Monday, June 17, 2019

Weekend Review {06/17}

FRIDAY

Friday was THE day.  The end of the count down.  The official end of vacation day.  THE GO HOME DAY.  We started off slow, since we woke up early.

With dogs, of course.

By 0900, we were on the road.

Asshole dogs thwarted a good family selfie.

Unfortunately, we sat in traffic for over 45 minutes near Quantico, which had no alternative way around.  Of course.. and I would have went down the toll road had it been open for our direction when I passed the last exit, but of course, it wasn't.. and I didn't know that this situation was a thing at the time.

Thanks to Twitter for keeping me abreast of the situation.. That was much appreciated.


We picked up lunch at the dog park stop in NC.  Then we had to make another bathroom break for me.. and I requested we stop at a McDonalds so I could get an ice cream.  I did at least share with the dogs.  So, trade offs.


When we got home, since we didn't have luggage, there wasn't anything to do after we fed the dogs.  So, we went to Teh PT House to hang out for a bit and have pizza.  When we came home, we brought all our mail that Teh PT Wife had picked up for us and it was like Christmas in June.


YAY smartwatch!

We're HOME Selfie!

It was nice to be home with all my preferred smells and things.. but the best part of being home?  My toilet closet, aka favorite room in the house.  Especially after my struggles the last 2 weeks...



After getting all the packages open, sorting through the mail, and putting away all the stuff in the box we had shipped from Germany... it was bedtime.


SATURDAY

I woke up with the dogs on Saturday by 0730, thanks Meri.  I sat on the couch and uploaded photos to my computer from my camera and set up my new watch (Fossil Sport gen 4).  I had signed up for my local police department's first annual 5k and I wasn't sure if I wanted to go or not.  But, I ultimately decided to go, despite getting there too late to pick up my race bib, so I could test my new watch.  #SorryNotSorry

The run was quick, but it was a 5 minute drive from home, so it wasn't that big of a deal.  After, I went through the car wash to attempt to get some of the baked bugs and spider webs off of Willow.  I can't really tell that it helped, but I tried.


When I got home, Teh German was opening up his new Apple watch (which I still holds he got because he was jealous that now I had a smart watch and he didn't).  So ya know, we had to take a cool kids pic of our new toys...


Since he couldn't do anything with his uncharged watch, he finally gave up and put it on the charger and went outside to mow down the jungle in the backyard.  I stayed inside and made the menu for the week and grocery list since THIS was the situation of our fridge:


Teh German had asked me to weed the flower beds since they really looked like ass, and even thought I didn't want to, I did.  He also made some idea contributions to the weekly menu, so that helped.  We also agreed that we'd take care of outside things, come in, shower, and slowly get ready, then we'd go out to dinner, then take care of the shopping we needed to accomplish. 

We headed out to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and then to Sam's then Walmart for the items on the list.  While we were out, I called the airline and was informed that our luggage had arrived in DC on Friday evening's flight and they would be shipping the luggage via FedEx on Monday, since they aren't open on the weekend.  This means that our luggage should arrive to us by Thursday.  Does our luggage contain ALL of our shit?  No one knows.. but hopefully on Friday, I'll have good news to report.

Saw this gem in the Walmart parking lot.
This person is a real American hero.

After we got home, we put everything away and then it was screen time for the rest of the evening.  I worked on photos and Teh German played with his new tech.

Finally, it was bedtime.

Also, due to lost luggage and lost brain cells, I now have THREE packs of face cloths open (granted, one of those isn't currently in my possession), because I opened a new pack before checking to see if there was already an open pack in the cabinet.  🤦  When did this become my life?  Ugh.



SUNDAY

Sunday was a semi-lazy day.  We had taken care of almost all the adulty things on Saturday, purposefully. 

This fucking goof.
I missed him.

I told Teh German he was getting up with the dogs, since I got up with them on Saturday.  Happy father's day!  looool.

When I finally got up, I started the laundry, which was bittersweet.  On the one hand, I was super excited to get to use MY washer AND dryer and all MY laundry detergent with smells of my preference.  Butttt, laundry is also a drag and it's not my most favorite chore (yes, I have a favorite chore, it's vacuuming, thanks for asking).

