Today was a whirlwind! We woke up early so Markus could go get some extra suitcases, bringing our total for checked luggage to 14 suitcases and 4 duffle bags. I couldn’t tell you what’s in each one, it’s all a blur now! I may never find my toothbrush when we arrive because there are too many places to look! Thank goodness we have to wear a mask everywhere, no one will notice!
Markus was back with two extra suitcases, two extra duffle bags and an assortment of zip ties, luggage locks and luggage straps before 8:00 am. On the rare occasion we use Uber, it’s super helpful and I am going to miss it! I spent the next two hours packing away, making sure each piece was under 50 pounds or 23 kilograms. Markus supervised the whole process and did all the weighing. This is the part of traveling where he and I really clash! He’s streamlined and I’m pack for every possible scenario… opposites in this way! He’s gotten used to having heavy luggage and lots of it but even I have to admit this is excessive!
- 14 suitcases 28” or bigger
- 4 oversized duffle bags
- 5 carry on suitcases
- 3 backpacks
- 1 diaper/stroller bag overflowing with snacks
- 1 computer bag
- 2 car seats
- 1 booster seat
- 1 stroller with detachable seat and bag to break it down and store (zipper was broken on this bag our last trip so this is one of the places we used a luggage strap)
When we were married I got the cutest luggage tags with our wedding picture on one side. We only had 12 of those. I asked a dear friend to print out something and laminate for us to zip tie it to the cases and she came through even though she was swamped at work and is currently 48 months pregnant! When we need to be efficient Markus and I can knock out just about anything. We took to tagging and it went surprisingly quick and easy!
I have to send a huge thank you to the front desk and shuttle driver from Springhill Suites, they were amazing! They put another shuttle into service just to get us to the airport and three people came to load the suitcases for us!
Once at the airport it was a game to get suitcases from the drop off outside, to the inside of the doors and then to the check in. Remember the riddle with the bail of hay, the cow and the wolf? This was like that in that we couldn’t leave anything alone, and we couldn’t leave kids alone, so we positioned Lainey and Logan at the check in counter, Lukas and I were outside and Markus was running back and forth. Lukas was inside the airport by the doors while I moved suitcases from outside to in, and Markus was taking those all the way down to the check in, this was he could always see both me and Lukas and the kids. It’s situations like these where we work really well together. Once everything was at the check in, the real fun began!
The check in process was long and we were fortunate enough to have a sweet young new guy that was training with his supervisor, so it there were two agents! She started with passports, and then he confirmed the Covid tests were negative and then made sure we had registered to let Germany know we were coming and where we had traveled. Then began the fun of all our bags! Easy ones first, they did anything with a car seat, gate check tag for the stroller, all carry on luggage that we didn’t want to take with us on the plane was all free. There were 8 pieces! 3 car seats, one stroller, four hand luggage! Then came the bigger suitcases, all the while Markus and I are busily locking and strapping all of them! They said we may need our kids birth certificates and wedding license in Germany as we would need proof to enter Germany since US visitors are currently not allowed. That sent me on treasure hunt to find our important document file (which is actually this great little fireproof and waterproof bag I ordered here from Amazon) because I only had with me what I thought we would need at the airport. One after another our luggage is weighed, tagged and stacked to go to the plane. We were informed that each of us got one carry on, one checked bag and one personal item, but Lukas has a lap baby ticket so that is all he gets. After the free one, it’s $100 for the first addition bag and $287 for any after that! I can’t explain it, I will have to look later, but we ended up is $2122 in extra luggage fees. It would have been cheaper to upgrade to first class and then all our luggage would have been free, only they didn’t have the availability! Long story short, we were able to check in everything, keeping three backpacks, the baby bag. the laptop bag, stroller and two suitcases to go on the plane! This is the lightest I have ever walked on a plane!! 😂
Getting to the airport three hours early, after checking in, we only had one hour to wait before our boarding started and I had to feed Lukas, who immediately fell asleep! He woke up just in time for boarding and spent the first three hours yelling and bossing us around! He has a new molar coming in, so he’s in a super good mood!
When I walked into the airport with the luggage it suddenly hit me, this will be my last time breathing the Texas air as a resident of Texas, so I walked back outside and took a deep breath, a little smoggy from the airport, but good enough! I have traveled out of Texas for more than a month at a time, but always came home to Texas. For nearly 42 years I have lived with in a two hour radius of where I was born. This is a big deal for me, it’s a huge move and I am looking forward to the adventure and I will be writing about it! I will miss Texas though. So much of who I am is that I am from Texas, it’s how I explain the way and reason for things, it’s how I apologize for being loud or over the top, There is an overwhelming pride and arrogance that comes with being born and raised in Texas, God Bless it, I hope that doesn’t make it harder for me to find my footing in a new country!