Saturday, May 8, 2010

To all and sundry - Greetings from Chicago!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that flying is still not nearly as fun as it used to be. 

(Also to remark that "yes we have no "real" pictures, as I'm on a borrowed computer... OK, I could borrow something from the internet...there.  I did.")

I have arrived.  It took me 27 hours to go from drinking coffee in MY living room to having a glass of wine with my son in HIS living room, but then,  I suppose that is a miracle of sorts anyway.  Taking our daily technological miracles for granted seems to be a natural thing for some reason. 

[Really happy I'm not living in the middle ages...]

Of course there were delays everywhere (late out of Athens) and hours of sitting doing absolutely nothing in waiting areas. For a change we were all slowly herded slowly onto, then wedged onto  planes only to sit and wait for mediocre food. 

Then the sitting part was interspersed with mad runs through Frankfurt Airport- or as I like to refer to it, "The Rabbit Warren Airport"  (arrival at Terminal B same time as boarding for connecting flight to States... at Terminal A - and naturally, mine was the last gate on the entire gantry.) 

At one point - honestly - along with several other people, I had to go down 6 flights of stairs! and then run down a long hallway, only to pop up again (fortunately by elevator and moving stairs) at ground level. 

There was a moment when following the signs to TERMINAL A, I wondered if the planes had a secret bat cave runway that was in the parallel universe below the airport.

Still the overwhelming and more than acceptable good news was that I managed to actually "TRANSFER" and not accidentally leave the proper area and find myself trapped "outside" and have to go through the angst of security AGAIN.

The other really good news was that the people from Lufthansa in both Athens and on the flights were charming and very kind.  (I can say that because they changed my seat to a very nice aisle seat for my flights to Frankfurt and then for Chicago.  Who knows what I would have said if trapped in a middle seat???)

So that's the short thumbnail sketch of the trip- we overflew the volcano and ended up flying the "far" northern route, which tacked on another hour or so to the flight. 

I arrived in Chicago about 8:30 PM local time spent an exceptionally long time waiting to go through passport control and was greeting by a great group that included darling (chattering constantly in sentences!!) baby grandson, his beautiful mother and my middle son.  (youngest and father to Gabriel was recovering from a nasty bout of food poisoning! Bad egg.)

So. On with the day!  (this marvelously refreshed feeling will probably fade by this afternoon when I will find myself LONGING for a nap!)

Wishing you all well and I hope everyone has a delightful Mother's Day.  (I'm planning on it!)


  1. Sounds like quite a trip. I just came from Texas to Wisconsin and I thought that was enough!I have been thinking about you living in Greece and all the turmoil there. Did you have any difficulty leaving at all. Is there a civil war impending or are our news media exaggerating? How long will you be in the U. S. You picked a great city--my home town. I know you will enjoy your visit and Chicago is lovely in the Spring.

  2. You're actually fairly close to me, here in Ohio! Like our mutual friend Bernie, I had thought of you too, at this stressful time in Greece. It's great that you are here with family for Mother's Day...Hope you have a most pleasurable visit with them!


  3. Dear Bernie,

    The turmoil in Greece is not exactly what the news media portrays. No one is on the verge of a civil war. The riots are taking place very much in Athens and a little bit in Thessaloniki but it's only a few anarchists among the many striking people who are causing the problems.

    Most of the demonstrations are peaceful and the Greeks KNOW that they will have to go with some austerity plans- what the government and the IMF are trying to do may be too much for the whole population to swallow.

    The average wage in Greece is SO much less than the rest of Europe- even for skilled jobs. For them to cut pay and benefits, when there is already next to nothing is impossible to contemplate.

    ONe of the biggest demonstrations right before I left, was of members of the military joining in the protest marches - when interviewed one of the officers said that he was willing to give up his life for his country, but he wouldn't allow that all the politicians didn't cut their benefits accordingly with the hardship they are imposing on the population. The government, he said, must lead by example!


    I'll be in the US for about 6 weeks. I'm flying to New Mexico on Monday to spend the next couple of weeks (and a few days) helping my mother sort and discard and organize for the movers who will be coming at the end of the month.

    My mother and I will take the Southwest Chief (train) across the country and my husband will oversea the packing. Then her goods will follow and she'll move into her new apartment in Chicago (just on the border of Skokie and Evanston)

    We'll stay here to get her settled and stay through her 85th birthday, on June 13th, then we'll leave back for Greece on the 16 and be home on the night of the 17th.

    The next six weeks will go by pretty fast I'm guessing.

    So I'm planning to enjoy Mothers Day with my sons, here in Chicago, and then the rest of the time with my mom. Eventually I will have some time to just enjoy Chicago. (currently tho it's pretty cold!!)

  4. Thank you dear Wanda, I am having a most pleasurable time - two sons and a grandson took me to IHOP for a pancake breakfast. Life is good!

    I talked to my oldest this afternoon and he's fine tho he won't be able to drive down from Michigan for the day as he and his son have commitments to a very sick (other) grandmother.

    For sure tho we'll talk again tomorrow as we have a marvelous Mexican brunch at a new restaurant my son's have found.

    Tonight we're going to have an early supper and then I'm going to get (hopefully) a good nights sleep.

  5. Frankfurt...ugh. I really think that's a difficult airport to navigate as well. Great to know you're safe and in good hands! Enjoy your time in the U.S. and again, Happy Mother's Day!!

  6. Happy Mother's Day to you too Cheryl!

    I am getting to the point wherein I have to say almost ALL airports are difficult to navigate. They have all become so huge, impersonal, and soulless, you're left feeling like an extra in a Kafka novel.

    I am in good hands. And I am very fortunate in my children. They grew up and became very nice human beings. I am blessed.

  7. Still recovering from flying from Costa Rica to lost in Mexico City customs as usual and guided back into the airport by very kind customs officials...
    It is the queuing and waiting around which tires me, let alone the hassle of getting home from the airport by public transport.
    The airline I used was Mexicana. The staff were super, there were newspapers, the food was distinctly edible and there was an open bar in cattle class.
    Enjoy're going to have a great time.

  8. Hey have a big Morton's Chicago steak up there for me, or maybe go to Maggiano's italian restaurant at Clark & Grand...

    In any case cheers!

  9. dear fly,

    thanks - glad you're back safe and sound!!

    dear Eric,

    I love the steaks at the Morton! Currently however I'm in New Mexico... but I'll try to get to the Morton before I return to Greece!



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