May 19, 2011
KLM Flight: Amsterdam to Addis Ababa
Arriving in Ethiopia
Arriving in Ethiopia
Dear Lil' Miss,
We have just arrived in Ethiopia (Africa!!!) after a loooong trip!! Much to my disappointment, it is really too dark to see anything. But at this point, all we care about is getting back to the hotel, settling in, and getting some rest before going to see YOU tomorrow!
The rest of our first flight to Amsterdam went really smoothly! Probably one of the smoothest flights and softest landings we’ve been on – and we’ve been on more than a few. Food was delicious! Pasta, salad and bread for lunch/dinner – very good, but VERY rich…we made sure to pop some pepto tablets after it so our stomachs wouldn’t hurt. Somehow, as always, I still ended up eating too much too fast and felt full for quite a while (not comfortable on a plane). We also had a small snack right before landing that I think was a croissant with pepper jack cheese melted into it? Whatever it was – mmmm! We BOTH were fans!
We got off our flight at Amsterdam, however, and had NO idea where to go! Most things were in Dutch (blast-it – why didn’t we learn more of that growing up?!?) and there were almost ZERO employees anywhere! Daddy had to go seek someone out to show us where to go, and all they did was point us to a huge billboard and tell us to look for our flight. It was sooo helpful (note the sarcasm). It was several minutes until we saw “Addis Ababa 0545 Gate D07” on there and we could begin heading in that direction. A couple gates down there was a check in center. In Seattle, they had warned us to be sure to check in for our connecting flight because it was very full, so we took a moment to do that. Of course it said we were already checked in, but then we noticed that our flight was leaving at 1:45 rather than 2:15! And boarding at 1:09, when it was currently five minutes to 1:00 – let’s just say we BOOKED it, (!!!) ONLY to arrive to everyone just standing around in a big line. It seriously seemed so unorganized and crazy – but it’s okay because we made it! And honestly, it was a great opportunity to stretch and meet up with the other traveling families.
We went through a security check AT the gate (new for me) and then that put us in a small little room with everyone on who would be getting on board. And then without a word, all of a sudden everyone got up and rushed into the corridor to get onto the plane. We figured we better follow. =)
KLM was a pretty amazing flight – smooth and even more importantly, everyone was SOO friendly! By the time we got on though, it was about midnight our time and we were exhausted. Unfortunately, the plane was BOOKED (so booked that there was too much carryon luggage, so they had to check some in which caused delays) and even though the seats were more comfortable than the last flight, somehow the seats managed to be squeezed even closer together! Ugh…I was feeling claustrophobic already! I’m not exactly tall or large and my knees were PRESSED into the seat in front of me. I started feeling that anxiety creep in, so I pulled out your little baby book I brought along to calm me down by reminding me WHY I was on this long, agonizing flight! You are worth it baby! =)
|Off the plane - at last!|
Love the cankles?? Stayin' true to my sexy side! =)
|How does daddy always wind up looking breath-taking |
after no sleep while mama looks mangled?
Our driver showed up all apologetic (another family landed only 20 minutes before us but since our visa and custom lines took so long he ended up taking them back to the hotel and then came back for us) but it really wasn’t a huge deal. We stepped out of the airport for the first time onto Ethiopian soil with tired smiles and loaded our stuff in the van that took us to the Riviera Hotel!
We were warned about the crazy driving, but since it was night there, there weren’t a lot of people on the roads so it wasn’t bad at all. Although after a trip to the Dominican Republic…I don’t think it gets much worse than that and I feel kind of prepared for anything! As we drove along the damp roads (yes, we left sunny Seattle to come to a rainy Africa – quite the rare phenomenon if you ask me!) I took in the smells, the sounds, and as much as I could see in the dark. It strangely felt like home, for I had grown to love Ethiopia long before we had our tickets and itinerary!
The hotel was closer than I thought, and even more beautiful than I had imagined! The hotel lobby had beautiful flowers and crown molding and intricate chandeliers! It was a beautiful! And somehow we ended up with a HUGE room with a king size bed and beautiful old furniture (just a standard room - but it looked more like a suite to us)! It is really just lovely here.
|Our bed at the Riviera|
|Great storage for suitcases and clothes|
|It was too dark to see at this hour, but beautiful view out the windows!|
|Bathroom (traveling families be sure to bring scented garbage |
bags - you can't flush that toilet paper and the bags at least HELP with the stink)
|Shower - and NO shower curtain...thankful|
for the hand-held!
|Just the start of our stash!|
|The pharmacy drawer =)|
|And MORE snacks...|
|Flower clips to bring to the girls @ HH!|
|My cankles and much-in-need-of-a-pedicure |
toes after two days of traveling!
See you tomorrow love!!