Departure day (Thursday, Sept 13)

So sad to leave! Silvia (Airbnb owner) showed up promptly at 5:28am to check us out, and we were headed out to catch the airport bus a few minutes later. The bus ride was a piece of cake, we had purchased tickets the night before and the stop was right across the street from our Airbnb. The adventure started once we got to the airport.

Check-in for the flight had not opened yet, and we stood around in crowds until it opened, 2 hours before the flight. Similar to the way there, had a layover in Istanbul.  Getting through security was easy and fast, and we had plenty of time to get some breakfast and some last minute souvenirs. The Budapest to Istanbul flight was short and uneventful, and I actually don’t remember anything about it.  Istanbul to Chicago turned out to be a bit more interesting.  Luckily, we decided to head to the gate early, where we then proceeded through 3 checkpoints where our boarding passes and/or passports were checked, and one where are bags were checked and we were patted down. Phew! Reminded me a little of Panama, where we had to move away from the gate so security could then screen us again (and take our just purchased sealed beverage bottles). Finally done with all the security, sort of.  There was one woman trying to bring either three bags of coffee or three bags of sugar (Egg thinks coffee, I thought it was sugar).  She and her traveling companion didn’t seem to understand that airport security was not going to let them bring it on board.  Honestly, I don’t exactly understand why.  Either way, the guy kept saying, it’s ok, it’s mine, and the security kept telling him, it doesn’t matter who it belongs to, you can’t bring it on board.

Egg says that Ryan and I are cursed when it comes to travel. At least it appears that way for this trip. There were operational problems with our plane. The flight was delayed 20 minutes, then another 30 minutes, then two hours. At that point, the airlines gave us food and drinks, which is never a good sign! After that, they changed our gate. Luckily, we all stuck around, and just got shuffled up to the new gate. Anyone who had wandered off had to go through the at-gate security process again! Being delayed did allow us to FaceTime with Sam before he left for school. Pretty sure he was more interested in the chocolate milk mom was giving him for breakfast than actually talking to us.

We boarded the plane and got to our seat, where there was a small boy, maybe about 5 years old, standing with a large bag. He didn’t speak English and we weren’t quite sure what to do. Eventually, his grandmother came from further back in the plane to fetch him. Our row, bulkhead, consisted of Egg and Kate on one side, Ryan and me on the other, and a family with two kids, 3 years and 1.5 years, in between us. The row behind us had another baby, and they were all playing musical chairs with the bassinet in the bulkhead.   I cannot imagine traveling with little kids on that long of a flight, but I guess you do what you have to.