I call this piece:
The Return of the Laundry Fairy.

When I came downstairs, we had coffee and breakfast and I got to try out my new smores creamer.  Everything I never knew I needed.


After breakfast, Teh German installed his new exhaust on Suzi (the white motorcycle) and I finally got Puzzle and Audiobook time.  It.was.glorious!  12/10, do recommend!


Around 12:30, I finally went upstairs to shower and make myself presentable to the world.  I was committed to cooking mac and cheese at Teh PT House for the father's day/birthday gathering since I wanted to coordinate cooking time with grilled items.  It worked like a charm and the mac and cheese was delicious.

We spent the evening at Teh PT House socializing with our SC parents until it was finally go home time.  Teh German suggested we walk the dogs, so we did that when we got home, then we had couch time and watched an episode of Vikings.. and then, the weekend was over... and vacation was over...

______________________________________________

EXACTLY the weekend I needed before returning to the grind.  Well, half my grind.  I don't currently have school, so it's just work for me for the next 2.5 weeks.  Chem 2 (Lawd, halp me) starts on July 5th.  We were able to get all of the chores out of the way on Saturday and had a super enjoyable Sunday.

Inshallah that our luggage arrives on Thursday (or sooner is ok with me).  Preferably with everything inside (specifically, bottles of wine) intact and nothing stolen.

This week will be an interesting week of catching up.  I also have a millionty packages that need to go out (Amazon returns, shirt for a friend, wedding RSVP) and more errands to run (to Walmart to pick up another soap dish... siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh).  I will also be bringing Teh PT Kid to my school for his summer camp thing and picking him up in the afternoon. 

But by far, my most important Monday task?
GOING TO THE CHIROPRACTOR.
🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌

The other big event for the week will be dropping off my laptop at Best Buy for repairs.  I have to ensure that everything is set up on my work laptop beforehand though, so hopefully by Wednesday, my precious will finally get the doctor visit it needs.

Also, I will not be having ice cream every day anymore, so please keep me in your thoughts.  I know the struggle is going to be real.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Week(end) Review {06/10}

So long post warning, but this is THE Rome Adventures post.  All in one, with the exception of the big camera photos, which hopefully will be edited sometime in the next 365 days..  🤷

FRIDAY - June 7

Our train for Rome left Venice at 1125, so we agreed to be on the way to the train station, via water "bus" or wtf they are called by 10.  We had a slow-ish start, breakfast was provided by the hotel, so we had breakfast, came back upstairs, packed our shit, then carried a millionty pounds of luggage (23kgs + backpacks) down 3 flights of stairs, checked out, managed to buy tickets and get on the correct boat to the train station.  Fortunately, we had been at the train station the day before, so we had some semblance of an idea what this trip would entail.

Our final Rialto Bridge view.




Passing time at the train station, while waiting on our train to arrive.

Our train finally came and we boarded and found our seats.  Then we moved to different seats so we could see out the window.  Thankfully, no one came and said we were in their seats, so it worked out nicely.  I dozed and gazed out the window and read while we spent the 3.5 hours on the train.

The Italian countryside looks just like it does in the movies.

When we arrived in Rome, our first stop was to drop our luggage off at the AirBnB.  This involved an illegal bus ride since we couldn't figure out where in the fuck to purchase a bus ticket.  Thanks, Rome, for making it as difficult as possible to use public transportation.. as if I needed any more assistance in that matter.  It was a pretty sketchy ride because 1- the bus was fucking packed, balls to asses and we had huge suitcases, 2- When we boarded the bus with no ticket/pass, we saw another American (I saw her ID to confirm this) getting an expensive ticket for not having a ticket, 3- At no point is any ride on any Roman road a smooth adventure.

Fortunately, we made it to our stop, thanks Google, with no problems and didn't get caught.  The walk to the AirBnB from the bus stop was about 5 minutes, so not too long with lugging our suitcases over the streets.  I call them streets, but it's really just square stones laid together in a "road" type of way.  Let's just say that wearing heels in Rome is an ankle hazard, not that it was in my plan.

