The lead up to this trip has felt disjointed with loose ends left flapping all over the itinerary. As a result, I was double checking the itinerary, the to-do lists and the packing list 3 or 4 times
Did I mention that we have had to compress our luggage into 5 kg carry-on? Oh yes, friends. Due to the very short 2 hour connection between 3 of the 4 flights taking us from Mombasa to Vegas, we won’t have time to wait for checked luggage.And one of our legs, on the obscure Tuifly, a budget European airline, has extremely strict luggage weight and size restrictions with carry-on.
Becausr of this one leg, I have had to leave my camera behind and Kara, her ukelele.The sadness of not having my good camera when I see a Kenyan sunset has not hit me yet, but it will. I have been too busy to have time to feel sad.
I crawled gratefully between the sheets by 2 am and actually woke at 5, beating my alarm.It was around then that the first ‘adventure’ happened.Ihave been contacting our accommodations to let let them know if we are checking in late, but I kept forgetting to get in touch with our Airbnb host at Savannah. She is a Superhost which sounds promising, right? The old home she is in the historic district and has been entirely remodeled. One of the places we were really looking forward to staying in.
Thankfully at 5 am, I remembered and sent the email to tell our Superhost that we were getting in pretty late.5 minutes later, when checking emails, I saw that I had an email from Airbnb, mentioning a refund. Was it a scam? Why would I be getting a refund? I hadn’t cancelled any accommodation!
On cue a second email appeared, it talked about my cancellation.Cancellation? No comprende!!I I opened the email. It said something about my ‘cancelled stay’ at Savannah. My insides went cold. I must have been all thumbs and accidentally pressed ‘cancel reservation’ !
Frantic, I scrabbled to undo the cancellation or at least rebook it.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another arrive, it was from good old Superhost.
Apparently, while she remains a Superhost at other locations; no longer at our Savannah house.
Hence the refund. Unfortunately the head-start I had on the day was swallowed entirely by a battle to find a new accommodation under new, far more expensive holiday rates.
In the end, a suitable home was booked half an hour before we reached the airport!
Our bus driver did a commendable job, getting us to the airport on time through the lashing wind and rain.
We joined the queue for check-in even though it didn’t open for an hour. The Etihad line was already impressively long and jumbled so it felt like the right thing to do. The people in front were a family of 9 adults with nearly 30 huge pieces of luggage. They were happy to have Kara help them steer the unruly trolleys through the maze of check in when it finally opened
The man who did our check in was extremely skeptical of our traveling with hand luggage only; and he checked our passports and asked fir more details.
‘Why’, he asked me, ‘are you traveling for 6 weeks with no clothes!’ I had to explain about our Kiwi.com set of 4 flights taking us from Mombasa to Vegas with such short connection times; and he finally let us go.
As always I found the airport exciting and a gateways to possibilities
When we eventually boarded our first Etihad flight, and got to our seats,, the family was impressed with the leg space and the big screen that came with each seat.
The entertainment was great, thank goodness! As it is a 14.5 hour flight.
Both rows in front of my row had a Mum flying solo with young kids. The first sign that it was going to be an interesting flight was that both mums repeatedly got up and down to drag down their overhead bags and get things out or put things in. It was every 2 minutes for a while!
Then the young boy, after accidentally pressing the call-attendant button and having a kind flight attendant come and help him, decided he would be pressing that button from now on. His Mum did not seem to know how to stop him, even thought 4 separate attendants begged him to stop.. Then he stood over his seat and started covering my screen and his mum didn’t seem to know how to stop him doing this. She basically apologized that her son would be annoying me for the flight.
I ended up ignoring it and he got bored.
And both the of the Mums were aggressive with bothering flight attendants to do thing for their children.
They both played the ‘tear.’ card to try to coerce the frazzled flight attendants into extras for their kids.
The woman directly in front, infuriated no less than 4 flight attendants with her rudeness but eventually managed to get her children the amazing kids meals she had not ordered. ‘Look at these children; they are hungry, they are crying for their food’ , she gestured wildly at her 2 unfazed children.
The main meal, a tagine was rich, and quite good.
After 14.5 long hours we arrived in Abu Dhabi! Now we are sitting here, waiting to board for Nairobi!
It sucks to leave a less than pristine house for the house sitters, but that is what happened