On this last installment of our blog, we travel back home to Ohio! Thank you for following us on our journey!
We started Saturday morning at 8:00 am in Norway. Packing our things, sitting on our suitcases to zip them up stuffed with souvenirs and memories to bring back with us, and soaking up our neighborhood in Oslo one last time. We took a tram to the central station and then a train to the airport (SDG #11). After a lengthy check in process to reclaim our tax-free shopping and go through security, we made it to our gate to find that our first flight from Oslo to Amsterdam had been delayed which may cause us to miss our connection from Amsterdam to Atlanta. And so the long travel day begins…
Before we get into the details, our readers should know that one of the biggest blessings of this trip was that we were travelling together in our group! I don’t think that we would have survived as gracefully as we did had we been on our own. Each of us brought our unique personalities and strengths to the group which helped us make it through what ended up being about 42 hours of travel to make it back to Ohio with smiles on our faces despite our delusional exhaustion!
We make it to Amsterdam to find that we have missed our connection to Atlanta which means that we need to figure out how to rebook our flight. Little do we know that the line to rebook is about ¼ mile long and will take 5 hours to get through. YIKES! We divide and conquer, some of us holding place in the line, others calling OSU, and others working on the self-serve kiosks. With all of this in place, we are able to reschedule the 8 of us to fly out the next morning.
And so the European adventure continues!! We find our way out of the airport, onto a train, and to a hotel that we think we reserved rooms in. Little did we know that will all of the other flight cancellations/delays, there were too many people trying to book a reservation at the hotels in town that we didn’t even have a room here! While the Moms worked so hard to make sure that we would have a roof over our heads, the kids went out and got dinner (thanks Moms!!). Amsterdam had beautiful canals, a lot of bikes, and we saw a very pretty sunset (SDG #17). Making lemonade out of lemons!!
The kids made it back to the original hotel and got in a taxi to go to another hotel that had rooms available for us all. We got checked in around 11:30 that night and had to leave the next morning at 3:30 to go back to the airport. After showering, we had a blissful 3 hours of being horizontal… YAY!
Tired but happy to be together, we made it to the airport by 4:00 am to start our check in process. We are waiting among hundreds of other travelers (who were also rescheduled due to delayed flights) to get our new tickets and go through security. While standing in line and watching everyone file through line, I couldn’t help but appreciate that we were all sharing quite the wild and unexpected bump in our travel journeys.
We make it through security and were excited to continue our journey to make it back to the States! We have ample time on our hands before our flight takes off… what else do we do except get some perfume samples and chocolate at 6 in the morning?!
Feeling refreshed and smelling good, we board our flight to Atlanta (YAY!) and then proceed to sit on the tarmac for an hour while the plane is waiting on some technical difficulties to leave (Boo). We finally take off and are all itching to be back home!
We land in Atlanta nearly 9 hours later and make our way through immigration with big smiles now that we are back Stateside! Even though we were delayed in Amsterdam, we had plenty of time during our layover in Atlanta (phew!). Naturally, being in the deep south, we had to get some good southern food. Very tasty.
We finally boarded the plane to Columbus, so sleepy that we can’t stop laughing, and found our seats in the very back row.
We finally touched down in Columbus and had big smiles on our faces despite how tired we all were. We collected our bags, took one last group picture, and made our way back to our respective homes.
This trip was an absolute blast and we are so glad that you were able to follow along via this blog! It surpassed any expectations that we had, kept us on our toes, and was full of memories that are going to stay with us for a very long time!
Signing off for one last time…