After getting the run down of the FOUR different keys it took to get into the flat and the rules and promptly deciding to ignore the rule about turning off the AC when we left.  Shortly after setting down our bags and turning on the AC to American temps, we headed out to find tickets for the bus, took the bus to the Vatican area where our night tour met, then we found dinner.  After dinner, we grabbed a gelato, then headed to the meet area to people watch and wait for our tour to start.



I SEE THE BASILICA!

Our night tour was for the Vatican Museums.  I opted for a night tour because I read that there was a significant decrease of people during the after hours tours than the during the day tours.  In a place that is already super crowded, this was important for me.  There were still a lot of people for a night tour, but it was ok.  Most of the photos I took were with my big camera, so not really anything to share here from my phone for the time being.  But this statute, deemed "Tits McGee" cracked me the fuck up.


Model of the Vatican.

Our tour ended at 10:15-10:30ish and then we had a debacle with the bus situation trying to get home. 

So PSA for people who are relying on Google to get them somewhere via public transportation.  Google is great, duh.. Except that sometimes, Google is completely fucking unreliable.  Also, it doesn't help when public transportation is ALSO unreliable.  Google told us which bus stop to go to, but then the bus wasn't there, and for someone who already struggles with public transportation, this is a problem.  Soooo, I went to Google and refreshed the suggestions and Google told me to go to another bus stop.  Soooo, we did.  And we missed the bus it was suggesting because THAT bus came early.. Soo then I refresh again and it tells us to go BACK to the first bus stop.  By this point, Teh German is pissed.  He is mumbling about how he doesn't understand why I have all these problems with public transportation and I offer to let him use my phone to get us back and he doesn't take me up on it, of course.  So we go back to the bus stop and wait.. and wait.. and wait.. WAY past when Google says the bus should have been there.  There was another couple standing at the bus stop with us, who had the exact conversation we had, and I finally suggested they don't go to the other stop.  We ended up waiting for 15 minutes past the expected time, not unusual for the Rome public transit system, for our bus to finally arrive.  We managed to get back to the AirBnB by 11:30, and we were both exhausted.


SATURDAY - June 8

I planned it purposely, but we had an early morning St. Peter's Basilica tour and dome climb and we were tired.  We made it to the tour meeting point and had breakfast at a tourist trap cafe for 40€ since we hadn't had time to go by the grocery store the night prior to pick up cereal.


Our tour met at the overpriced cafe, so that was convenient.  We gathered with the group and headed through Vatican security to start our climb of the dome
St. Peter's

We took the elevator halfway up and took the stairs the rest of the way. 


Like a postcard.

Some of the stairways leaned because we were climbing up a dome.

My ass definitely got the workout it needed (ice cream every dayyyyy) from all the stairs.  I picked up some stamps to mail off postcards from the Vatican, but since I failed to bring the postcards with us, I risked it and put the stamps in a baggie in my driest (not very) pocket, hopefully to make it back to the flat without adhering to each other (it was a fail).


Swiss Guards

After our St. Peter's tour, we headed back to the flat.  When I noticed how close the Pantheon was to our flat, I suggested we go by there first. 

The Pride Parade route was highlighted in rainbow on Google and it made me happy.

We made a stop by a small cafe for lunch on the way to the Pantheon.  It cost less than our overpriced tourist breakfast and was super delicious.


The biggest reason for going by the Pantheon, other than it's the Pantheon, was that it was freeee.  After a walk through and some photos, we stopped by a gelato place on the way home, and headed back to the flat for afternoon naps.  Before we went to the flat, we stopped by the store to pick up milk and a box of cereal muesli (which I suffered through because I do NOT like oats for breakfast, oats are for oatmeal and I want that shit soggy and sugary and warm) for breakfast on days that we had early activities.


 
So many of my shirts have these tiny holes from the belt that I currently have and it makes me so pissed!

After naps, we decided to walk to the Trastevere area to explore and grab dinner.

Found a bookstore!
AN ENGLISH BOOKSTORE!
#BookHunter

Saw this cute little necklace in a different shop.


After walking around, we headed back to the bridge where we'd seen a market that we were interested in walking through.

