So here is a little update on how the actual logistics of the trip went:
Getting to the airport was uneventful. We got there on time and there were no delayed flights coming or going.
We checked no luggage (we will talk more about that later).
The inbound flight (to India) which was noted as being 14 hrs and 15min actually ended up being 12.5 hrs (a small blessing).
The big surprise…the flight was one of the best we had ever taken. Hubby and I sometimes opt to upgrade to first class with his frequent flyer miles, but decided against it based on the advice of an email buddy who assured us that the flight, even in coach, would be quite comfortable. AND indeed it was. International jets seem to have a little more leg room. They are not usually full to capacity and they have several clean bathrooms.
My husband had the aisle, I had the center and no one had the window. Sweet deal! Therefore I basically had a sofa to stretch out on to chill, snooze or watch tv/movies in the headrest monitors. None of that having to strain your neck to see the attendant demonstrate proper airplane safetly. It was played right there on the tv screen (didn’t utilize the screens to often though, as I had downloaded 6 movies to my iphone).
We slept about 7 of the 12 hours and we watched movies, read and talked the rest of the time. The time flew by (really, no lie, I was surprised myself).
Did I mention the awesome food? We were fed the best Indian food we had ever tasted. It was fresh and hot. They fed us 4 times. Each portion was plentiful. We were again pleasantly surprised.
So we landed. Customs was hilarious. The customs officer was so nice. When my husband signed the customs form he said, “Obama!” We said, “huh?” In his broken English he explained that he admired President Obama. He said that he had met two great presidents, Clinton and Obama. Then he looked at me and said, “Michelle!” I smiled and simply said, “thank you”.
Our tour guide had a little trouble getting to us in the mini flood, but he was only 45 minutes late. While we waited we explored the awesome airport.
Our tour guide was super fluent in English (he actual spoke 6 other languages too). He was very informative and immensely patient with our “foreign” ways.
I will talk more about the actual tours themselves at another time, but I must say we were astonished at how smoothly everything went from start to finish. There were no glitches and no hic ups. We were actually amazed.
One of the things that made the trip easier was the fact that we did not check any bags. Therefore we did not have to worry about lost luggage and baggage fees. We ran into a couple of people who had lost luggage, some who didn’t have it retrieved until midway the trip. So what we did is what we do on every international flight. We packed light (in the words of the great Erykah Badu). We each carried fairly big “personal” bags that technically don’t count and we carry a moderate sized “carry on”. Between the two bags, we had everything covered, including space enough for souvenirs. This little tib bit saved us from a big headache!
Back to the story:
The journey back home was thankfully just as uneventful. Our tour guide got us to the airport in plenty of time (his timing was always impeccable, we were astonished). We checked in. We waited to board in comfy yellow chairs. We boarded and poof, just like that, we were on our way back home.
The outbound flight was the 14 hours that was stated in the itinerary, but it was no problem. My husband slept at least 9-10 hours (no really). I slept a good 7 and I absorbed the other hours studying for CE credits, watching movies and thinking happy thoughts. Again the time flew by.
Do I have anything bad to say about our India trip? JET LAG! I have always avoided it in previous long flights (up to 11 hours) but I guess the 14 hours took me over the top. It lasted for about 4 days. But it was a minor nuisance well worth enduring for the trip of a life time!