So anyway back to the beginning a bit ... we check in at Philadelphia early and our flight isn't on the board. No big deal according to US Air, they said that we should wait and check the board for our Lufthansa flight (we had no clue at this point that there had been a strike - which happened day before!!!) So we're sitting there, for about an hour 1/2 and Sam goes and checks with the counter and he's gone for awhile (there is a line) and in the meantime I whip out my handy Blackberry and check Lufthansa's website. Flight cancelled. Sam is walking back, frustrated because he'd waited but the line was too long so he just got out figuring we'd get the information somewhere else when I had to break the news to him....cancelled. (Since this is a family site, I'll leave out all the four letter words that came next.)
Then they said that third flight was cancelled due to weather. OK, I'll GIVE THEM THIS ONE. By THIS TIME, they had a legitimate case. It was storming pretty hard. But you know, if you wait long enough anything can freaking happen! So we went to ticketing and again Sam had to calm me down (crying) and he got the airline to get us a hotel for the night (nice that they paid but didn't help me feel better -----------how do you explain to a three year old who says "I can't wait to see you Mommy" and then "Why aren't you going to be here Mommy" that you can't be home after 11 days??) The girls don't really have a concept of time yet, but Zach does somewhat and I felt HORRRRRRRRIBLE that I told him I was going to be home and I didn't make it (I probably cried for two hours yesterday.) Of course, you know we have no luggage right - no toothpaste (thanks to it being confiscated out of my bag for being 4 ounces and not 3 at the Philadelphia airport the night before) we really have no ANYTHING except our carry on which contained our camera, computer, books, etc. They put us in a Howard Johnson hotel and they didn't have anything to spare (probably used up by everyone else in the same boat!!) So UGH, right?? The funny thing (or not so funny - we went from the Hotel Keppler Saturday night - a hotel designed by the same guy who designed the Four Seasons in Paris - and was located a block off the Champs Elysees to the HOJO in downtown Philly on Sunday, heehee!)
Anyway, so to continue on to our lovey travel story - this morning, we get up at 4:30 to catch a 5:00 shuttle for a 7:40 flight. We're there plenty early, have breakfast, coffee, read the paper. Flight says ON TIME (YAY!) We get to the gate and it's a tiny prop plane. Lovely right? board. We're on the runway. We're taking off. We come to a SCREECHING halt. Not a good sign. We sit on the runway while they check the props. Running them at full speed. Off, on, off on. Only to find out, yea, something isn't working.....we're going to have to GO BACK TO THE GATE.
Castle in the clouds, Neushwanstein Castle ......... it's not fuzzy, it's just...mist.
Our hotel in Hohenschwangau - see Neushwanstein in the top right. You can't see (but will in later pictures King Ludwig's boyhood castle up to the top left of the picture.) Our room was the second window on the first level of rooms with the balcony (just above the awning) and faced the castle.
One of our silly pictures that had Zach freaking out - top of Zugspitze Mountain - sort of looks like we photo shopped Sam in here - I promise we didn't. Amazing photo isn't it?
Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg Germany. We didn't tour inside this one - time didn't permit - we wanted to head on to France (we were driving)
The French countryside is just as you'd imagine it. Rolling hills, fields, vineyards, pastures....I loved the animals and there were so many cows ... it was so beautiful. We detoured off the Autobahn to see the Argonne National Forest and the American Cemetery - from WWI. Pretty amazing, more than 14,000 graves and almost 1,000 unknown. The deaths all took place between a relatively short period of time and all the remains were eventually transported to Argonne. You'll see photos in blogs later in the week.
Me @ The Louis Vuitton store .... Sam snapped a photo, had to share! :) You really feel like you "belong" on the Champs Elysees when you are carrying a LV shopping bag ... one place we went in (the Notre Dame Cathedral) was checking bags and they looked at the outside of my LV bag and just said "oh you're fine!" Heehee! Paris, gotta love it!
Eiffel Tower at dusk
Another shot of the Eiffel Tower ... it doesn't look as big when you're walking the streets in Paris, but when you're under it, it's amazing. We took a "behind the scenes" tour of the tower with a guide (there were only 5 of us) and we got to see some really interesting things that only few people get to see - the mechanics of the elevators, an underground bunker (that would be used by the French President if there was a war - and was built during the war) - a catwalk they use to maintain the lights that sparkle each evening .... just incredible.
Anyway, like I said, just a couple of the shots! Hard to pick of my 500+!
Well, once again............have a good night!