I managed to cut my hand on a cutoff zip tie trying to take a photo.. of course.

We ended up stopping at an overpriced (like everything in Rome's city center) hookah place, smoked a hookah, had a few drinks, and people watched.


After hookah, we headed back into Trastevere and found an empty table at a cafe we passed by to have dinner.


We didn't eat until around 10:15, which is super late.  Thankfully, we had naps, so it was ok that we got home after 11 and we didn't have anything scheduled for the following morning.

Passed this safe sex vending machine on the walk home.
I'm impressed.


SUNDAY - June 9

This was the day I finally announced to Teh German that I was for.real.ready.to.go.home.  Teh German needed me to wash clothes, which I hadn't wanted to do in Rome since there was no dryer.  A washer, but no dryer... which meant air drying the clothes on a tiny rack that was not big enough.

I did 2 loads and told Teh German to suck it up for the rest of the trip.  


We didn't have anything planned in the AM and I really wanted to visit the Jewish Synagogue because the inside dome was really pretty in photos I'd seen.  I suggested we pick up lunch in the Jewish Ghetto area, then go by the synagogue, then we could either go back to the flat and hang out or go straight to our Vespa tour meeting place.

These ruins were right by our flat.
I think this is where Julius Caesar was stabbed.  IDK.
It's old shit.

We ended up at a tourist trap in the Jewish Ghetto for lunch because the name of the place I wanted to go to, that I found on Google, didn't match any of the names of places we saw on the main street.  I read so many bad reviews about the place I was at, but the food ended up being good, even if a bit touristy priced.

 
After lunch, we headed to the synagogue, only to determine they were closed and to read on a sign that to go into the synagogue, a tour appointment had to be made.  I emailed the address later that night and never got any reply.  BOOOOOOO.

With that denial, we headed back to the flat to take care of business (i.e. poop) then we headed to the Vepsa meeting place... or so I thought.  Queue another Megan disaster story...

When I initially scheduled the Vespa tour, I googled the company, Scooteroma and found an address.  I put that address on the calendar so that way we had the info for when we needed it.  So, we leave the flat and head to that address and it is wrong.  There's nothing there except apartments and no rentable scooters.  So Teh German asked me if they had emailed me anything else. 

...they had.

The day before we left Germany, when we were at Lake Konstanz with Mama G, the company had been emailing me about an address to send a receipt to, which was, but whatever, so I replied quickly since I was also trying to not be on my phone since I was hanging out with Husband and MIL.  They send back a thank you reply email and I scanned it quickly and put my phone down.  Turnsssss out, in that thank you email, they also included an address for the meeting location.  Oops.

So we literally sprint walk in a millionty degrees (~93°F) to the correct location.  Teh German is PISSED.  But what do you do?  He was afraid we would miss our tour, but thankfully, we got to the first location super early, so we were able to make it to the correct location with 3 minutes to spare until the start time.  AND because we were the only ones on the tour, they would have waited for us.  Obviously, things that would have been nice to know ahead of time, but whatever.  We got instructions on how to ride a scooter (which is different from a motorcycle since there is no clutch involved) and we were off.  Thankfully, the ride dried off all my sweat and the majority of my clothes got dried.

I would 100% recommend this tour.  We did the Scooteroma Shuffle which was a Rome tour of old shit, street art, and a few food stops. 

Our first stop was the Appian Way and the Aurelian Gates (or whatever the walls of Rome are called).  The owner of the company actually showed up while we were there and introduced himself and even our tour guide was a little baffled.  Whatevs.  The tour guide, Mike, was totally awesome and offered to take pics of us, which was super awesome since all we ever have are selfies that I inflict on Teh German, and it's an infliction because he's not always as happy as he looks in the photos.




Mike even led us back down the wall to a section that was covered in Jasmine for a photo.  It was awesome.  Our first food stop was some traditional Roman street food and I have no idea what we ate, just that it was fucking delicious.


After noms, we headed into a section of town that has a LOT of street art.  All of the photos are on my big camera, sooo no photos yet.  Yolo, bitches.

Next, we headed to a good city viewing point.  Again, Mike offered to take photos.


