Trip part 2: Flight to Hamburg

March 25th, 2010

Note: This post written March 13, and posted after our return.

Yesterday was a day of travel. We said goodbye to Jacob and Oliver in the morning. We had thought a lot about how to tell Jacob what was happening and when to tell him. Ultimately, he doesn’t really understand time or distance very well yet, and we know that he worries about the unknown. So although he knew about the visit to Indiana for awhile, he didn’t know that Terah and I would be going somewhere until th emorning. He wasn’t pleased, but seemed to take it well. We told him that “we’re going to a hotel in Germany” and reminded him of other times we’ve gone to a hotel. I also reminded him that sometimes a babysitter comes to our house while Terah and I go somewhere else, but we always come back later. That seemed to help.

We got to the Indianapolis International Airport in plenty of time for our flight. They have built a completely new terminal building; the old one we were familiar with is now abandoned. The new building is beautiful, sunny, open, and even inspiring. I was impressed.

Newark Liberty International, on the other hand, had all the ambiance of a Greyhound station across from the county jail. It reminded me a lot of Chicago Midway, which I used to go through regularly: dark, a bit run down (water stains on the ceilings), and nowhere near enough seating in the gate areas. We wound up standing for an hour before our flight left (late).

The food court in Concourse C was something special. As we were witting there, Terah remarked on the constant stream of passengers that walked up to the food court, glanced around, and made a look of “THESE are my choices?” Which was our exact reaction a few minutes before.

Yep, it’s the first food court I’ve been in where McDonald’s was the upscale choice. The sit-down “Mexican Cafe” had hamburgers with “mexi-fries” as its main attractions. Terah tried out the dodgy pizza place while I tried out the even more dodgy Chinese/sushi place (I was not silly enough to try sushi there). Ultimately we decided that perhaps the point of the food court was to make us eager for airplane food. The choices in Indianapolis sure put that to shame: TGI Fridays was a real gourmet option compared to the choices in Newark. I was really a bit embarrassed; Newark is a major international airport, and many visitors to the United States will be greeted by a foul-smelling food court and a dingy airport. Yay for being welcoming?

Well, really we had a good day of travel and I shouldn’t be ragging on the Newark airport so much, so I’ll say something positive: there’s a pharmacy right behind the food court, which is probably a very convenient location to meet the needs of many diners.

Anyhow, our flight left Newark about an hour late, at about 7PM Eastern. As I write this, it’s about 7:30 CET (1AM Eastern) and our plane will be on the ground in about an hour. I’m excited for the coming week! I got some sleep on the plane, but not a lot. I’m hoping that I will have the energy for a good weekend.

Categories: Travel

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  1. Mark Van den Borre

    Don’t worry about an airport food court making a foreign visitor feel unwelcome. At that point, the forced fingerprinting process has made it perfectly clear already to a foreign visitor how unwelcome he is in the US.

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  2. Russell Coker

    I agree with Mark. After you’ve been through the TSA a dirty airport terminal IS welcoming!

    Since 9/11 I have avoided more than a few visits to the US, probably at least $10,000 in expenses (hotel, food, tourism, etc) worth.

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