Today was a very.....long.....day.
I knew I wasn't going to get to sleep in like I otherwise would on the boys' day off of school, but it was for a very good reason!!! :D I got to go pick up my mom from the airport!!!!!!! She flew all the way from Colorado to visit us in Germany and spend Christmas with us!!!!!!
When I had booked her ticket, the agent told me that she was getting in at 10:30, and so I planned accordingly. Two hour drive to the airport, plus extra time to get gas and such before hitting the road...I figured leaving at 8 am would be plenty of time (considering she had to go through customs and immigration) to get there to welcome her at the waiting area. Oh, how wrong I was...
It turns out that she was actually scheduled to land at 9:45, and not only that, when looking at the website, her flight was landing half an hour early!!!!!! It was already 7:45 at that point, the moment I should have been getting onto the Autobahn, and I still had to get dressed, get A dressed to go with me, get gas, put the destination into the GPS and everything! Once I had finally accomplished all that, the GPS told me that I had 3 choice for a route. I wanted to avoid the 2nd option, as there were construction warnings that way, and so of the two, I picked the one with the shortest drive time.
After about close to an hour into the drive (maybe 45 minutes), I got stuck behind a truck with flashing lights that blocked the way I needed, leaving me with only the option to turn left into the nearby town. He was setting up for a construction zone. It was so new that they didn't even have detour signs up! (That's what that truck was for!) So I went into the town and ignored my GPS while it told me to make U-turns, and it eventually got me on the path to go a different route. I was stuck on back roads going speeds far less than I would have been able to legally achieve on the Autobahn, and was already late. So naturally, the GPS had to take me to the second route. You know, the one with all the construction I was trying to avoid? Yeah, that one. And I got stuck behind a few more big trucks, to boot.
When I finally got to the airport, I parked in the first garage I came to, on the first open level I came to, in the first open space I came to! I was already super late and didn't want to waste time driving around looking for a space. It turns out I probably should have driven down a little bit further, as the spot I parked in was the furthest possible from the airport. A and I had to book it across the parking garage and into the airport. (He did really well in keeping up with me! I was impressed!)
Enter the next problem...I went into the wrong terminal. I've never picked anyone up from the Frankfurt airport before (and they didn't say on any of the signs on the road that Terminal 1 was departing terminal and that Terminal 2 was the incoming terminal). And I could not for the life of me find the way to get to the other terminal. After about an hour of walking around (including a jaunt outdoors, as I saw other people going that way), I finally was able to find the SkyRail to the second terminal. (A was thrilled to get to ride a train!!!!!!) At that point I was near panicking that my mom was going to think she was abandoned and I had no way to communicate with her, and she wasn't in the arrivals area. I went to the information desk and asked if they could page her. They sent me to the airline's ticket counter to make sure she came in on the flight (even though I already knew she had). That entailed another 5 minutes of walking and being sent to different people. They confirmed she came in and told me to go to the information desk and ask for her to be paged. (Isn't that just where I'd come from?!) They paged her, and A and I finally found her! (Two hours after she landed! Although, she had been stuck at immigration for an hour, so she didn't spend that ENTIRE time waiting for me...)
But the day wasn't over yet! We went further into Frankfurt and hit up the Christmas market. Finding parking was a long time in coming, and so I finally just pulled into an on-street spot that I found. (The parking garages had lines of cars to get in!) We walked around for a bit, came upon the Frankfurt Cathedral ...and in taking 3 photos came to realize that...I had forgotten my camera's SD card in my computer at home!!!!!!!!! I thought for sure I had an extra one in my purse at some point, so I looked, but I couldn't find it. :( (My camera won't take more than 5 photos with the internal memory...) So I only got about 3 photos while in Frankfurt. (I would post them, but Blogger is not recognizing my uploads for whatever reason, and I'm sick of trying to get it to work...) So we walked around the Christmas Market for a bit; mom & I shared some Schnitzel, A had a chocolate-covered soft pretzel, and after he dropped what was left of it on the ground when he tripped and fell, he was promised his choice of either another pretzel or ice cream (he chose the ice cream, also chocolate), we went down to the Römerberg Platz and past to the Main river before heading back to the car. Where I found a parking ticket on my windshield.
On the way back home, I was not about to repeat my earlier problems, so I went the third route, which took us all the way down to the Kaiserslautern/Ramstein area. I don't know why, but the GPS took us off the Autobahn, and we ended up driving around K-Town in rush hour traffic. By the time we got back onto the Autobahn and heading the right direction, it was already something like 6pm (an hour after A is used to having dinner), and he said he was hungry and had to go potty. So we got back off the Autobahn and had dinner on base at Ramstein! LOL Eventually, we got back home, Grandma in tow, and what do I find when I open my purse once in the house?.....an SD card I could have put into my camera. ::sigh::