Next stop was for the best gelato in Rome.  Now, each tour guide has their own "best" but Mike's place was 100% the BEST gelato place in Rome.  I don't like chocolate ice cream or chocolate cake but this chocolate didn't take like artificial chocolate, and it was sooo good.  Paired with strawberry?  NO RAGRATS, GENTLE READERS.


Our last stop was another city lookout.  More pics.  Awww.

PS. These are the red pants that Host Lady stained my clothes with.
Purchased in Amsterdam, finally worn in Rome..
I LURVE THEM.

Then our tour was over and I was sad.  Mike marked the places we visited on a map and made some suggestions for us for places to eat/drink near the area where the AirBnB was, which was cool.  Of course, I used Google to get us back home, and Google took us the scenic (and short) route, which was super cool since we walked by placed I wanted to see up close.



After we got back to the flat, we opted to stay in the AC and relax for the rest of the evening and test our patience with the slow ass internet.


MONDAY - June 10

Monday we had 2 tours scheduled: a riding tour of some old shit, the Appian Way, and some more old shit.  Then later in the day, a Colosseum tour.

The dog is chasing a rabbit.
I claim it's at least a sighthound, if not a greyhound.

So you may not know this about me, but I took 3 semesters of Latin in high school.  I loved it.  Unfortunately, we were allowed to use our textbooks for all of our tests (not so unfortunate at the time), so I vaguely recall any of it.  We did discuss some Roman history stuff in class, so that sparked the interest in Rome.  Add 20 years of Catholicism to that and I also had a significant interest in visiting the Vatican and learning about Roman history.

But from history classes and Latin class, I knew about the Appian Way and "all roads lead to Rome", so visiting actual pieces of the road has been on my list of "Things to Do Before I Die"... now that item is checked.

Appian Way selfie!!!!

After walking a short distance on the Appian Way, we stopped at a cafe for a toilet break and refreshments.  It annoyed me to no end to go to the bathroom and see toilets without a seat.  This was at more than one restaurant/cafe we visited.  Teh German later suggested maybe because there are people who stand on the toilet seat to squat (like in some Asian cultures).  I'm not really sure, but to hover is such a pain in the ass (thighs actually) and I didn't like it.


European Fanta > American Fanta

After our tour ended, we walked towards the Colosseum area so we could find the meeting place for our Colosseum tour and find a hopefully-not-so-touristy-place for lunch.  After wading through the masses of people around the Colosseum, we found the meeting point, and then happened upon a brewery right next door.  That was fine for us.  Teh German sampled several beers and we had lunch and hung out in front of the fan until it was time for us to head to the meeting point.


Teh German had beers, I had a brownie for dessert.

I received an email a few days before we left for Italy that our Colosseum tour was downgraded because the upper levels of the Colosseum had been closed for renovations and were not open to the public.  This has been known to happen, so the company gave us a 50€ credit per ticket (so 2 tickets x 50€ = 100€ credit) for another tour anywhere they offered tours in the world to use within the next 5 years.  I was annoyed about this because it meant having to remember it and being in one of those cities to use it, blah blah blah, but whatever.  We had no choice, so I just went with it.  Instead, they threw in another location to visit to fill the time that would have been spent at the upper levels.




We went into an old Roman store/apartment building.  It was actually multiple things built on top of each other, thus conveying the "lasagna" analogy of Rome's history.  There were frescoes painted on the walls (original from like single AD (after death, specifically after the death of Jesus) digits) and it was nice and cool, so that was nice.  After that, we walked around a park where the former emperor's palace was, I think.. By the end, I was tired from walking all my fucking life for the last 6 weeks all day and kinda stopped paying attention by that point.  There was some old shit, and mostly just the huge columns were original, so yeah, whatevs. 

After the park, the tour was over and we headed back to the flat.  Again, via the scenic route, thanks, Google.  When I realized that the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument (the white building with the 2 horses) was open, I kinda wanted to go inside.. but then Teh German got me good when he said, "Do you really want to have to go up all those stairs?" 

