We Made It!

We left our home in Santa Barbara at around 8:30 PST on Monday morning, January 8. Our trusty friend and chauffeur Rich Dixon drove us the two plus hours to LAX and waited with us through check-in. Thanks Rich!

We then entered the gauntlet of airport security. To be really honest, it all seemed very disorganized and confusing. There were no clear instructions given to travelers as to what, where or how our belongings and we were being checked. Clearly, this process was known to some of the people in line who were rapidly shoveling off their shoes, emptying their carry-on bags into plastic tubs, and shuttling them down the conveyor belt to be x-rayed. Mind you, we don’t travel all that often; this was all really new. Now multiply that times three kids, and you arrive at some major line slowage. The security folks were very friendly and even joked with the kids asking Sam for his autograph and laughing at Emma. And then suddenly we were free to roam about the International Terminal. Pretty weird.

After a few initial first remembered flight jitters by the kids, everyone settled in for the eternal flight. Sarah Jane raised her hands during take-offs and landing as if we were on a roller coaster. Sam promptly spilled the refreshments on the tray behind his seat and was told by the wet man seated there that he’d be alright. at least that’s what we thought he said; his German was really fast. The man in front of me poured water in my shoe, while I was wearing it, Megan spilled her own beverages on herself, and Emma let everyone in the economy class section know just how loud/three she could be. All this in the first thirty minutes of our eleven hour flight. And that only got us to Frankfurt!

Twenty four hours after leaving home, at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, January 9th we touched down in Cairo. A family we met while disembarking from the plane told us that the people here were very warm and friendly. They also welcomed us to the organized chaos they called life in Cairo. After an uneventful customs check-in we went to look for our luggage. The place was packed. And being the total blend in family that we aren’t, we were quickly snagged by dozens of “helpful” men who wanted to carry our luggage and get us a taxi. One of them claimed us first and drove the others away. He escorted us through the throngs of people waiting for friends outside the terminal. It turns out this was the main day that Muslim pilgrims were returning from the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Everyone had to touch the blonde hair of our kids. They didn’t seem to mind or notice; perhaps they were too jet-lagged. Our luggage guide offered to call our friend Kerry, who was to arrange our pick up, after we discovered that the battery in our cell phone was dead. She was there somewhere in the crowd, and we finally connected. After a forty-five minute taxi ride across town we arrived in Maadi. Home at last!

It all seems very surreal. Sam told me that he felt like he was in a dream, that he would wake up and nothing really would have happened. Air travel has a way of shrinking our world. The travel of distance was kind of by-passed. What remained was a journey to another culture with no real transition time. Everyone arrived in one piece. We slept until 2:00 am, woke until 6:30 am, and slept again until noon the next day. We explored our neighborhood, not quite rested or confident enough to journey to the ancient world yet. But tomorrow we'll really venture out.

13 comments:

Mich said...

So glad you made it there safe and sound. LAX is like a differnt country as well. Sending you lots of love and hugs!

Sirica said...

You ROCK!!! So fun to hear about your adventure thus far! Loves to you all.

Linnie A said...

What an ADVENTURE! I've been reading these to the class and they loved it and feel like they are with you because of your fun anecdotes. This is great since you'll have all of these kids next year anyhow. As for Mireya and I, we miss you and love you all! Hugs all the way around, and of course an extra special snuggle to my buddy, Emma Gene.

laura said...

Way to go! The hardest part is over! I can't imagine a flight that long with my kiddos.
Hugs from all of us ... and especially big hugs from Daniel to Emma! (He can't wait to see photos of her on your blog.)

Colleen said...

Great reporting from "Our Man in Cairo!" I've been reading your reports to my class. We are tracking your whereabouts on our world map, kind of a "Where's Marty?" game. I am very proud of all of you!

jen said...

I love your blog! Although oceans and countries away, I can hear your voice.

jessica said...

Cairo was the first place I ever went outside of North America and it changed so much of how I see the world and live. I'll look forward to the conversations we'll have some day. In the meantime, please eat some koshari for me!
Lots of love, jessica in bc

Perry Hamilton said...

Very cool. Looking forward to photos I can share with my class!

Perry Hamilton said...

Very cool! I look forward to photos that I can share with my class!

FishMama said...

Definitely could hear your "voice" when I read your post. So excited for you guys! Wish we could meet up with you in France. I'll have to sell A LOT more articles to make that happen.

Dixon Family said...

Very cool images of the Coptic sites. The adventure has begun!

E said...

jeeez. this sounds way too fun. i wanna go!

-eliana

Michelle said...

hi!!!!!!!!! It seems like you are having lots of fun. We are to but it isnt as fun with out you..:(. Hope the rest of your trip is a blast. bye bye

-michelle<3