May 5 – Travel Day

Today has been a surprisingly great day.

We found out yesterday that we are flying into the wrong city. Our hosts are in Genoa but we are flying into Bologna. That’s a three hour drive from one city to the other. But no problem, we can catch a train. It will take us four hours and cost us 65 euros, but that is a relatively inexpensive solution to our big problem. So that incident could have dampened our spirits, but it didn’t.

We left for the Kiev airport via taxi and the drive was easy. There were few people at the airport so going through security was a breeze. We were fed sausage, bratwurst, and mashed potatoes on the plane and they were delicious! Then we arrived in Vienna and it was rather grey and cold out, but the airport had some great places we could do some window shopping at. After we got to our gate, Kev went off in search of food and found that there was free wireless. Sweet!!! And then it started to rain.
It didn’t just rain, it poured. They were big fat drops coming down in sheets. It was incredible. I haven’t seen rain like that in years. And then it thundered. And then there was lightning. It was a beautiful display of Mother Nature flexing her powers.
And then our flight was canceled. Apparently there was a malfunction with some of the wiring on the plane, or something of the sort, so we would be re-booked on the next available flight. Many people were not pleased; however, this potentially provided us with a chance to get rerouted to Genoa without an additional cost to us. A stewardess lead the pack of nixed-passengers to the departure which required us to leave the airport and then reenter it.
I somehow managed to stay at the front of the cue of people so Kevo and I were helped out first. And life just got better and better. Not only were we going to be rerouted the following day to Genoa (albeit we’ll now have a transfer in Munich), but they were going to put us in a hotel, get our luggage for it, and give us food vouchers! Yeah!!! Oh yeah, and the hotel was across the street – 50 feet across the street!! And to top it off, it was a very, very lovely hotel. The bathroom is in my Top 10 List of all time great Hotel Bathrooms, ever.

I watched the news and took and nap while Kev indulged himself by taking a bath. After a wee bit, we headed back to the airport to pick up our luggage and to get free wifi. After about 30 minutes, we headed back to the hotel, got our workout gear on, and headed down to the Wellness Center (i.e. that is code for gym). We did some light cardio and some stretching. Life was good.
But then things took a turn for the worse. My luggage was damp. No, not damp, wet. I would say that 90% of my clothes were wet in some way or another. The bottom and the entire left side of my luggage must have been sitting in a puddle. How depressing. Kev and I were cheery customers and were flexible….why was I thanked with wet luggage? Yes, it was raining cats and dogs, but come on. Sigh. I spent the next half hour hanging up my clothes (t-shirts, performance outfits, pants, and all my socks) around the room. Some of them were over lamp shades, near the tub, and on hangers in the closet or the bathroom. The only hope was that everything would be dry by morning.
We had to move on from this unfortunate moment, so we headed downstairs to eat dinner. OMG, it was lovely. There were three platforms of food: salad bar and mini fixings, hot food, and dessert. Kevin made himself a monumental salad and I grabbed bits and pieces here and there. Highlights: lasagna, grilled vegetables, a breaded tomato thing, pesto-crème vegetables, chocolate pudding, and the satisfaction that I was able to order drinks in German with a flawless accent (the downside of that, of course, is then I was presumed to speak German and then when I was further questioned about something or rather, I couldn’t answer). I felt like I was making progress towards my goal of being a secret agent who, naturally, spoke six languages fluently. Note: I don’t speak any languages fluently….English pending. 😀

Then it was off to bed. We’ll be getting up in less than 5 hours. I will need to repack my luggage, eat, and check my luggage in.

We have Arrived!

We finally made it to Sweden around 5pm their time and it was a lovely day out. It was sunny and even a tad warm (when there was no wind). After Kev filed a “lost luggage” claim, we exchanged some money and headed to the Nice Bed &Breakfast. It’s a very cute yellow building that looks very well insulated. In fact, all the buildings look well insulated, but no surprise since the Swedes truly have winter out here.
I laid down for a nap while Kev played on his computer. I think at some point he napped because we both got up around 8pm to take showers and then meet Jane (one of the organizers) for dinner. The showers are very cute, but require that one squeegee the floor. There is no basin or anything to stand “in” so the water seems to spray/splatter all over the ground. After that, we headed outside and down the street about a block, there was Jane and Steven Mitchell! The restaurant we went to for dinner was only a block from our place and the place was super cute. The ambiance was calm and modern and the food was excellent. We all ordered pizzas which were thin but large. Kev and I both had a Tropicana (ham, banana, pineapple, and curry), Jane had something with meat, and Steven had an egg and something.
After dinner we headed out to meet up with Dax and Alice. It was great to see them again. We hung out at the dance studio briefly and then Steven and I headed home because we were exhausted. Kev stayed back and hung out with the gang and had a great time (so he told me the next morning).

Off to bed!