NOPE.  NO I DO NOT.
So, we didn't go.  #SorryNotSorry


When we got back to the flat, we checked the map that Mike had given us for the name of the burger/beer place he had suggested and we realized it was only a 10 minute walk away, so that was our dinner plan.

ZERO REGRETS about this life choice.  I wanted to order like 10 more and bring them home with me it was so delicious.


After dinner, we headed back to the flat and it was early bedtime.


TUESDAY - June 11

Late Sunday night, I emailed the Jewish synagouge to ask about admittance for Tuesday morning.  Monday evening there was still no response, so I asked Teh German if he wanted to go see some bones and he said yes, so I planned a crypt/catacombs tour through the company I had used for all of our other tours (Walks).  Not only did we have the 100€ credit, we also got a 10% off code from the driving tour on Monday morning.  #SCORE.  I emailed the company while we were having dinner on Monday night and got the crypt/catacombs tour all set up and it only cost $30 for 2 tickets after all the discounts.  #YESTHANKYOUPLEASE.

The tour started at 0945 and we had to be at the meeting point by 0930.  Thankfully, it was only a 15 minute walk away, so it was simple enough.  We visited the Capuchin Crypts first and got to see some super awesome rooms of bones.  No photos were allowed, so please enjoy my selfie with all the nostrils and chins.

It was awesome and creepy at the same time... As you can see.



Then, we went by bus, back to the Appian Way to Saint Sebastian Catacombs.  In Rome, they were not allowed to bury the dead inside the city walls (for sanitary purposes), thus why we took a bus and thus why we went back to the Appian Way. 

No photos were allowed at the catacombs either....


I did my best to imagine the catacombs before 1000 years passed, before grave robbers exhumed the remains and the coverings were re-purposed for other things (like half of the the Colosseum), but it was incredibly difficult.  It's difficult to imagine the opulence of Rome when all you see are holes in the walls of an underground cave.  This specific catacomb was a quarry before it was a catacomb, which is a perfect re-purposing if you ask me.

Then it was back on the bus to go to the lasagna house/store again.  Teh German and I discussed leaving the tour when we arrived to the house again, but I didn't get a chance to say we were parting, so we just stayed with the group and listened to a different guide's explanation, which is always interesting to me.  She pointed out some different stuff that the guy the day prior, so that was cool.  Then, the tour was over and we followed her directions that she had given someone else about finding the taxi stand and it was definitely not so direct directions.  We did end up a less touristy part of town, despite being in close proximity/in sight of the Colosseum, and we grabbed lunch for a reasonable price.


Meatballs, salad, and black rice.

After lunch, we opted to get a taxi and go back to St. Peter's Basilica because I wanted to mail off the postcards I had brought all the way from the US for that exact purpose from Vatican City, not Rome.  We took one last selfie at St. Peter's square, then we used our last bus tickets to ride back to the flat.



Since we had a dinner tour scheduled for 6 and we had some time, we took a nap to kill some time.  Never sorry for that type of good idea.

Our food tour met at a plaza within 7 minutes walking distance.  Perfect for us to roll out of bed, throw on pants, pee, and head out the door.

Fountain selfie while we waited on our tour guide.

I didn't really take a lot of photos on the food tour.  I was trying to enjoy the experience rather than take shitty cell phone pictures of random foods in dark corners. 

While on the tour, I purchased the 2 bottles of wine I was looking for and happened upon a store offering limoncello samples.  I ran in, took a quick sample, liked it, and bought a few bottles to bring back since it was 3 for 30€.  Tourist priced, but whatever, I sampled it, knew I liked it, and bought it, done.

I also had legit tiramisu and actually enjoyed it, which has never been the case before.  So, that's a thing. 


After the food tour, we headed back to the flat.  I laid out clothes to wear for the flight, selected an outfit to put in my carry on bag (for just in case) and then organized and weighed my bag to make sure it wasn't overweight with the 2 bottles of wine (it wasn't, #WIN).  After, I showered and then it was bedtime.


WEDNESDAY - June 12

Finally, return to America day.  I had scheduled a taxi pick up for 0910 because I wasn't dealing with the bus situation and train situation for over an hour to get to the airport when I could pay a flat rate, have someone pick us up and drop us off at the door and there would be zero mental effort involved for me.  The taxi arrived at 0840.  We ended up leaving the flat at 0900 and making it to the airport by 0940, which was earlier than I anticipated since I expected it to take us ~45 minutes, at least, to get to the airport.  Whatevs.

