Let a 48 hour travel journey begin, at 1am of course. We had a driver pick us up for our 3:30am flight. Thankfully the hotel was willing to pack up some fruit, yogurt, and pastries for our breakfast.
The drive was wonderfully short compared to our hour long traffic filled arrival. It’s amazing how peaceful the roads in Cairo can be if there’s no one else driving on them.
We get through several security areas, check in for our flight and browse the duty free shops since Ty has some leftover Egyptian Pounds he’s given to the kids. L bought himself a little fox stuffy, and R decided to cash hers in for USD. We got on the flight and they gave the kids these chocolate Santa’s! So kind, but also hollow so they were crushed, and pulverized and leaking small chocolate bits for the next two days.
The flight was easy and we made it into Athens, without issues. We had about 5 hours on the ground, in which we needed to get another COVID test, and check in for our flight to Doha. Upon landing in Athens, they had someone from our group do an additional COVID test. I was the closest to the nurse so I volunteered. Ugh, at least it wasn’t way up the nose but it was still painful. We lounged in the baggage claim area for an hour or so. We ate our breakfast, R FaceTimed with her bestie, it was just a nice quite spot with not a lot of other people around so we could take our masks off for a bit.
After 8:30am we were within our 48 timeline for landing in the US so we knew we could go do our final COVID test. Ty did a great job of figuring out all the paperwork that was required for each country due to COVID and the timing of all the tests we would need. Being expert testers by this point we decided Athen’s swabs were very pointy and abrasive but thankfully they didn’t go up as far as they did in Jordan.
We packed a separate bag of a change of clothes, swimsuits, and a pair of jammies for L since the airline ones didn’t fit him at all, and we’re having another 14 hour layover in Doha. This time we were going to be prepared. We checked in for our flight, and then found ourselves a lounge to relax in. Ty and I played some cards, R took a snooze, and L played some cards with me as well.
It was so nice getting boarding our next flight. It was going to be 5 hours but it would be comfortable and we’d be well fed.
We arrived in Doha, and got through security no issues. A bit deja vu but we knew right where our hotel was. We were all pretty exhausted but looking forward to trying out this hotels pool. It was huge! It also felt so good to move our bodies for a bit.
We all crashed early and slept for about 10 hours. It felt glorious to be laying totally flat in a bed.
We decided to prioritize sleep over waking early to go to a lounge. Best decision! We took a quick photo with the bear, checked out a kids area, and then went through security again for our flight.
The flight was wonderful but it definitely feels longer when you are well rested and don’t sleep at all for 15 hours! Lots of movies were watched, several meals were eaten, I tried multiple types of drinks, alcoholic and non, and read my book. The best part was probably the lobster thermador. Seriously felt so luxurious and it was incredibly delicious!
It was 10:30 in the morning when we landed in Seattle but felt like 10:30 at night for us. Everyone was feeling tired. R started falling asleep as we were landing, of course! So when our luggage was delayed at customs R feel asleep and L was zoned out on my phone. I guess between the snow and staff shortages that’s why our luggage took about 45 minutes before it was off the plane.
Our flight was delayed by 45 minutes and we had several hours so we at least weren’t feeling stressed about the delay. The weather in Seattle has us all a bit worried. After all these flights we were one more away from being home and we were all desperate to get there.
Several flights to Anchorage had been cancelled that morning but ours was just showing as delayed and not cancelled. We checked in and got our bag tags but the line to drop off our luggage was massive! It took us almost an hour but we got our bags checked in and through security. We used our priority pass to try the new BBQ place in Sea-Tac. It’s was ok, nothing great. Then we went to our gate, hoping our flight would be boarding soon. We were supposed to leave Seattle by 3:30 but our flight kept getting delayed. Our plane finally showed up to our gate and we were all so excited! If we have a plane there’s a good chance we can get home.
We got on our flight about 5:30 but then sat there for another hour waiting on the deicer! UGH again we were so thankful to have a flight that was leaving but it was brutal waiting. The kids were asleep before we even left the tarmac, thank goodness.
We landed about 9pm, and did a final COVID test so we could feel comfortable around our family. So nice to be back in the US with cushy swabs, and shallow swipes. My mom picked us up and we were so happy to see her. The animals were all excited we were home, and we never want to leave again! Travel is amazing, but coming home is the best.