been worse. And what a wonderful vacation you and your family had. It was worth it, “yes”?

    Welcome home.

    • 2

      It was definitely worth it! But believe me, I was hardly patient with the airport staff. I’m sure they hated me as much as I hated them at that point.

  2. 3

    What an adventure you had!! I’ve got plenty of travel nightmares like missing my flight to London (the one-way flight I booked when I first moved here) and the latest situation where I didn’t go back to London to pack for my 3 week trip home to NY. Traveling is fun but stressful at the same time!

  3. 4

    Omg, that sounds awful! I would definitely be sending quit a few complaint letters in the next few days!

  4. 6

    So sorry to hear about your airplane disaster! I would’ve definitely had a meltdown!

  5. 7

    Glad you’re home safe. It sounds like it was one amazing trip. (Aside from the plane mishaps)

  6. 8

    Sorry about your trials, but what lovely meals you picked to refresh yourself! Tuna salad w/Laughing Cow is genius! Thanks for inspiring me to be healthy today.

  7. 9

    When I was in Italy with a friend a few years ago, we bought our train tickets to the airport and then couldn’t find our gate when we got there. We asked a ticket agent where it was and she laughed and told us it was very far away…..in the other airport. Fortunately we were able to get there on time for our (delayed and then turbulent) flight, but we felt pretty dumb.

  8. 11

    Oh Anne I would have been in tears the whole time! I’m so sorry you had to deal with that.
    I once was flying home from Pisa by myself, and the flight was delayed. When we got to Madrid, where I was connecting, the plane was still there but they wouldn’t let me on. They booked me a hotel but I had no clothes! I ended up getting into NYC the next day, but missed a Broadway show and brunch in Central Park with my parents.

    Flight issues are the worst!

  9. 12

    I spent at entire night at the Zurich Airport ( I did not want to book a hotel for a 7 am flight)- I am sorry you had a terrible experience :( But you are now homeeeeee

    Have an amazing semesteree!

  10. 14

    Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry you had to deal with that!

    I’ve had my fair share of horror stories. One time when I was coming back to the states, it took me 36 hours. It SUCKED!! I booked my flight on cheaptickets.com and didn’t bother looking at the airlines. I ended up being booked on Air India. I was the only one in nonIndian garb and most people on this flight had already been traveling for 24 hours (no showers, no teeth brushing). I love Indian food, but the smells that come through your skin after eating it are not that great especially if you haven’t showered in a while. It smelled like curry snatch for 8 hours! Ack. I was nauseas with a migraine after I got off that 8 hour flight, then had to run to my next connection as they were calling my name over the loud speaker. 36 hours after leaving Frankfurt I finally made it home to ABQ. Never again!

  11. 16

    Sounds like getting lost in the Venice airport’s parking lot sort of set the tone for the day… glad you made it back in one piece, sorry it was such a bad trip back!

  12. 18

    I. Love. Grapefriuit. I eat one EVERY morning, no exception;)

    Slash are you in Chapel Hill’s nutrition and public health program? I might be applying and I would looove to hear your opinion on it!

  13. 20

    Your breakfast bowl has my mouth watering…that looks so delicious!! What all did you put in there? Also how was the Bob Harper yoga? I have really wanted to try it :)

    • 21

      Kashi cereal (Heart to Heart and Honey Sunshine, mixed), plus banana, berries, and skim milk! And I LOVE the Bob Harper yoga DVD – try it!

  14. 22

    That tuna and grapefruit look very yummy!

  15. 23

    sorry about your airplane disaster girl!! At least you had what looked like an amazing grapefruit!

  16. 24

    My mom and I were traveling back from France and arrived at the Paris airport bright and early. We didn’t see our flight on the board so we asked someone about it and were told it was cancelled!!! We were booked for a flight TWO days later. TWO days. Those two days were spent trying to get on every single flight stand by.. because this meant I was missing class (the trip was over spring break) and I was missing dress rehearsal for the play I was in. Eventually we made it back after not getting on any stand by flights.

