Our trip unofficially began on Tuesday night as we made our way from DC to Bucks County, PA. We were leaving the dogs with Dave’s mom and sister for the duration of our trip and would fly out of JFK the following day. It has become our tradition to stop for Taco Bell anytime we head to PA (don’t judge), except this time we stopped at a different location than usual and were both pretty disappointed in our meals – don’t worry, we made up for it at the end of the trip.
The next day we “slept in” and then took our time getting ready, leaving the house around 11 a.m. for long-term parking at JFK. It was an uneventful drive and we quickly made it to the terminal after dropping off the car. Our goal was to carry on our luggage, but the weight restrictions were really limiting even though we both packed light so we ended up having to check our suitcases. We were also disappointed to find out that TSA Pre-Check was available in our terminal, but we couldn’t use it because we were flying a foreign carrier. Luckily security did not take long, and before we knew it, we were sitting down with food and drinks to kick off the #euroadventure! At this point, we both turned off our work emails and made sure out of office email and voice mail were set.
On the plane we settled in with our pillows, headphones, gadgets and the amenity kit (complete with socks, an eye mask, toothpaste/brush and earplugs) provided by Air Berlin. I purchased our seats in advance so we could have a set of two rather than being in the middle section with four seats. Shortly after take-off, the crew began their in-flight service – full meals and complimentary beer and wine. I had the pasta and Dave chose chicken. Neither were much to write home about, but the potato salad was actually pretty good!
After the service was finished and our trays had been taken I watched some music videos (e.g. this, this and this) and tried unsuccessfully to read. Eventually I decided to get ready for “bed” by taking off my makeup and rinsing with mouthwash in the bathroom. Travel Tip: Bring a pack of facial cleansing towelettes and a travel size mouthwash; they will come in handy throughout a trip and help yourself feel fresh on a long journey. (More packing tips here.)
Neither of us slept much, but we tried to rest as much as possible since we planned to hit the ground running as soon as we got to Prague. After a few hours with the cabin lights out, the crew turned them back up and began the breakfast service. I loved the mini plastic coffee cups that came with our trays and the coffee was actually very tasty. I still have a hard time eating cheese and deli meat for breakfast, but I guess … when in “Rome?”
We landed in Dusseldorf around 7a.m. and had a very anticlimactic experience going through “customs” since there was no paperwork to fill out and we weren’t really asked any questions. The officer glanced at and stamped our passports and then we continued to our connecting flights. We didn’t even have to pick up and recheck our bags.
The flight to Prague was delayed, so Dave tried to nap while I walked around the airport. It was definitely one of the nicest I’ve seen!
Finally it was time to board our next plane. We were ready to reach Prague and luckily the flight was pretty short. I. Passed. Out! Dave tried to wake me up when we landed, but it was difficult to move even after we parked at the gate. Once off the plane, I stopped to brush my teeth and we pulled some money from the ATM. Despite the delay, our driver met us just outside the secure area and our bags arrived quickly. We were ready for our #euroadventure to officially begin!