September 8, 2009: Leaving New York for Europe

Today is my big day, traveling from New York to Dublin to Amsterdam to Osnabruck in Germany where I will be spending the next week celebrating the German victory at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest on September 10th, 9 AD a whole two thousand years ago.  I have been planning this trip for almost a decade now.  I took the time off from work when I first interviewed at the bank in February of 2006!  Everyone at the office is amazed that I am actually taking this trip after talking about it for so long.

I had to work all morning for the office. I started on the early side today to get as much done as I could so that I could get as much work cleaned up before leaving as possible.  So I worked like mad all day long.  It was a truly crazy day.  I had literally no time at all for the entire day.  It was quite frustrating but several good things came out of the day so no complaints – just feeling really worn out.

At four this afternoon I turned on my Out of Office and called it a day.  There is no more work coming from me today.

My German phrasebook and dictionary arrived just an hour or so we had to leave.  Talk about cutting it close!  At least we got it and were able to pack it in time for the trip.  I am planning on studying that pretty intently while on the flight.  I really have no preparation for my time in two countries where I do not speak the language.

There were a couple of things that I needed before leaving for Germany so Dominica, Liesl, Oreo and I piled into the X3 and drove out to Walmart to get what was needed.  I got a USB SDHC card reader because the built-in card reader on the laptop that I am taking with me (Dominica’s HP Compaq 6515b) is slightly damaged and damages the cards when you put them in and the USB card reader that I have doesn’t read HC cards.  So we had to do something so that I would be able to upload pictures from the trip.  I also needed a light jacket as it is supposed to rain pretty much the entire time that I am in Europe.  We looked for a new cap too but couldn’t find anything that wasn’t ridiculously white trashy at Walmart so we skipped that.

We did pretty well on our shopping trip and we packed up the new stuff while in the parking lot and headed out for the airport which is not a short trip.  We ended up leaving right on time… to the minute with my original plans.

The drive to JFK in Brooklyn did not go as quickly as we had hoped, luckily I allowed for tons of time.  The GPS unit was all confused again and sent us in circles and tried to make us go the wrong way on to highways and stuff.  The BMW GPS unit is definitely up to par at all with Garmin units.  BMW really needs to step up their game there.

We arrived at the airport at six twenty which was three hours and twenty minutes prior to my departure time.  This gave us enough time that Dominica and Liesl were able to come into the airport with me and get me checked in and out to security.  We had plenty of time as the checkin literally took just minutes so we hit the McDonald’s inside of the airport and had a quick dinner together before I went through security.  This gave me another half of an hour with my girls before I left for the next week.

Security took just five minutes.  America seems to have finally gotten the security thing figured out at most airports and it seems to flow pretty smoothly now.  For the last year or two every time that I fly it has been pretty good.  It doesn’t hurt that all of the people going through the security checkpoint know what to do now so the people are a lot more efficient than they used to be too.

Once I got into the terminal (term 4 at JFK, gate A2) I decided to pick up Internet access.  It’s not cheap but it passes the time very quickly and lets me catch up with things that I need to do like get SGL up to date so it seemed like a good idea.  I am going to be wanting to spend all of my spare time in Germany out checking Osnabruck and not writing back information on SGL.  So today’s update as well as the last few day’s updates were written from the airport.

My itinerary is that I am flying out of NYC’s JFK International airport tonight at nine forty.  That flight is direct to Dublin in Ireland.  I have an hour and a half layover in Dublin where I will transfer from that flight to a shop puddle jumper to Amsterdam all on Aer Lingus.  Once I am in Amsterdam airport I will catch the short local train down to the city center.  In central Amsterdam I will catch a long distance Eurotrain to Osnabruck.  If I am lucky I will be able to get an express train to Osnabruck as that will save several hours of travel.

If I am lucky it will be only evening in Germany when I finally get to the train station in Osnabruck and try to work my way to my hotel which is all of the way across town from the train station.  I have no way to sleep before then and no plans for being able to get food (or cash.)  It is going to be a long trip without sleep.  I am going to be exceptionally exhausted by the time that I arrive.  I will Twitter when I can.  Check back often for updates.  Remember that Dublin is five hours ahead of Eastern Time and Osnabruck is six hours head of Eastern.  So it will easily be exceptionally late by the time that I get to the hotel.  It will be almost ten in the morning when I get to Dublin and probably well after noon when I get to Amsterdam local time.  The scheduled time with no delays is to arrive just after two in the afternoon.  That means that it will be six in the evening at the very earliest for me to get to Osnabruck if I get an express and have no delays anywhere whatsoever and never have to wait for a train.  Ten at night is a more reasonable estimate.  (That is four in the afternoon Eastern time for those of you in New York.)  That is almost twenty four hours of travel if it actually takes that long since we left home to go to the airport at five in the afternoon eastern!

Okay, it is almost time for my flight to board and I need to shut down and get ready for the flight.  Hopefully I will have some updates for everyone soon.

Getting onto Aer Lingus Flight 108.

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  1. Glad that you like it! Hopefully you will enjoy my adventures in Europe now that I have arrived here.

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