Flying to Venice with a Stop in Amsterdam

3 Jul

Fooled you! Did you really think Nicole could just drive to the consulate, as she could have done in the first place, and receive the visas immediately? Nah – the consul is out of town for a month, so she has to chance it. But, praise the Lord, it works and the visas come just in time (fewer than 24 hours before the plane takes off!). She cleans the car and ships it off (which, unlike everything else so far, went perfectly according to plan), takes the 5 suitcases and 3 carry-ons with her, and heads to the airport with your sons.

As with nearly everything else, there are complications at the airport, but with some help from the USO and the one wise man who worked at the airline, your family gets on the plane with 20 minutes to spare.  The ride is 9 hours to Amsterdam, with an hour & a half layover, then a 2-hour flight to Venice.  Each boy sleeps two hours on the first flight, staggering their sleep so that they are only asleep together for an hour.  Nicole keeps them occupied with the inflight movies, snacks, small presents, lollipops, and of course Angry Birds on the cell phone.  Also, it is a polar flight, so therefore bright outside all “night” long.  So Nicole gets no sleep.  But although Frankie is very active, he only cries for about 15 minutes total, and that is A-OK with Nicole.  The layover is smooth and the second flight is uneventful, even though Frankie is dying to get up and walk around the much smaller airplane.  You wait just outside security at the Venice airport, and your family is struggling so much with their luggage, that you are permitted through to help them carry everything out.  But you’ve just missed the bus to the Army base, so you all have to wait 2 1/2 hours for the next one.  The time goes quickly reunited once more, though, and before you know it you are on your way to the hotel.  You have all arrived at last!  Since it is 4:30 in the afternoon (that’s 16:30 to you soldiers), if you go to bed and stay asleep now, you’ll be all caught up and fully adjusted to the 9 hour time change – bright and ready for the new day.  Do you fall asleep in the late afternoon, or do you wait till later to see if that works better?  Go to The First Few Weeks if you stay up longer, or continue reading if you fall asleep now.

You do all fall asleep now.  But some of you wake up around dinnertime, and others stay sleeping until just about midnight.  Which brings us to the extraordinary tiredness of The First Few Weeks.

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