Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Home sweet home

The day started out very early in the morning, or should I say late at night? The group had to be out of the door by 3 am and on the bus to the airport. We weighed our luggage to make sure it was less than 50 pounds and the hotel provided us lunch bags for our breakfast, then we were on our way. We took a short bus trip to the airport where we waited for our flight. We had three flights that were going to take us home; one from Prague to Amsterdam, the next one from Amsterdam to Minneapolis and the last one from Minneapolis to Kansas City. The first flight, from Prague to Amsterdam, was very short, and I was out like a light from take-off to landing.
We arrived in Amsterdam with a few hours to kill until our next flight.  We went to our gate so we could sit down. When we got to our gate, we didn’t see any place to sit but a line to go through security. We decided that we would meet back at the gate 45 minutes before the flight and that we could go get something to eat or find somewhere else to sit. A few of us stayed back and decided to stand in line to go through security so we could sit by the gate. We stood in line for about ten minutes and when we make it to the front we were told that we weren’t allowed to go in until the entire group was with us.  Frustrated, we messaged the rest of the group and told them to meet at the gate sooner rather than at the original time planned. Once we all got there they checked us all in at the same time and we were able to go sit down by the gate.
The flight from Amsterdam to Minneapolis was around nine hours long. We had a screen in front of us where we could pick anything from movies to TV shows to play games. There was enough entertainment to keep us occupied for the whole nine hours. I decided to go back to sleep for as long as I could though before watching any movies. We were served a couple of meals on the flight, but the best thing the served was ice cream. The last two hours of the flight were rough though. We were flying over some bad weather or some just some choppy air and that made the plane have a lot of turbulence. For around two hours we weren’t allowed to get out of our seats and the flight attendants couldn’t serve any food or drinks. I am normally fine during flights that have bad turbulence, but this went on for so long that I started feeling sick, and I think everyone else on the plane felt it too. They would remind us almost every ten minutes to make sure we were sitting down and to make sure our seat belts were fastened tightly.
We finally landed and everyone clapped because they were so happy it was over (and because we were alive). We were finally back in America! We got off of the plane and made our way to our next flight, but first we had to tackle going through customs. Some of our group was at the front of the plane, so they were already in line and they were told that they could hold our group’s spot there and we could join them once they got to the front. So we all waited until it was their turn, but then things got a little messy. The people working there wouldn’t let us join the rest of our group because they said it would upset everyone else. They told us that we would have to go to the back of the line. Thankfully we have such a strong group leader that didn’t take any of their crap and made sure that we were able to go through with the rest of our group. When we walked to the front of the line, the people behind us were obviously upset, and they had good reason, but it was just a mess of a situation. Once we made it through that, everything else was smooth sailing. We got some lunch and waited at our gate until our next flight.
This flight was the final stretch, everyone was so excited to be home and we were only an hour and a half away. We settled ourselves in the seat of the airplane and we were on our way. About half way through the flight there was an announcement, we were told that there was going to be a little bit of turbulence. We were already sick from the first flight, so the extra turbulence on this flight hit us a little bit harder. It wasn’t that bad and it didn’t last too long, but we were all so excited when we landed.
I think most of us are done with airplanes for the time being. I know that I don’t want to get on another one until I can forget about today. The feeling of being home and able to sleep in my own bed is the best feeling ever. All of this traveling was worth it for the amazing experience, I would do it all again if I had the chance.
Stephanie Robinson
Skyline in Budapest

Skyline in Vienna

Skyline in Prague

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