Saturday, January 10, 2009

Belgium.... WE MADE IT!

After 24 hours of travel and some sleep, we're feeling human again. The trip here was long and stressful at times (because of the animals) but everyone arrived in one piece.

We got up on Thursday morning and said a tearful goodbye to my in-laws at about 8:30 am. The animals were waiting for us at the local kennel and we packed them into carriers and drove to Atlanta to catch our 5:40 pm flight. Everything was uneventful with the animals. We were stressed (and so were they) about the lack of potty breaks (the cats went from Richmond Hill to Nimy, Belgium without a potty break (about 18 hours).

The big (and laughable event) was going through security at Atlanta Hartfield airport. Because we are military, we were lucky enough to go through the First Class/Business Class security area. It was quite "hushed" in the holding area... all these nicely dressed business people with their suits and expensive bags. When it came to be our turn, I had to take Charley out of his cat carrier and hand carry him through the human scanner hugged tightly to my chest so they could x-ray his carrier.

We set off the metal detector.

I went back and removed my belt and went through for a second time. The alarm sounded again. Chuck struggled and wriggled against my black turtleneck. I am COVERED with hair at this point and we are holding up all the fine folk in line. We both had to go into an isolation area in clear glass in full view of everyone. EMBARRASSING. Chuck repelled every loose white hair he had and I stood there red faced in a cloud of cat hair. They ran the hand held detector over me and it ended up being my UNDERWIRE BRA. Humph! By then I was sweating and his hair was sticking to my face too. I was a hairy spectacle and spent a good 15 minutes with a lint roller afterwards trying to regain my dignity.

We arrived at our temporary housing at about 5am Georgia time the next day.

Brussels was snowy and very, very crisp. A welcome change from the odd winter weather of Savannah (78 degrees when we left). It was hard to see much because it was so foggy.

The temporary housing we are staying in is depressing. It is known amongst the U.S. Military as "The Hotel Misery". White cinderblock, single story, freezing tile floors, very dark, no kitchenette (there is a microwave). It's all surrounded by a small patch of dirty snow behind a rental car business on a busy road. The rumor is that we will be staring at these walls for a month or more because of the housing situation. I'm trying to keep an open mind about that... we'll see.

C-Bear and P-Diddle are hyper as hell even with the jet lag. All the snow and the flight and just plain boredom are making them nuts. Luckily they have their own room and we can send them off with a key card when it gets to be too much.

Today, our sponsors took us to the commissary so we could stock up on microwave food and pet supplies. It was great to get out and see the countryside. Everything looks sunnier when you've had a little sleep and when you have litter for your cat box.

On Monday we will take care of a lot of business like picking up our van and getting the numerous ID cards we need to enter SHAPE and the local base.

Here at the hotel they serve a free continental breakfast (a nice perk!) and I met a very chatty lady named Rose who gave me some great tips from housing to haircuts.

I'm dying to get out and see the countryside. Mons is nearby and is a very old town. Hopefully I can do that this week if we have our vehicle.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

So glad you made almost unmolested!
We miss you already..Tell carol to take Pictures with her new camera and send..Pat left his sack of change but will forward it until you have and address to send us.
R and K

Tara Crooks said...

"I went back and removed my belt and went through for a second time. The alarm sounded again. Charley struggled and wriggled against my black turtleneck. I am COVERED with hair at this point and we are holding up all the fine folk in line. We both had to go into an isolation area in clear glass in full view of everyone. EMBARRASSING. Charley repelled every loose hair he had and I stood there red faced in a cloud of white hair. They ran the hand held detector over me and it ended up being my UNDERWIRE BRA. Humph! By then I was sweating and his hair was sticking to my face too. I was a hairy spectacle and spent a good 15 minutes with a lint roller afterwards trying to regain my dignity."

OMG Edith Mills I am seriously cracking my ass up over here! I have no other words. Only Miss Edith. I'd be peeing my pants if I were there with you. Girl!!!!!