We are here! We arrived safe and sound and on schedule at around 1am this morning.
We left JFK around 4pm on Sunday and after 30 hours of travel (including 17 of flight time), we finally arrived at the guest house and went to sleep to the sound of the call to prayer Tuesday morning (Indian time--which is 12.5 hours ahead of the US, fyi). The travel was completely uneventful and I have absolutely no "good stories" out of it at all. I hate to say it, but it was almost easy. The first flight to Germany was easier than some flights I have taken by myself! The kids were perfect angels, we all stayed healthy, we took a few naps and watched a few cartoons and drank juice and it was all as thrilling as they had hoped it would be.
The only real fun thing was that after going through passport control and collecting all of our bags (yup, all of them), we exited the airport and found ourselves among a crowd of thousands. It was probably around 3am at that point, but everyone there was dressed in their Sunday best (as it were) to greet relatives returning from the Hajj. It was impressive. A guard with a machine gun cleared a path for us and with the kids piled up on top of our baggage carts, we made our way through somehow. (Oh man, I wish I had photos of that scene. You will all just have to try to picture it in your minds...)
We drove through the empty night streets and arrived at the guesthouse which is, incidentally, next door to the Missionaries of Charity "Mother House" (Mother Teresa, I mean). We had not realized we would be quite that close!
Stacy and Page, you will like this: as soon as we got out of the van, the kids were looking out at the lawn and said, "Hey mom, look! It's a possum. Or a mouse? Or...what is that?" Ack! But hey, at least it was outside, right?