I really enjoyed my last few days in Sweden. Emma and Dave were such gracious hosts and I am so thankful for having had a place to stay.
Yesterday (wow, I can't believe it was only yesterday) I woke up at 6 am (midnight EST) and finished getting ready for my departure. I was so convinced that my bags were both overweight - that was stressful.
Louise and I took the bus (and all my luggage) to central station and caught a train to the airport in Copenhagen. It turned out that my bags were only 17 and 23 kilos. What a huge relief!!!
They didn't weigh my carry on and I made it through security with a bag much heavier than should ever be allowed.
I only had to wait about an hour before my plane began boarding. Or maybe it was more time, but by then it felt like no time at all.
The flight home was loooong (naturally). It was over 8 hours and I can only sit still for a while. One great thing was that my traveling buddy (as I like to call the person sitting next to me) left her seat for a row that was open and so I had a ghetto upgrade - 2 seats to myself! In economy this is not actually a lot of space, but I'm short and used that to my advantage by laying on my side and catching about an hour of sleep.
The food was surprisingly good and distinctively Scandinavian. From the yogurt selection to the cheese and bread combo to the meatballs and potatoes, it was just what I wanted.
In short, flying Scandinavian Airlines was not an unpleasant experience.
I had a 2 hour layover in Washington, D.C. but I spent half of that in the seemingly never ending line for customs. The very nice (and cute) guy was super friendly and I actually enjoyed going through customs for once. It also helped that my former traveling buddy was in line with me and she's from near where I was born and we had a lot to talk about.
Then I called and texted some people upon arriving in the States. That was great... I got a few "Hello...?" answers, as if they weren't really sure I was calling and one loud scream from Katie.
My United Airlines (Star Alliance with Scandinavian Air) flight was shorter than expected and my traveling buddy was Carol, who has a daughter who went to my school and another who is at App (where my sister is going). She was friendly and we had fun waiting for luggage together. Especially when I saw the man with unfortunate facial hair (Hitler 'stache).
My mom was a little late meeting me, because my flight got in a bit early, but we still had to wait for luggage, so that was fine. A bit of a fiasco getting it to the car, but we did it.
I had pot roast for dinner, a meal which I asked if we could have. I also had it for lunch again today. So good.
Then I went to Sunni Sky's with Jordan and Meg, since yesterday was Meg's birthday!!!!
We ran into some guys from high school and then ate our ice cream at the usual spot and went to Raleigh for Krispy Kreme.
That was great fun, but by the time I got home and got ready for bed, I'd been awake for more then 24 hours.
This morning I awoke at 6 something, fully refreshed, but went back to sleep until my deadly loud wind-up clock alarm went off shortly after 8. Then I mozied around the house until 10, when I went to the chiropractor's office. Yay for holistic healing and spine realignment.
When I got home, I reheated the roast for Kayla and myself and we watched The Cosby Show together. I had some time to play guitar, too, which was a breath of fresh air. Just as she was about to set off for Borders for an afternoon of reading new books without paying for them and I was going to lay out on the porch, our mom came home and we had a long discussion about chores.
After the discussion, I caught some rays by mowing the lawn at an alarmingly fast pace. Apparently I'm much stronger or something than the last time I tried to do that.
My shoulders are brown and I didn't get weird sock tan lines. Win.
I cooled off by sitting on the marble hearth (a trick I picked up from our dog) and watched a few youtube clips. Then I showered and I'm waiting for my mom to wake up from her cat nap so we can have some sipping chocolate, like she wanted to do.
That's pretty much the jist of my last two days.
Now a few more things.
tomorrow should be great. Katie made an event on facebook for people to meet up at Smithfield's for lunch tomorrow. Even if only a handful of people come, I'm so excited to see them all. After that I have my sister's baccalaureate and then I guess we'll all spend some time together as a family for the first time since January 1st (my dad flies in tonight, after the game).
the game is tonight. If you don't know which game I'm talking about, then I feel sad for you. It's the final Stanley Cup game and my favorite team (the Penguis -- sorry Hurricane fans) is playing. Can't wait for that. GO PENS!
How to Beat Jet Lag, by Krysta Gahagen.
First, get extra sleep prior to your journey. It's important that you don't already feel tired before you've even thought about changing time zones.
Second, drink killer amounts of water on the plane. Keep hydrated! This also keeps you going to the bathroom, which means you're getting up and walking, and that always makes for a better flight.
Third, stay awake by any means necessary. For me, this was eating coffee ice cream at 10 pm and hanging out with some crazy girls. I guess it probably helps to sleep on the plane, so you are making a deposit into your sleep bank, but I didn't need that.
Fourth, plan something relatively early (if you're going from east to west) on your first day home. That way, when you wake up early you have an excuse and don't feel disoriented. Having said that, don't allow yourself to wake up when your body says it's time. Go back to sleep for a few hours until you should be waking up in your new location.
These guidelines probably won't work for anyone else, but I'm writing them down for posterity's sake (and in case I travel like this again).
Can you believe it? I had more jet lag going from Raleigh to Seattle than from Sweden to the east coast. In any case, I'm super stoked that I'm adjusting so well to sleeping (even if I'm having a harder time adjusting to living with my family again).
That's all for now. Time for sipping chocolate and ukulele solos.