Sunday, August 3, 2008


Yes, we’ve made it home. Sorry to leave you hanging like that, we really did intend to post right away, but it just didn’t pan out that way.

Our adventures certainly continued as we made our final journey home. You may or may not have heard that some of the Lufthansa employees went on strike. Guess which airline we were flying? Good guess! Guess which international flight was the only one cancelled? Right again! So here’s what happened… We had heard that there was a strike before we left Almaty, but when we checked the flight status online, all of our flights were still a go. However, when we got to the airport, we learned that our flight from Frankfurt to Calgary was cancelled. After quite a long time, the supervisor was able to get us booked on an Air Canada flight instead, but wasn’t able to give us a seat assignment and said we would have to do that once we were in Frankfurt. No problem, so long as we’re on the flight, seat assignment is minor. Also, they were unable to rebook our flight from Calgary to Saskatoon, but we could also do that once in Frankfurt.

Or so we thought. The impact of the strike was quite evident as we arrived in Frankfurt. First, we were given an apron position on landing, which means that rather than pulling right up to the terminal, you are shuttled from the plane to the terminal in a big bus. Then, once we did arrive at the terminal, we found ourselves amid a throng of fellow Lufthansa passengers who were all trying to figure out if their flight was still good, and if not, trying to make other arrangements.

We checked in with the Lufthansa service desk, which then told us we needed to talk to Air Canada instead. So, we waited in line once again. We were given boarding passes for the flight, but again were told that we couldn’t get our seat assignment until we were at the gate. Our boarding passes said “gated” and we told that meant that we were on the flight and not on standby. But again, no luck getting our flight to Saskatoon figured out. So, we heaved a sigh of relief that at least we would get back to Canada and set out to keep ourselves busy for the next six or so hours.

In the meantime, we thought we would send a quick email and blog to let everyone know back home what was happening. However that was exactly the time that our laptop battery decided that it had reached the end of its useable life. It partially powered up and then immediately shut down, which apparently caused a number of problems that continued when we got home, including not being able to connect to the Internet. No Internet, no blog.

Anyway, since we had the time, we thought we would head early to our gate to try to get our seat assignment and arrange flights from Calgary to Saskatoon. At the gate we were informed that we were on standby and wouldn’t know if we were actually on the flight until minutes before departure. Obviously this caused us some significant stress. Add to that the fact that the area we had to wait in was very crowded and very, very warm. Rod stayed in line and dealt with the ticket situation while Tammy cruised the airport trying to extend the ‘happy baby warranty’ as much as possible. Just before departure, we finally got seats and were on our way to Calgary. Whew!

Once at Calgary, we needed to make arrangements for our final flight, but we weren’t too terribly worried because at least we were back in Canada and the worst case scenario meant that we abandon flying and rent a car to get home. Not that after 36 hours of travel were we in any shape to drive, but we knew that we would be able to successfully book a hotel room, get some rest and head home in the morning with little trouble. But, we did manage to get two seats on the second flight to Saskatoon and decided that we would get home quickest that way, so we set in for another wait before our flight.

Finally, just before midnight on the 30th, we touched down in Saskatoon and were met by many of our family and friends at the airport, only 8 hours later than originally planned. All in all things worked out really well, considering what could have potentially happened.

So, how was Max through all this? Amazing! We really did prepare ourselves for the worst and had already rehearsed our apology for our fellow passengers who would have to endure endless hours of misery on our account. But, we ended up with bulkhead seats from Almaty to Frankfurt and so Max was able to stretch out and sleep in a bassinet for almost the entire flight. He only woke up long enough for us to feed him some breakfast and then it was time to prepare for landing. He stayed awake the whole time in Frankfurt. (Really, who could sleep with all the comings and goings there?) He also slept for about 6 of the 10 hours on the flight to Calgary and when he was awake, he was either eating or playing. In Calgary he got a lot of time to stretch his legs and burn some of his energy before our flight. He was pretty active on the last flight, but it was only 45 minutes, so it wasn’t too hard to keep him entertained.