We managed to get checked in and find the gate we were told we'd most likely depart from without issue and we even managed to get an early lunch between.

Feelings about leaving Europe.
Feelings about going back to America.


Thanks, Europe, for shrinking my pants (in LENGTH, not the waist (which is what Teh German thought I meant when I said that to him)).

The landscape in Africa is incredibly different than that of America.

We left from Rome late and arrived in Casablanca, only to have to wait for ~20 minutes for a bus to arrive to bring us to the terminal.  Fortunately, our layover wasn't super short, so we had zero concerns with missing our flight.

Once we boarded our plane to DC we waited.. and waited.. and waited.. and finally there was an announcement that the luggage workers had suddenly went on strike... while loading our luggage.  Fantastic.  We ended up waiting for an hour and a half for someone to finally come and finish loading the luggage (what was THERE) so we could leave.  The flight was 8 hours + 1.5 hours sitting in the plane.. so that was tedious.  

Thankfully, the flight wasn't full, so Teh German and I had a row to ourselves after the lady on the end moved to her own row.  There was a child in the row diagonal to us that would randomly shriek at an obnoxiously high pitch that made me want to shake him and a few children in front of that row, but considering we were in the plane for almost 10 hours, they were mostly well-behaved, allahu akbar.

The bigger problem was SMELL.  During my European Adventure, I noticed that my feet/shoes have started to smell.  Mostly after days of walking a millionty miles, but smell they do.  In my Berks and also in my walking shoes, which is super unfortunate since I just got them on Black Friday.  This is relevant because I took off my shoes while we were waiting for take off, because it was a long flight and I've walked a millionty miles in the last few weeks and I'm clean.. so fine.  I curled my leg under me and smelled something.  I rubbed my hand on the bottom of my foot and there was a slight funk.  Nothing too serious, nothing that overpowered the lotion I had put on that morning before putting my socks and shoes on, but still, a slight smell... and the paranoia began.  

The real problem was that even with my feet on the floor, I could still smell the funk.  So I turned on the overhead vent to kinda blow the air from my face.  For the entire time that we waited to take off, I was texting Teh Running Bestie and at least 50% of the texts were regarding how stinky my feet are now and how disappointing it was and how should I fix this in my Berks and in my walking shoes, maybe I'd wash my walking shoes, blah blah blah...  I mean, this is SERIOUS to me, Gentle Readers.  SERIOUS.  We took off and I just dealt with the smell, super embarrassed that I was the cause of the funk, but no one else was sitting so close to me, and Teh German hadn't indicated that he could smell anything, so I just minded my business.

We were about halfway through the flight and I had to pee, so I put my shoes back on to go to the bathroom.  I came back to my seat and left my shoes on because they weren't uncomfortable.  AND THE SMELL WAS STILL IN MY SPACE.  

Now let's be real here, my feet are KINDA stinky, but not like, stinky with my shoes still on stinky and I started to get suspicious that it was maybe the old lady in front of me or the lady sitting behind me.  So I started doing some low level investigating... aka observation.  

At one point, I turned to do something and noticed there was a weird blue thing on the end of my arm rests.. and then I realized, it was the feet of the lady behind me.. AND THAT WAS THE SMELL.  Because when I turned the other way and saw the other foot on the other arm rest and couldn't escape the smell, I KNEW IT WASN'T ME.  For hours, I had tortured myself over this because I was so embarrassed and it wasn't even ME!  So much rage.  At some point, she finally put her feet up in the empty row beside her and I stopped smelling it.  Praise Allah.

This happens to be the same lady that an hour into the flight, I had to turn around and ask her to stop jabbing the screen so hard because she was tapping the screen so aggressively that my head was bouncing off the headrest.  WTF?  How do people have NO courtesy for others?

Also saw this adult man with his RAT TAIL.
#JesusTakeTheWheel

The longest part of every flight.

