Thursday, September 4, 2008

The move

Well, The Move is accomplished, but it sure was not a too joyful process. We gave away some stuff. We tossed some stuff. All of the equipment from the apartment remained there. And yet we still had problems fitting everything into our bags. Ryan had already a month earlier brought over 40 kg of our stuff to Fairbanks. (Thanks, Ryan!) We packed one banana box full of books and shipped that via post office, 23 kg for SFr 130 (about $130). What remained were 6 suitcases/dufflebags, most filled to the limit of 23 kg, one ski bag with all of our skis, two car seats, one stroller (gatechecked), one baby carrier (the type that's more like a backpack, also gatechecked) - altogether we maxed out with the pieces of luggage with the 7 pieces (Emilie, being a 'lap child', could only bring one piece of luggage), yet altogether we had eleven things checked. And then another four pieces as carryons: Martin's black backpack with our computers, his red backpack with all leftover things, my ARM bag with documents, diapers, and change of clothes (the important stuff), and Sonja's backpack with toys. And two kids to keep track of. Not a pretty sight, all of that stuff on one heap.

Yet somehow it all fit into Martin's colleague's car. Funk picked us up at 3:15 am to drive us the one hour to Basel, so that we would be there in time for the 6 am flight. Luckily the counter only opened at 4:30am, so we did not try to be there two hours ahead. As we were checking in, the lady said that our second flight, out of Frankfurt direct to Fairbanks, with a stopover in Whitehorse, showed a delayed departure. She was not sure what the '7' meant though: the flight was supposed to leave at 11 am. Did the 7 indicate a 7pm departure? A 7 hour delay? She checked us in and told us, and several other people that were also connecting to that flight, to check with the airline itself once we got to Frankfurt.

In Frankfurt, we learned that the 7 meant a 7am departure the following day. The company put us up in a hotel, gave free food for lunch, snack, dinner, and breakfast the following day. Overall, condor had made it so that we could not really complain about the situation. Apparently 2 of their 9 airplanes had major mechanical problems that they were fixing, and as a result, their entire schedule suffered. They only fly to most of their destinations once or twice a week, and so could not leave a flight out. Overall, they had excellent customer service from our perspective. But it did mean that the next day, we were getting up at 3:45 am, in order to catch the shuttle bus to the airport at 4:30am.

With some delays, the next morning, we boarded the plane, and took off at 8am instead of 7 am, after the crew had to find bags of two people who had bags checked in but did not show up. The flight to Whitehorse went fine, the kids slept for 4 out of the 9 hours, probably thanks to the two early mornings in a row. In Whitehorse, we had to deplane, since each plane is checked in the last port before entering the US. The deplaning woke up Emilie, who only fell asleep as we were landing. The 1.5 hours from Whitehorse to Fairbanks was quite a bit rougher than the previous 9 hours. Every was tired.

But, at the end we made it, and so did all of our bags. Amazing. We all fitted into Keith's car and Will and Ann's car and van, and made it to our house. It was quiet. No dogs there yet. But most other things were very familiar. Home.

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