And, what have we been up to since then? For the most part we’ve been getting ourselves readjusted to being at home, and enjoying seeing Max in his new home. We had prepared ourselves for many days of struggling to get his clock turned upside down, but really he seems to have had the easiest time out of all of us. We’ve only been home three and a half days and already by the second day he was right back to his routine. He’s only had a couple of early, early mornings and for one of those he went back to sleep in less than an hour, so we’ve been really fortunate to be able to get some decent rest already. Now we’re just needing to finish unpacking and get things put away. As you know, Max is really good at unpacking, but he’s not too keen yet on putting things away. Well, we can’t really blame him, he’s only been here three days, so he doesn’t yet know where everything goes!

Helping Mom and Dad sort through 10 weeks of mail.

Everybody enjoying Max’s high chair. (including Max's new best buddy Bear)

Getting ready for camping or an evening sit around the fire.

Enjoying the reclining feature of his new carseat.

We’re not sure yet which direction our blog will go from here. For now, we’re going to focus on getting settled and into a routine. We may post a blog here and there, but we aren’t sure yet. We’ll have to see how things go. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or just want to find out what’s new. It has been a pleasure to have you all along on our adventure. We hope you have enjoyed it along with us.
Take Care and Best Wishes


Nathanaël said...

Morning y'all.

Glad to hear you made it back home. Must be nice...
SO, even with struggles, your mission was successfully accomplished. Way to go guys, we're proud of you. We know 1st hand what you have to go through. It's a great experience without question, but long and hard. Definitely challenges your character, while building it, n'est ce pas?
Enjoy your time together, and we wish you all be blessed beyond measure.

Your friends,
Nathanaёl, Isabelle, and Andrei

Joby and Marla said...

I am glad you are home! I have enjoyed following your journey & can't wait for it to be my turn.
Have lots of fun with Max!

Butch & Tracy said...

So happy you are home safe and sound. It looks like the little man is sttling right in. Good luck and best wishes for years to come!

I will check back and hope you keep up with our adventure as well.


The Willners said...

willnershey guys!\
we are all so glad you aer home safe adn sound and we cant wait to come and meet max! see you soon!!
The Willners!!!!!!

dnd82001 said...

So happy you guys finally made it home - sounds like you handled the traveling on the end of our journey pretty well - considering.

Enjoy getting settled in as a new family and continued blessings and much happiness are sent to your family.

It has been a pleasure to follow along and look forward to updates when you wind down a bit!!

Stay well & congratulations on the end of your journey!!!


Angela said...

Glad to read that you all are HOME! Enjoy your family time. How exciting!

It has been a privilege to follow your journey. You are a talented writer.

Trudi said...

It sounds like the upheaval in your flights was more than matched by a great baby! I hope you do continue to post - it is so much fun to watch the babies thrive in their forever families!

Karen & Glenn said...

Hi there,

Here's a belated welcome home! We hope to stay in touch via email or blogs, as we'd love to know how your "Max" is getting along. BTW, we decided to go with Max, too -- ugh, I am kicking myself for not just keeping Makseem as his first name! :-)

What a journey home! We are so happy that you made it -- and only 8 hours late seems not so horrible given everything that you went through! Most importantly, you're a family, and we hope everything continues to go smoothly.

Max sends his love to Max!

Karen & Glenn.

Starfish said...

Congratulations and welcome home!

Arman said...

hey!! it's me Arman? do you remember me??? ))) i was driving you to the airport in Ust with all your bags, that were hardly fitting in my sister's small car )))) i'm glad you&max are well. remember Rodney you offered me a job ))))) may be someday i'll come )))
my mailbox
keep in touch )))
best wishes

Julian and Sara said...

Hello Tammy, Rod and Max -

Just checking in to wish you a Happy New Year!

Sara, Julian and Zoe