Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Well, the Dutch certainly know how to treat you right. We are flying KLM- Royal Dutch Airlines, and our flight here was amazing. The seats were comfortable, there were lots of drinks, and the food was good. That’s right, the food was good. Both of the meals they served were great. In fact, my "western chicken," had such good flavor that I almost licked the sauce off the tray. I managed to restrain myself in the interest of not looking weird.

Jeff says it was without a doubt the nicest flight he has ever taken. It was, of course, also the most expensive flight he has ever taken, but that is beside the point. Actually, KLM gave us an adoption fare that has no charge for flight changes and allows us one extra checked bag, and it was about the same cost of our other options because of the last minute nature of our trip, plus it is a short journey: about two eight hour flights and one four hour layover in Amsterdam. We had the help of a very smart travel agent, Shirley, at Open Door in Palos Verdes. We are so grateful that she found this amazing schedule for us. We never would have figured this out on our own, and she was right when she said KLM would be very comfortable. The entertainment was lame though. Small TV covered in subtitles, and the movie showing was wretchedly bad. I watched it anyway. It was a romantic comedy in which a young female striving to make it in the corporate world played by Renee Zellweger is torn from her trendy Miami life and sent to Minnesota in the dead of winter to improve production in a factory town. She clashes with the local union rep, played by Harry Connick Jr, until they fall in love, and eventually save the plant and town from being closed by the evil corporation by mass producing tapioca pudding. I didn’t make that up. There were no funny parts. None. The acting was so ridiculously bad and the dialogue matched it. I should have just gone to sleep but I am such a sucker for in-flight movies. Watching them makes me feel like I am getting my money’s worth. One upside of the in-flight entertainment was that there were tons of newspapers to choose from, so I read the WSJ and FT. It was nice to catch up on the news as we have been way too busy to read the Trib the last few days. Then I slept for quite a few hours. Jeff wasn’t able to sleep as much. Too enthralled with NCIS reruns, I guess.

Now we are sitting in the airport in Amsterdam for our layover. We walked around for the first couple of hours, and went to the airport art museum (small, but some beautiful paintings). Now Jeff is resting, and I am sitting here typing away.

In all seriousness, this day has been difficult for me. When we arrived at the airport I became very emotional, and actually started crying in the baggage check-in line. I couldn’t believe that this was finally happening. It has been such a long, hard road to this place, and I am so hoping that we are nearing our journey's end, but also apprehensive because of all the things that could go wrong. Then I almost cried again because my carry-on didn’t fit into the recently downsized box, not because of the bag measurements, which fit what they have posted online (checked and rechecked last night), but because of the stupid handle and wheels. The KLM agent wanted to check them for us, but I couldn’t let her. Our court clothes are in those bags, and all of our paperwork duplicates. When I explained she gave us a size waiver and allowed us to carry them on.

We are so excited to meet Tommy and to bring him home, but we still miss Leah. I want them both. After things had settled down and we were in the air, I had some time to reflect on the events of the last few days, something I have been unable to do in all the hustle and bustle of packing. It is difficult to process the range of emotions that we have experienced since Wednesday (Leah's Birthday). Thank goodness for long flights.

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