And so begins the Space A adventures of the Larson girls... Space A stands for space available...meaning we can take a military aircraft flight for relatively very cheap or free to fly to the United States. In our case we were flying into Washington DC to visit family.
I had been planning this adventure for a few months. I had agreed to meet Maddie's mom, grandma and brother in Washington DC so she could spend a week with them. Bella and I would be staying with my sister, Jenna's family. However, the thing about Space A is that you aren't ever guaranteed a spot until the last minute.
And in order to fly Space A we had to drive 3.5 hours to Ramstein Air Base. Oh...and did I mention you only have 48-72 hours notice that there *might* be a flight?
So, I call on Thursday and discover that Friday there is a flight to Baltimore. EEEEEEEEK! You know those Fred Flinstone cartoons where his feet would be running super fast, but he never went anywhere and then all of a sudden he would zoom away in his car? Yeah...thats what I felt like that day...run in place......run run run run....and GO!
I managed to get all the packing done and the house cleaned and the anti-spider spray down (tis the season...) and set my alarm for 3:30AM.
Wake up...shower...get ready to get the girls up and I thought to myself...hmmm...I should call to make sure that we have to be there still at 10AM.
Sure enough...times had changed since the night before. New "roll call" is now at 12 noon! Woohoo! I leave the girls sleeping, reset my alarm and crawl into bed for another hour. Its now around 6:40AM and both girls are up...dragging...tired...whiny...hungry....
I decide to call again. And it was a good thing I did because roll call had been moved to 10:40AM! EEEEEEEEEEEEK! If we didn't leave by 7:00 we weren't going to make it...and if you don't make it...you don't fly.
For those that know me well..you would have been in awe at the speed I managed to pack, dress the girls, feed the girls, close down the house and get in the car...we were pulling out at 7:10AM.
The drive went pretty fast. It *might* have been due to the fact that the speedometer did not go below 80 MPH the entire way there. It also did not go above 100 MPH. The poor little "American car not built for the autobahn" shakes too bad. Just sayin.
And then...right near the end of our drive it got really exciting. Why?
Because I almost ran out of gas on the autobahn.
In my defense...I was only 7 kilometers from my exit. (7 km = 4.4 miles) when the car started to lurch. I'd been eyeing the red flashing light on the gas guage and was determined we would make it. ( I like to live life on the wild side...)
Lurching...almost stalling...lurching some more and I gunned it the last 2 km onto the exit just praying if the car stalled it wouldn't be on the autobahn. And as we careened around the corner there in bright lights with angels shining around it was a SHELL station!
I literally wheezed into the shell station on fumes. Yelled 10 Euro at the attendent and ran inside to pay. Thats like saying - "Put in 3 dollars." I'm sure he was pretty irritated with me...but we were only a mile from base and guess what the time was? 10:32AM. We had one mile and 8 minutes to drive it, find the terminal parking, park the car and race to the check in.
We didn't make it.
What a let down...right? Here you are thinking we'd slide in just in the nick of time. But, we didn't.
That was the bad news...the good news was this...
The flight had been delayed until 4AM the next morning.
My reaction in my head, "&^%$^*&^%*&"
My reaction out of my mouth, "Oh cool, girls! We get to hang out in Ramstein all day long! I'm so glad I just drove like a crazy lady to get here by 10:40AM! (insert manic laughter) Yay! We get to do this again in the morning!"
We got a hotel room then went to the Mall. Yes, they have a MALL at Ramstein. Granted its like the smallest little mall you've ever seen, but it was the most "Americanized" mall I'd seen in over a year. Then we found a park. This is also where I finally got out my camera. I *wish* I had photographic memories of the speed demon drive and nearly running out of gas and if only there were video of the guy telling us the flight was delayed 24 hours. *sigh...* Maybe next time.
Back to the park. Best park we'd ever seen. Spent the entire day there. It was glorious.
We all went to our hotel room and went to bed at 7PM that night. I wanted to make sure we were well rested for our 4AM flight the next day.
Its now 2AM and I get up and shower. Wake up the girls at 3AM. Get the car loaded and packed. Check out of our hotel room and go back to the air terminal.
"I'm sorry ma'am. We just cancelled the flight. It will be leaving at 10PM TOMORROW NIGHT.
I got myself and my girls up at THREE AM just to be told I had 43 hours to wait until the flight was actually going to leave.
Let me expand my reaction in my head, "*(*&^$@!#^&**^&*$&!@##$%^(&)^%#$%^$#"
We turned around and went BACK to the hotel reception where begged my key off them, checked back in the room and reserved it for another night.
And then I made the announcement to Maddie..."If the flight is delayed ONE MORE TIME we are going home."
Tune in tomorrow for what happened 43 hours later in "Space A Part 2 - Flying with Dick Cheney's RV"