Betsy and Paul came over around 9 to help us finish packing and load the car. The kidlettes received their trip gifts: matching toddler backpacks with magical presents inside from their Grandmom, Grandma, and Ms. Kate.
Then we were off. Except that we weren't, because Chris accidentally gave Betsy our only car key.
Try two. Success. We hung out in the airport until it was time to head through security. Sadness to say goodbye to our best friends for a while. Dinkeneh was amazed as the plane headed into the clouds. Sisaye was fairly indifferent; she was already pretty stressed by everything. A few hours in Chicago's airport, consistently taking the wrong train until we finally figured out the correct terminal.
Killed an hour hanging out under a dinosaur, and said goodbye to family over the phone. Had a great laugh at my littlest sister's expense (we love you, Elizabeth!). The flight to Germany went really well. We scored bulkhead seats, which was terrific, since we were able to spread out our stuff. The kidlettes rocked this bit of the trip.
Next stop: Germany.
Met up with Cindy and the fabulous Ms. Bea. Took a train into Frankfurt for about 45 minutes. Let the kidlettes run off some pent up energy. Sisaye crashed. First meltdown of the trip in front of security (and Cindy and Bea) as we tried to get back into the airport. Some kind security guard (maybe Ethiopian?) came over and (with a sweet smile) hauled Dinkeneh up off the floor and out of the way of the millions of people waiting in line behind us, and escorted us to the short line for getting through security. The German airport security personnel were hysterical over the “computer” label affixed to the front of my laptop. Explained that Dinkeneh is learning to read. Not sure they believed me. At this point, we probably looked like we needed the label (and a few others, too). Paid a ridiculous amount of money for a tiny milk. Boarded the flight to Ethiopia. The kidlettes finally crashed for a few hours, as did we.
Landed in Ethiopia. Made it through the visa line at long last. Really thankful that our guest house driver was ready and waiting for us outside of security. Made it to the guest house, where everyone was waiting to greet us. Got our things upstairs. Crashed.