We, eventually, made it to Dulles.  During the flight, I watched Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born.  Teh German raved about Bohemian Rhapsody but for me, with my minimal knowledge of Queen and Freddie Mercury, it was ok.  A Star is Born was super depressing and not as good as I wanted it to be, after everyone's rave reviews. 

Of course, there was a 'Merika selfie.

It was our first time going through Customs together!  So that's a big deal.  After getting through Customs, we went to baggage pickup to discover, not to my surprise, that our bags didn't make it.  In fact, anyone who connected in Casablanca didn't have bags.. UGH.  I was less affected by this since I made sure to pack a spare set of clothes, my deodorant, and my toothbrush in my carry on bag.  I had made the suggestion to Teh German before we left that he also pack an extra outfit in his carry on, but he didn't feel like it, sooooooooooooooooo...  I had to do laundry before we went to bed.. Grrr.

Then, to add insult to injury, our bags MIGHT be on the Thursday flight, but we wouldn't be notified until Friday morning.  I noticed the hours on the claim form I had filled out said their hours were from 1400-2230.  The rep at the desk said we wouldn't find out if our bags had arrived in DC until after 1030 on Friday morning.  Fantasticccccc.  We had planned to leave Baltimore well before 1030.  I inquired about this situation and we were told that if we were not able to pick up our bags, they would be FedEx-ed to us.  Honestly, I don't care HOW the bags get to me, I just care that the fucking things make it to America.  I feel like once they get to America, my problems are significantly reduced.

Teh Running Bestie waited while I filled out the form for our luggage and then she picked us up in Willow.  When we got back to the house, it was reunite with the puppies time!!!!  Pax and Meri had went to the dentist while we were flying back, so they were still kinda stoned, but Meri did come down from the bedroom to greet us and snuggle with me, despite having been in the bedroom all evening.  I was so glad.


We stayed up and chatted until about 0030 with Teh Running Bestie and Teh Chief Smartass and with being awake for almost 24 hours (or more, idk, math is hard), it was finally bedtime.  We borrowed some sleep clothes and crashed.


THURSDAY - June 13

We got up around 0800 on Thursday, trying to get back into the routine.  We hung out on the couch for the entire morning, me catching up on work and internet things.  We socialized during lunch time when Teh Chief Smartass came home for lunch.  Then afterward, we finally got motivated and headed out to Target to pick up new underwear and socks and deodorant for Teh German, since ya know.. he didn't want to heed my advice.  /shrug

Also.. and most important.. we went by McDonald's and I had my first sweet tea in SIX weeks.  We also stopped and got gas so that way on Friday morning, we'd be ready to go and wouldn't need to stop.  When we got back home, I called the airline in Casablanca to see if our bags were put on the the Thursday flight and the lady there didn't have a record of our bags in the system.  FANTASTIC. 

So, after getting off the phone with the Casablanca lady, I called the representative at Dulles to see if they knew where our bags were.  It was confirmed that our bags were NOT on the Thursday flight.  Of course.  Why would they be?  That would be way too simple.  I explained that the bags would need to be shipped or flown to Charleston since we were leaving the area before they'd arrive.

To be completely honest, I read some nightmare stories while we waited on the plane after the announcement that the workers had suddenly went on strike that accccttually, the strikes started on June 3rd and people that didn't get their luggage on that day STILL didn't have their luggage and the airline wasn't responding to customer service inquiries..  Like, could this get any better?  At this rate, I'm just hoping that the bags end up in DC.  At least if they arrive on the correct continent they can be shipped.. if they are completely unaccounted for in Casablanca, there is no telling if we'll ever get our shit back. 

I really don't want to have to deal with Teh German if that happens.
It's already my fault because I picked these flights because they were cheap and this is what happens when we "save money".. so, if our shit is actually lost and we aren't compensated for it (which I imagine that we won't be in this case because I'm always expecting the worst), I'll never hear the end of it and we'll be paying for expensive ass direct flights for the rest of our lives.

After the call, I worked on this post and did work things until dinner time.  After dinner, it was chill time.  We watched Ridiculousness, which I hate and love.  Before bed, I did MORE laundry... ugh, and then it was sleepy time.