We got to the airport almost 3 hours before our flight because that's what the TSA recommended guidelines are. Normally I would think that was ridiculous, but that was before Mark and I missed a flight earlier this year because we arrived 90 minutes prior to our flight instead of the recommended two hours. Although I still think that was extenuating circumstances and poor airport staffing on a weekend, I will never take chances with airport arrival times again.
Of course there was nobody in the security line and we got through in like 5 minutes, leaving us a LOT of time before our flight. We decided to go get steaks at Ike's since we wouldn't be having beef for the next couple of weeks. I even had enough time to go give myself my first IVF shot in the bathroom pre-flight. I felt ready for the nearly full day of travel ahead of me - boy did I have no idea!
In the end it probably wasn't all that bad, considering travel can go pretty badly. We landed safely, there were no mechanical problems (that we knew of anyway), the toilets worked, the flights departed and arrived pretty much on time and we made our flights despite having a REALLY short layover in Amsterdam which required us sprinting halfway across the airport to our gate. It was just a LONG day.
The first lag of our trip was from Minneapolis to Amsterdam (Delta) - just shy of nine hours and overnight. We were thinking that we were going to just sleep through the entire flight......silly us. No matter how much wine, melatonin, unisom, etc. that you consume, you are never going to sleep comfortably in coach, never. Maybe if you drank yourself into unconsciousness, but that also has obvious drawbacks. You cannot get comfortable in coach. We did manage to get some sleep and the breakfast wasn't half bad.
Speaking of the breakfast. I am fascinated by the food on international flights. I find it amazing that you can fly 5 hours to Maui and only get some stale peanuts and fly 3 more hours across the Atlantic and you get two hot meals plus a snack. Fascinating. These hot meals are also often at odd times - like say dinner at 11 pm or breakfast at noon - but at regular intervals. And, the food isn't half bad, strange at times like the unknown salad I had from Amsterdam to Delhi, but not half bad. I guess food helps keep us complacent for extended periods.
The second lag of our trip was from Amsterdam to Delhi (KLM) - just shy of eight hours. This was definitely the more interesting trip. Even though I was asleep (or near sleep) for most of the first trip, I knew this was the more interesting one. First, Mark and I were definitely in the minority on this trip. I spotted only one other obvious American on the plane. Second, being KLM vs. Delta everything was Dutch first, English second. It was also very interesting that this flight was definitely more families, whereas the first trip seemed to be a lot more couples and single business travelers.
By the time we landed in Delhi we had been traveling for 17 hours with little to no leg room, eating odd things at odd hours, having had little sleep and our body clocks running 10 1/2 hours behind.
We really just wanted to get to the hotel, hop in the shower, and go to bed. We may even just go right to bed.......