I left for Italy October 15 from San Diego, CA. I flew coast to coast that day, so we (being me and my dog Peanut) ended up in Washington, D.C. by the end of the flight where we had about a two and half hour lay over. Not to mention the flight felt like it took forever!!
From D.C. we switched over to the Austrian Airline and we flew over to Vienna, Austria. It was a very long flight about 8 hours, but the flight itself was very pleasant. It was an over night flight. I sat in economy (it was all I could afford), but I was thankful that the seat next to me wasn't sold. Each seat had our own little tv monitor with a remote control and had several t.v. shows and movies to watch in about four different languages with a set of head phones to listen to it. The flight attendants were all really nice and helpful they served us drinks all the time and lots of tea and coffee. We were served dinner and it was pretty good (much better than I thought airplane food would be) and we were even served breakfast. I tried to sleep but its hard to get comfortable in those seats!!
We landed in Vienna, Austria and this was my first experience with a foreign airport and I was so scared. I have never been overseas before now so the whole experience was super scary especially doing it all on my own. I get off the jet in austrian and everything in their airport is so different from ours. I have a hard time finding my next terminal because all the signs are so different. The arrows pointing you in the right direction aren't very helpful at all and you have to go through like two other check points before you even get to the next terminal. So I end up at a passport check point almost in tears because no one speaks english and I don't know where I'm suppose to be. The lady there speaks english and isn't nice at all. I ask her if this is the direction to terminal b and she totally snaps at me and finally says yes. I give her my passport and I totally get it stamped!! My first stamp in my passport!! So I try to follow those signs and find myself at a place that totally looks like a mall!! So the whole time I'm wandering around this place I finally figure out the arrows mean to go down and then I find myself at another metal dector and I go through it to finally find myself at terminal b. I was so happy to finally be there but I was still very upset over the whole experience. Not to mention I totally had to use the restroom and I couldn't figure out where it was the whole time I was there. So I finally get on my flight on this little prop plane and head to Venice, Italy.
It was a small little plane and thankfully it wasn't a full flight so no one sat next to me. I still had to go to the restroom but I hate those little bathrooms and I didn't want to leave peanut alone because she was already freaked out so I waited until we landed (it was only about an hour flight). I get to Venice, Italy and thankfully there bathrooms are much easier to find. They say toilets and have pictures to show what they are! I then went to baggage claim and was again almost in tears because I didn't see my hubby!! I couldn't figure out where he was and why I hadn't seen him yet. I finally figure out that you can't go to the baggage claim without a boarding pass so I calm down. I get my luggage and go out the exit and I was so happy to finally see a familiar face!! I started to cry again about my whole experience and getting lost and my hubby just hugs me tells me it will be ok.
Its still very weird and scary. Definitely a culture shock. I never really understood what people meant by that until now. I know it will take awhile for me to get use to it over here. I look around and see everything that is so different. Even the commissary and what they sell is different and I just can help but want to cry.....