Monday, July 18, 2011
July 9, Budapest Hotel, Sofia, Bulgaria
It's a good thing that there's no truth to the rumor that bumps in the road mean you're not in the will of the Lord. First off, we didn't get to Jonita's house until past midnight on Thursday/Friday. Kevin had thought he might have a shorter day at work but that didn't happen. I'm not really griping because the additional hours mean additional paycheck. However, this was one day that fewer hours would have come in handy. By the time he got home we still had to run a few official papers over to Mom and Dad's (temporary guardianship, updated wills, etc), run by the baby-sitters (where our kids already were) so Kevin could say good-bye to them and we could leave the suburban. We still had to run over to Murtaugh so Kevin could turn off the water at the park, get gas in the car, find a place that was still open so we could grab something to eat on the way to Boise. So anyway, we got to bed very late.
On Friday our flight was supposed to leave at 7:10 for Chicago so of course, we were there at 5-something-a.m. Then we discovered our flight would be about 45 minutes late because our crew had had 2 hour weather delays flying out of Denver the night before and weren't allowed by law to be back in the cockpit so soon. Obviously that made our connection time a bit tighter when we did get to Chicago. Both of those first flights were rough enough that I was glad I hadn't eaten breakfast. I'm pretty sure we were late getting out of Chicago and at Dulles it was absolutely dumping rain. We had to wait quite awhile out on the tarmac for enough opening in the storm for us to depart. By the time we FINALLY got to Munich (I'm just being honest here--that flight totally taxes my ability to sit still) we had enough time to find a restroom and get freshened up a bit and then basically proceed to our gate.
It's fine with me to not wander aimlessly around an airport for hours and hours but apparently--due to the various delays--the connection at Munich was a bit too close because none of our checked luggage made it to Sofia. It seemed like there were about 15 people in front of us at the lost luggage office there in the Sofia airport and one lonely dude in the office trying to deal with it. I have no clue what the first group's complaint was because I honestly think they were in the office for 30 minutes. Like I wrote in my journal, the line was moving at the speed of a dead tortoise. Kevin even asked if there were forms that could be handed out in line so we could all be filling them out while we were waiting but that was a no go. Finally a 2nd office-guy showed up and he seemed to get the next group in and out pretty quickly. Kevin said some of the folks also ended up finding their luggage after all. Anyway, the line seemed to shrink to half the size. And eventually, by the time the line was down to about 3 or 4 people, a 3rd guy took up another desk in the office. My concern, of course, was that Toni would be outside waiting for us and wondering where in the world we were. Kevin was able to go to (not through) the outside door and tell her what was happening. By the time it was our turn, I think it took us only about 5 minutes (definitely less than 10) to describe our luggage, and fill out the form.
By that time there wasn't even anyone manning the table where you say you have nothing to declare so we headed right on through. It was great to see Toni and Marty--like old friends. I was sad to hear that Toni hadn't been feeling well.
They delivered us to Budapest Hotel--this time no balcony (which is totally understandable since we'll have a child in the room) but it's a larger corner room with a full-size fold-out bed for Abby. The men and women in the lobby at Budapest are all so very nice.
I thought I had a 2nd set of clothes in my carry-on baggage--well, I did except I'd somehow packed 2 pair of socks and no underwear (TMI, I know) And Kevin had everything except an extra T-shirt. So one of the first orders of business was to wash out clothes in the bathroom sink. I didn't even have my handy-dandy individual pkgs of Tide--had to use bath gel and hand soap. I hung my jeans in the window knowing they would take awhile to dry.
I was definitely hoping our luggage would be delivered to the hotel later that night or first thing in the morning because of course on Sunday at 12:45p.m. we were scheduled to meet Toni downstairs and drive to Pavlikeni. My gifts for the orphanage workers and Toni were in my lost luggage. What would I do with all that stuff if I couldn't give it to them? My phone/camera was dead as a doorknob and my charger and connectors were in the suitcase. How could I meet Abby again after all these months and not take pictures?
Kevin and I crashed for awhile and then we headed down town -- this time going in the reverse order from our walk in February. It was nice to see flowers, fountains, trees with leaves (I think they were chestnut trees) There was an OLD church we'd visited before but had been unable to purchase the English booklet about it due to no leva. So today we had our leftover leva but the place was already closed up by the time we got down there.
We got pretty thirsty on our trek--the weather was hot and muggy. We got 2 waters for 2.70 lv from one of the many outside bar/restaurants set up under big umbrellas. Later we passed a little snack shack along the sidewalk and Kevin got a bigger water plus a orange pop for only 1.40 lv!! He also found me a big Diet Pepsi (Coke is much more easily found.)
We ate the downstairs restaurant at the Budapest. I had the "Good Woman" pork; Kevin had a chicken breast and pasta with a multi-cheesy sauce. He had a side of majorly cheesy fries.
When we went back to our room I went ahead and washed out my other pair of jeans since the first pair was fairly dry and my other T-shirt not knowing how long I would have to live with the two outfits. Kevin washed out his T-shirt. (His other option was long-sleeved. Yikes!!)