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Month: July 2010 (Page 2 of 4)

Wordless Wednesdays: Painting Fashion

Alternate title: Sorry boys, I’m taken

Look! A distraction!

Still blogging from my iPhone. I love the darn thing and would hate to live without it but blogging on here is soooo sloooow. It’s seriously making me stabby. Instead of bitching about how irritated I am with my lack of computer I’ll distract you with this hilariously cute papillon video.

Here’s hoping I stay sane until my life returns to it’s version of normal. Or just that I don’t call The Salvation Army to take away everything we own and start from scratch. I’m tempted.

Still in the dark ages

Still without the internets over here so no Holland pictures. Today was spent with Phoebe at class, moving some last odds and ends and unpacking.

I can’t decide what’s worse, moving or unpacking. I’m leaning towards unpacking. At least with moving it’s fairly brainless tasks like lifting and walking. It’s exhausting but at least you don’t have to think very hard. With unpacking you have to figure out where to put every little thing. Will this fit? How does that look? Where’s the most logical place (you know, so it’ll be in the *best* place I can’t find when I’m looking for it later)?

We also didn’t have nearly as much time to pack as I would have liked since I got stuck in The Netherlands for almost a week. That means a lot of the stuff got thrown into random boxes to be sorted through later. Good times.

Also on the to-do list, painting the old apartment back to white at some point before Thursday. I really wish the other apartment complex’s management didn’t suck so much. If I’d have known we were going to move out after only one lease term I would have left the walls white. Oh well.

Tomorrow the guy is supposed to come out and turn on our Internet. Why someone has to physically come out I’ll never understand. I mean, obviously they own the Internet. You’d think they’d have figured out a way to do it digitally by now. What do I know though, right?

At least our tv is now set up. Putting on DVDs to play in the background makes unpacking so much more interesting. The time visiting with Joel is nice too. Without being able to bury my face in Twitter we talk a lot more. Who knew?

I hope things keep moving along quickly and we get settled in. We’re all tired and ready to be done moving.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program…

I know you all were expecting more Holland stories/ pictures. However, I spent more than 16 hours moving to a new apartment today and I am dead.

Plus, they aren’t installing Internet at our new place until Tuesday. Thank God for my iPhone, right? Otherwise I’m kind of living in the dark ages over here. Well, the dark ages with air conditioning.

I’m also buried beneath a pile of boxes. We seriously have a path from one room to the other but otherwise our apartment is filled with boxes and other crap. Every time we move I wonder where the heck we got all this junk. Seriously.

Anyway all this to say I won’t be posting about Holland today. I’m blogging from my iPhone which doesn’t have any of my pictures on it. It’s also not good for substantial stories. Besides, I’m basically brain dead after the million loads I carried up three flights of stairs.

I may go back to the old place and use the Internet there until we get ours hooked up at the new place. I’m not really sure though. Obviously I’ll still post tomorrow, just not sure what it’ll be about exactly. Right now I’m going to try to con Joel into giving me a foot massage while I pass out. Night!

Um, who gave them permission to grow up so fast?

I know that someday soon I need to write about my time in The Netherlands as an au pair. I mean, I did but that was my very first blog and honestly not that great. You probably don’t want to sort through the ramblings and broken pictures. I will write about it soon, really. Not today though.

For now, all you need to know is I was an au pair for my Dutch family and I love them. What caused me to think about going to The Netherlands was the World Cup game, but what convinced me was the idea of seeing my family again. I arrived Saturday morning (thankfully very well rested because of my first class seat) and had all day to visit with them. It was fantastic.

This is my sweet Caroline. She has a bit of a flair for the dramatic…

and an obsession with my iPhone. As you can see, Timo thinks it’s pretty nifty as well.

Lekker ijs.

If you’ve never had a stroopwafel, I’m sorry. So delicious. In ice cream? Even better.

Timo, Morten and Caroline. I can’t believe how big they’ve all gotten. They were only 1, 3, and 5 when I first met them. Now they’re 7, 9 and 11. Ah!

While strolling around Rotterdam we came across these flower arrangements.

I told you the Dutch grew fond of vuvuzelas.

That evening we headed over to my second favorite Dutch family’s home. There I got to make homemade sushi for the first time. Despite being very labor intensive it was fun and allowed for some nice conversation.

It was also quite yummy.

Sisters, Ineke and Thea.

What a little ham. I actually traveled to Romania when Thea and her family were living there to help her out with her other kids when Abel was born. He’s five now. Eesh!

I can’t even express how much this family means to me or how amazing they are. As stressful as the trips back and forth to the airport were, I really was lucky to get some extra time with them. It ended up being almost a week which was really a big treat.

With all the visiting I did, plus the stories, video clips and pictures from the game, my time in Holland will have to be broken into parts. Look for part two tomorrow!

This better be jet lag

I’m exhausted still. I felt pretty good most of the day but around 7pm I started feeling super tired and sick to my stomach. I kind of have the chills though too so I’m really hoping I’m not coming down with something. That would be just perfect. At least I’m at home if I get sick. However, we start moving tomorrow so I really don’t have time for illness. Hear that Body? I do NOT have time to be sick right now.

