Let me just start off by saying, "I have a lot of I-didn't-really-think-this-through-moments." I got home from Louisiana on a Wednesday and hadn't realized I was leaving on Saturday (October 1) for Dubai. While in Louisiana, I thought October 1 was Sunday. Woops. I crammed in packing, meeting with clients and catching up with one my favorite travelers, Katy, and her wee little one. I was pooped. So you could say that when I booked my ticket to Dubai (about two weeks before the trip), I hadn't realized my departure date was so soon after my arrival from another trip. woops.
On about a half hour of sleep, I headed on BART to the airport. I was very excited, but tired. I enjoyed the journey to the airport on BART. My suitcase trailed behind me as I walked with a sort of pride that I've been so fortunate to travel. My lungs felt fresh and cool as I breathed in the morning air, and my parka from Uniqlo proved to be an excellent packing choice. (Did you know it balls up into about the size of two of my fists? Amazing, I know!) At the airport he people clamoured, mindlessly lost; I dip, dodged, dived, ducked and dodged these travelers focused on reaching the lounge for breakfast. YUM. Low-fat yogurt and a plain, toasted bagel with light cream cheese on it filled my belly with pre-flight delight.
I boarded a plane from San Francisco headed to Denver where I'd begin my international flights. The flight was pleasant with a bit of turbulence, but nothing to disturb my nap. When I reached Denver I encountered even more lost travelers. I suppose international traveling exasperates traveling anxiety.
One such example was a group of 30 something men who were frantically signing up for a Lufthansa mileage program, to which I advised them not to unless they traveled through Europe often. (Sign up with a carrier that has tons of domestic flights out of your airport so you can rack up points faster as well as take advantage of their services). Turns out they were going to Munich via Frankfurt (my layover) for Oktoberfest. I had to tell them they missed it. They were obviously sad, and it was then I realized they had not planned a single thing about their trip aside from their flight. Yikes.
We went on our way, and I boarded the plane. I found a nice man to put my luggage in the overhead compartment and snuggled into my window seat (with an empty middle seat next to me.. score!). In between naps I enjoyed some romantic movies including "Something Borrowed" which I thought was a great movie with pretty good acting (aside from Kate Hudson), until I got to the end. The movie was a bust.
Finally I landed in Frankfurt, but even then I still had about 8 hours left to my journey, a layover and a 6 hour flight. Thankfully Geoff would be meeting me in Frankfurt from New York. I navigated my luggage through Frankfurt airport through long, boring hallways finally to be met by security where I proceeded to unpack all my goods for inspection. I was waiting for my luggage to come out of the xray (and contemplating the meeting of life) when someone greeted me with a "cute outfit, cute hair". I looked up and it was Geoff! Hurray. I had some company. We got to a lounge where an attendant let us know there was an even nicer lounge down the walkway. And it most certainly was better; the Senator Lounge was stocked with yummy foods, sausage, beer and comfortable chairs. I even took a shower (wonderful because I was really starting to feel gross). We boarded our flight from the lounge which I was quite impressed with.
On the plane we watched some shows/movies, excitement for Dubai heightening as we got closer to our destination. I ate a good amount of candy on this flight in addition to a meal Lufthansa provided.
Two days before Dubai my sister, Meredith, and I made a trip to Target. I don't exactly remember the details of my purchases, but I do remember being faced with a candy dilemma. With Halloween approaching, piles of candy stocked the rows of Target shelves. I perused through the bounty and came across a medium size bag of chewy sweettarts. I literally stared at it for a couple of minutes, trying to decide if I should spend the money to rot my teeth. I picked it up and walked away, but when I reached the end of the aisle I decided to put it back. I returned the candy to its candy-home, gave it a few glances (like I might to an attractive man), and that was it. I picked it up and bought it. Yay. That bag of candy lasted me two weeks (with even some sharing) in Dubai. Score.
So we finally arrived in Dubai and survived a long wait in the customs line, to be greeted by Geoff's friend, Dave. He used the drive home as an opportunity to acclimate us to Dubai and its culture, including a brief explanation/history about the United Arab Emirates, royals, locals and other fun facts.
I melted into bed in Dubai about 30 hours after I woke up in California the "day" before.
Dubai. It begins. Look forward to more wordy/lengthy posts to come. :)