So, we've been back for two weeks now. Things are going really well; I wish I wasn't coming back to an insanely busy work season, finishing off the new album, and the madness of the Holidays. . . . but that's ok. We're adjusting well to Malachi, and he's doing really well with us. I'm learning that it's harder to wake up for the early morning feedings when you're in your 30's as opposed to your 20's. :)
When I used to wake up and feed Providence, I was 22. . . .yikes, the years go fast.
Anyway, Malachi is a blessing, and he's brought alot of joy to our house.
I thought I could be of service to some of you by offering my opinions on all things related to world travel.
Perhaps not. . . . .but here goes anyway. . .
CRAZY AARON'S TRAVEL ROUND UP!!!!!
(I think I'll get my own show on PBS, I'll get you, Rick Stevens!!)
We flew into 5 different airports and stopped for gas in The Sudan and Syria. .
(apparently the only places to get gas in the eastern hemisphere are really dangerous countries. . .but it was the middle of the night both times. And, they didn't print that on our tickets :) (for obvious reasons)
Here's the rundown:
Denver: B. Still looks like new, and operates pretty swiftly as airports go. Downgraded because of over eager security/immigration/agricultural personnel. But, I guess that's for the best . . . .
Calgary: B+. Very nice airport. Nice little mall area for the international terminal. Jody and I got massages before our overnight trip to London. Downgraded for lack of good restaurants, distance from the city, and lack of power outlets for my laptop. (much more on this in the next post)
London Heathrow: A -. This airport is bigger than my hometown. It's a small city and you have to take buses to get around to the different terminals. But, it's kind of cool because you feel like you're in London with the cool buses and all. The international terminal is great because there's a pretty large mall with a few restaurant choices. The only bad part was the smell of fresh fish and calamari next to the coffee shop at 6 a.m. Small downgrade for the power outlets in the wall not working.
Addis Ababa (Bole international airport, Ethiopia): A -. Big international area. There were a multitude of restaurants. . but none seemed to be stellar. Big upgrades for many Islamic and Orthodox Christian clerics walking around in full dress (with posse in tow).
Frankfurt: D Very few restaurants (I remember 1). . . . long "death star-esque" terminal walkways. . .some rude German people.
United: C Still just the worst airline to work with. They have good planes and they own the Denver airport. . . but that doesn't mean that they can be unhelpful, terse, and pompous. (ok, I'm done, sorry)
BMI, Air Canada: B They have some cool media centers on the back of the seat in front of you. British Midland even has video games with a controller.
Lufthansa: A++++. This is the most ridiculously nice airline I've ever worked with. Their planes are huge, their staff is helpful and friendly, they have hi-end media centers on the seats in front of you. . where you pick movies, tv shows, music, etc. . . I got to watch a documentary on Leonard Bernstein and then "30 Rock". Who knew?
A Lufthansa phone operator upgraded me to a bulkhead/basinet(crib) seat with no extra charge and no hassle. And, the steward (is that what the man-stewardesses are called???) kept warming up cold water for Malachi's bottle. Very helpful. . .
The planes have a downstairs bathroom area with 7 (roomy) bathrooms, two of which had changing tables for the baby. The whole company is a class act. If you're flying to Europe (especially from Denver), you gotta fly Lufthansa. By the 2nd flight, I was actually looking forward to getting on the plane. Well, I guess i was coming out of the Frankfurt airport :) but still. . . .
My next post will evaluate some of the travel gadgets that Jody and I came across. . . .