Sunday, August 14, 2011

When The Going Get's Tough, The Tough Get Going...And Take An Impromptu Trip Through Europe Pt.1

The kids and I landed in Germany at 3pm local time on Friday. I had maybe two hours of sleep on the plane and we had been traveling since roughly 4:30pm east coast time on Thursday. I was tired. My body clock was completely confused and I just wanted a bed. After we made our way though customs and German immigration, I gathered the girls and we headed to the base hotel across the street from the passenger terminal.

As the girls stood next to me I asked the man at reception, Otto, for a room.

"We have no rooms, we are completely booked. You can maybe check in the reservations room to see if they can find you something on one of the other bases close by," he explained to me in a thick German accent.

I felt tears threatening to well up in my eyes, blinked them back, and said "You have got to be kidding me..."

"No, ma'am, I am not kidding"

Those Germans and their sense of humor...

I wandered to the reservations room, dragging my gigantic suitcase behind me and asked the pretty blond girl sitting at the first desk about any room availability elsewhere. They had nothing as well. She suggested that I check back in an hour.

I went back into the lobby, sat with the children and tried my best not to cry. Here I was in Germany, with two children, a suitcase that probably weighed 70 lbs and no plan. The next plane to the UK was not going to be leaving until Monday and I couldn't even find a hotel room for one night. I sat with the children and tried to keep my spirits up. Surely, things would work out. Surely, I wouldn't have to sleep on the lobby or passenger terminal floor. I kept compulsively checking my watch and enviously looking at the people who had obviously had the luxury of planning receive their keys and head to their rooms.

An hour passed and I checked the reception desk. Still no rooms. I headed to the reservation room. At the point I must have looked pitiful. I bypassed the pretty blond girl and headed over to the middle aged woman sitting on the opposite side of the room.

"I need a room for the night for me and my two children and frankly I don't care if it is a broom closet; I just need to sleep." I don't know if it was because I looked the a haggled mess or if it was because something magically "freed up" or what, but we ended up in a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom suite with a kitchenette, dining room, and living room for the night. Only for that night though. We would be put out on our ear the next morning.

After a short ride across base with our German taxi cab driver, we arrived at our building. I lugged my 70lb suitcase up 6 sets of stairs to the 3rd floor. There of course was no lift. Oh well, just another bump in the road. Par for the course, really. I was just happy to have a room. Now, I just needed a plan....