December 2 - Crouching Tiger

We woke up early, and heard the extremely loud noise of a FedEx plane aborting its landing right by our house because of the heavy fog.  This wasn’t how we wanted the day to get started.  Our plane had arrived the night before, and was theoretically waiting for us at the gate, but still, we didn’t want any fog-related issues.  As it got a little lighter, we realized the fog wasn’t that bad.  We could see the runway about a mile away, and we could also see downtown okay.  So we weren’t too worried about the fog.

Crystal’s parents came to drive us to the airport, and Crystal’s dad commented “you guys pack light.”  We each had just one backpack, plus Crystal had a purse and Justin had a camera bag.  At this point we have, or at least think we have, a pretty good handle on what is necessary and what we won’t use much at all, and also what we can buy where we’re going.  Since we were flying internationally, we were able to use the United lounge, and we chatted with Melissa, the bartender.  She gave us several nice pours of bubbly, and we realized we needed to scoot.  We were late-ish to the plane, arriving about five minutes after boarding had started, but there weren’t any issues finding space for our stuff in the overhead bins.

The plane was at full capacity, and the flight attendants mentioned it was a “completely full flight.”  We slept for a bit, and otherwise just read and listened to podcasts.  In Dulles, we had about 60-90 minutes for our layover.  We were about 2/3 of the way to our gate when Crystal realized that she’d left her Kindle on the plane.  So we walked back, and they thankfully did have her Kindle at the gate.  We then walked back to the new gate a second time, and it was craziness everywhere.  The corridor was full of people, and many people were just standing in the walkway.  We stopped into the United lounge for about 2 minutes, just long enough to get a couple snacks and some water.  

At our gate, a plane to Munich was boarding right across from us, and that gate agent was way louder than ours, to the point we couldn’t hear anything about our boarding.  When boarding started, everyone huddled together, mainly because right near the front was the only place anyone could hear anything.  Boarding was taking forever because they were utilizing some sort of face recognition technology.  At some point one of the agents said to stop using it.  So it got used only on the people with kids and the First Class passengers; we don’t think they would’ve caught any terrorists in those groups, but who knows.

On the plane, there were two babies right behind us.  They were kicking our seats before we even took off, and they continued crying for the first couple hours of the flight.  Justin watched an HBO documentary called “100 foot wave” about big wave surfing at Nazaré, Portugal.  He put that in his back pocket if we needed a version 4.0 of our trip.

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