  17. 26

    At least you made it and got a good Sunday with your mom! Safe travels –

  18. 27

    I’ve actually been pretty lucky with flights, but I do recall one particular delayed flight from New Zealand to LA… I ended up having to literally full-on sprint the entire length of LAX to make my connection to Boston. I was traveling with my parents and they handed me my boarding pass and said “if we don’t make it, we’ll see you at home…” HA! but they did, thankfully.

    Also, sitting on the tarmac for 4+ hours at Heathrow trying to get back to Boston (and this was after an 8 hr flight from Nairobi!)

  19. 28

    Just two weeks ago, they cancelled our flight from Savannah to Newark because of the snowstorm. We had to get home to PA since my boyfriend ABSOLUTELY had to be into work the next day and since we could get NO OTHER FLIGHTS anywhere near PA, we drove all the way back. It took like 14 hours.

  20. 29

    Wow, such an exhausting experience. Thank goodness you finally made it home! I travel a lot and the worst time was my arrival from Hong Kong into New Jersey a couple years ago. I had just gotten off the plane (KLM!) and was planning to connect to another flight into Boston when I found out there would be a five-hour delay! UGH. Sitting in Newark was not my idea of fun and from that point on I have never connected through New Jersey again. A friendly travel tip – try to avoid airlines/airports that you know have bad service, etc. I now only fly with Cathay Pacific or British Airways and connect through London Heathrow so that I arrive directly into Boston. It is more expensive but I have consistently made the trip in 18-hours or less. :-)

  21. 31

    When I came back from India they delayed our flight by 12 hours. They sent us to a hotel but only after we’d sat at the airport for like five hours, so we only got about three hours to be in a room (so what was the point??). I was really sick with a nasty head cold, so I spent the whole 15-hour flight to Newark with my ears killing me, only to find that, after they sent us around Newark airport for about two hours to figure out what to do about missed connecting flights, that I had JUST (like, it had left twenty minutes earlier) missed the last flight back that day to Detroit (and it was only like 5pm!). So I had to spend the night in Newark, and they put me in a hotel that was so far away from the airport that I didn’t get there till almost 10pm and had to leave at 4am to get back in time for the flight. I finally got to Detroit 24 hours later than I was supposed to, and my ears were killing me for DAYS. @_@ I’ve never liked Newark airport much, heh. They also do the go through security even though you just came from another plane thing.

  22. 33

    I am so sorry about the fiasco of your return home. I actually grew up in Switzerland (my mom is Swiss and my dad is Hungarian, and I was born there and lived there until I came to the U.S. for college) and kid you not, I would rather fly through larger, more hectic airports than Zurich. My parents live in Geneva, and when there is no direct flight available (yay for United/Swiss putting an IAD-GVA flight back in service in recent years after stopping it a few years ago) I have been known to fly through London, Paris and JFK rather than go through Zurich. I would rather risk a huge airport with a rushed layover than deal with Zurich. It is just large enough to have problems big airports have and has some of the rudest service ever.

    Ok, rant over – I am so sorry you had to deal with that. Glad you made it back ok.

  23. 35

    I’m so sorry for the debacle! I had some similar issues getting home from New Zealand (the 500 security checks per day) but at least all my flights were on time, no major screw ups! It took me ~55 hrs to get home (car ride, ferry ride, 12 hr overnight bus, 13 hr flight to LA, then to Dallas, then Boston). UGH! Glad you made it back!

    • 36

      55 hours?!?!?!? That’s absurd!! What was the 12 hour overnight bus?! In NZ?? NZ isn’t that big!

      • 37

        um, yeah. it was. cause on jan 13th (NZ time) I was in Nelson on the South Island. I flew out of Auckland (top of the North Island) on Jan 14th, so Lu drove me from Nelson to Picton, I caught the ferry to Wellington, and took an bus overnight to Auckland. Ugh. and THEN the fun of flying started! I totally hear you on going through 5,000 security checks, and going back through security to get to the same dang place you just came from. Nothing is more irritation on 2 days with no sleep.. PS i hate LAX, for the record, although it sounds like Zurich was 100x worse.

        • 38

          Ahhhhh I love Nelson, we went there! Picton, too! Is Nelson where Lu is living now? I think Wanaka was my favorite town… SO cute.

          That completely sounds like a nightmare getting home, though, gah. I remember LAX being evil when I came home from Australia, too – so crowded with lots of rude people!

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