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29 June 2015

The Nightmare that was Traveling

Hello friends. Happy Monday.
I hope this email finds you well.

This is me complaining for the moment... but that is pretty much simply because the trip totally sucked,

So I didn't sleep much Friday night/Saturday morning, no matter how hard I tried. I think it was just the nerves of the trip. Anyone who knows me knows how much I dislike flying and avoided it when possible. So I finally gave up on sleeping around 0615 and decided to finish getting ready to go and head down to the lobby to meet everyone else around 0650. We were told that we needed to have our stuff in the vans by like 0755 because we were leaving at 0800, but of course two people were late. I don't know why it's that hard to be on time.... it just infuriates me.

We finally got to the airport around 0900, which was kind of irritating to me. We didn't leave until 1240, but had to be there at there stupid early. We got checked in, dropped off my suitcase, and the lady at the desk was nice enough to give me TSA precheck so I didn't have to remove my shoes, jacket, or take out my electronics. Then three of my friends and I went and sat in a little bistro to kill time. They ate, didn't enjoy it, and then we went to sit at our gate. 

Murch and I both have walking canes, so we were supposed to board first. Instead, the airline people let all the families with children board before us, so Murch and I didn't have a lot of time to get situated before we were bombarded with everyone else. This didn't make me too happy because I don't like being rushed. I use pre-boarding for a specific reason.... but that's whatever. The pilots came over the intercom to tell us that before we left the gate, they had to start one of the engines at the gate because it wouldn't start on it's own..... I'm an Air Traffic Controller and know that that's not right. My only question is why are we using airplanes that have issues (I forget if I told you guys but when we flew from Norfolk to Atlanta, the airplane had a cracked windshield) instead of just switching airplanes to one that is safe. In the Army, these are issues that will ground an aircraft from flight, why is this different in the civilian world?!?!?

Getting through the airport in Atlanta wasn't bad, we made it to the tram thingy right as it arrived, so we didn't have to wait until we got to our gate. This was like a 3 hour wait, but it wasn't bad. I got a snack wrap and fries from McDonalds and this is when I downloaded those games that I talked about yesterday. I also got the gentleman at the counter to switch my window seat to an isle seat, even better, it was a seat where I could stretch out my left leg. This is where the good things ended and things went stupid.

We were stuck sitting on the airplane at the gate for a mix of two short thunderstorms (apparently people don't understand how lightning and severe thunderstorms will ground an entire airport- I wasn't mad about that. I understand that due to my job). The part that irritated me was during the times in between the storms, the crew kept having to load new things onto the airplane, like why wasn't this luggage all put together to be loaded while we were waiting for the thunderstorm to pass? During this wait, the ac wasn't working right, so we were all overheating in the airplane. Once we finally got moving, we then had to wait on the runway for 22 other aircraft to take off in front of us due to the weather delay. This caused another 30 minute delay for our takeoff. 

Once we finally took off, the pilots or crew didn't instill much confidence in me due to their inability to talk in complete sentences. The safety video was like a elementary school child put it together. None of it (outside of the words they were saying made much sense). It actually made my headache hurt worse then it already did. I started watching The Book of Life (for the second time) but then they had to restart the entertainment center because it wasn't working properly and the system does NOT have a functioning fast forward button, I basically just had to re-watch over half the movie again to get back to where I left off. The internet wasn't working right until about 4 hours into the flight (which I was planning on using to ease my nerves from flying and my irritation with how this flight was going- if I am going to pay hundreds of dollars for this ticket (for a trip the Army is making me take) then the stuff that I pay for better freaking work!

This pilot was worried about turbulence two separate times that he stopped the food and drink service right before they got to me. And we didn't even hit any turbulence! The food was meh (don't expect much from airplane food), but at least it was something to help settle my acid reflux (which was acting up because of the nerves). I managed to sleep for 2 hrs and 10 minutes during this 8 hour flight (I wear a LifeTrak watch that tracks see, heart rate, steps taken, miles walked, and it can track workouts too (but I haven't figured that one out yet). I rarely sleep on airplanes, especially when I'm irritated, in pain, and my nerves are fried. 

We were two hours late landing in Frankfurt airport, then we had to go through Customs and then wait 30 minutes for our bags to make it out at baggage claim. One of the guys in my group was taking a train too, so we had to go try to get new train tickets, since we missed our trains. We had to go to 3 separate places before we found the right place to pick up our new tickets, which cost me another 63 euro (on top of the 35 Euro that I already paid for my first ticket) and sent my heart rate sky rocketing to 165. I was not happy!

Thankfully everything was smooth after that. Mo picked me up from the train station in Stuttgart and we went to get lunch. We hung out for a while after that, me trying to wake up enough to drive back to my base. He had to work today and I didn't, so I decided to head home. I didn't leave until around 2200- which was later then I intended. I made it home just after midnight and went to bed after 0200 this morning. 

Thankfully I slept more today then I have in quite a while (including after my trip to Busch Gardens last weekend). I woke up for an hour and a half this morning around 0800, and then fell asleep again. Needless to say, my back is on fire, my entire left leg is throbbing, my right hip is fighting me to cooperate properly, and my head is throbbing. I've spent most of the day hiding in my room with no lights other then my television or cell phone. It's hard to move today. 

For once I actually look as miserable as I feel.

I got called into work shortly after I woke up finally because I had to sign some paperwork. This meant I had to drive to work, which is not something my body was happy about. Once I got to work everyone wanted to ask about my trip and if I knew anything yet about the process of my VA claim.... I didn't want to talk about it because I was in pain, but I was polite. I checked my email briefly (to find the paperwork that I needed to re-sign for the 4th time) and I had 121 emails to go through. That's for tomorrow though, I am not dealing with that today. I tried to send an email out and since there were two ID cards in the computer, when I thought I was putting in the password to my card, it was actually to the other card and my coworkers ID card got locked out (for which I feel really horrible! It's a pain in the ass to get the cards unlocked).

The highlight of my day today was getting my Find Your Voice kit from Kristin for the workshop starting Wednesday as well as my Marvel Collectors Corps box. It was themed Ant-Man.

a variant cover for comic #5, an Ant-man t-shirt, a collectors pin and patch, two mini bobble head figures, and a Funko Ant -man with a real sized Ant-man figure included. I love how these subscription boxes are themed, but they only come once every two months. I wish they came more often.

The Find Your Voice 2015 main kit with a currently stamp set, extra Currently cards,  a number stamp set, and the relationship stamp set. Can't wait to play with all these pretty things for the workshop

Needless to say I've literally had a killer headache ALL day long on top of the other pain I'm in, which has not put me in a good mood. It's a good thing that my contact with the outside world was limited for face-to-face contact and my online contact was with people I wanted to be in contact with.  I have to work nights this week (only 2, possibly 3 nights) before we have a 4 day weekend for 4th of July, and then we don't have flights again until August- thanks to block leave starting a few days after the 4 day and lasting until almost the end of July.

That is the end of my rant. Honestly the trip probably wouldn't have been as bad were I not in as much pain, if I had slept more and wasn't completely exhausted, if my stress level hadn't gone through the roof, and everything didn't hurt. Oh well. I thankfully will only have to make that trip one more time, and that is when I leave Germany for good. It'll be a one way trip, that will be fantastic!!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I am going to try to make myself stay up a little longer to get into a type of schedule for this week.