Anyway, I’m just not feeling up to sorting through and editing the hundreds of pictures and video clips I took this week. There are a few great ones though (like that teaser?). Even though we’re moving I promise that, as long as I’m not sick, I will get a post up with them tomorrow. ::cross my heart::

For now, watch this song.

While all you Americans loath vuvuzelas, (for the record, vuvuzelas are a South African thing, not a soccer thing) the Dutch actually grew quite fond of them after they were introduced to them during this World Cup. So much so that they wrote a whole song dedicated to them. If I could find the lyrics in writing I would post the translation but I can’t so you’re just going to have to guess. This song was played over and over in Amsterdam. It cracks me up and was a lot of fun to listen to when 180,000 people were singing along to it. Good times.

Until tomorrow.

Hoooome!

Despite the challenge that it was to get to Brussels, my bet paid off and I got a flight home! There were three of us standbys that ditched AMS and took the risk of going to BRU. We kind of bonded in Amsterdam and then again today. When you’re in stressful situations like that I guess it’s pretty common.

Not long after we got to the gate the CSR made an announcement that they were clearing the standby list so we should remain seated. At that point we got excited because we were pretty sure that was a good thing. It was! Before boarding was even half over I was handed a business class boarding pass. I could have kissed her. I controlled myself, although I don’t think my thank you even began to express my gratitude. I literally got teary eyed at having that boarding pass in my hands. Me and another standby were seriously hugging each other we were so happy. The only bummer was, because of date restrictions, one of the standbys I bonded with didn’t get on. As I went down the jet bridge, I overheard the CSR tell the other guy he wouldn’t be able to fly. I felt so bad for him. He’d been trying to get out just as long as I had. Hope he makes it tomorrow.

Once we were on the plane I was in heaven. There were a few tense moments where the pessimist in me was afraid the flight would cancel because they were running “system checks” for 30 minutes past departure time. Thank goodness everything checked out fine and we were able to get on our way. I didn’t truly relax until we were in the air.

Then did I ever relax. Seriously, if you have to travel first and business class is the way to do it. For some reason, despite a short, restless night of sleep, I wasn’t sleepy once I was on the flight. I ended up watching four different movies and playing a bunch of games on the entertainment system. So nice.

The best part by far though was giving Joel a big hug and kiss. I missed him so much! It was also good to see my puppy. I’m pretty sure she missed me too.

Please focus on the cute puppy and not the enormous bags under my eyes.

It’s now about 7:30pm and I’m seriously thinking I’m going to go to bed as soon as I publish this. Really I wanted to go to bed around 5pm but I thought that was probably way too early. I have a ton of pictures and videos to go through and since my brain is basically apple sauce that’s not going to happy tonight. Look for several Holland posts in the coming days. Night! ::yawn::

The one where nothing goes right

I still can’t get home. Today was the day that looked best for the flights. Now I’m really starting to freak out. All the other flights are just as full and no more than 2 standbys are getting on at a time. Considering there were 33 today it should take me approximately 4.7 months to get home. Guess I’ll have plenty of time to practice my Dutch.

Seriously though, it was probably really stupid of me to come. It wouldn’t be as bad if I wasn’t supposed to start working again in a week. I also missed my last soccer game and am well on my way to missing Phoebe’s first competition. If I don’t make it back my next Wednesday I’ll lose the job I haven’t even started yet. That would be awesome. And by awesome I obviously mean the freaking worst.

I’m just feeling extremely down and defeated. I don’t have many options. There are only two flights a day. After that I’m S.O.L. I just really thought I’d get on today and I wasn’t even close. It doesn’t help that the CSR is a complete bitch. She’s just rude and as soon as she thinks the flight is full she makes us leave her sight. Not kidding. Even though every time everyone is not on the plane which means it’s possible there could be an open seat because of a no show or error. Doesn’t matter. Once she’s done she literally makes us leave the gate area so she doesn’t have to┬ásee us any more. She better hope she’s never on a flight I’m working. Just saying.

Anyway, the flights are just as full through next week. So, in a desperate attempt to leave Europe and get back to The States I’m going to try something a little different. At ridiculously-early-o’clock tomorrow morning I’m catching a train to Brussels. I praying that I make it on one of the two flights out of there tomorrow morning. If not it’s going to be an expensive train ride for nothing. It’s cheaper than going back and forth to Schipol day after day though so if it works it will be well worth the money. Plus, I’m still under 25 so I can ride on a youth ticket. Score! The ticket calls me a “youngster”, kind of makes me giggle.

Oh, and now? It took me an hour and a half just to buy the ticket. I selected home printing because that way I’d know the ticket was ok and in my hand. Wouldn’t you know the printer is inexplicably offline and won’t print. Nothing we do seems to work. I guess I’m going to end up canceling my reservation and making a new one. Because of course there’s no option to change to picking it up at the station. It’ll cost 5 Euros extra but at this point I don’t really care. I should’ve been in bed hours ago. I’m sure a short night of sleep will help my attitude loads in the morning (not).

So yeah, sorry for the downer attitude. It’s just one of those days, you know? We really can’t afford to just buy me a plane┬áticket back home so it’s stressful. I really didn’t think it would be this hard to get out. I guess I learned my lesson. If you pray please say one for me tomorrow. Or whatever good luck charm/vibes you can send my way would be amazing. I really need it.

Still Here

I can’t wait to write about my time watching the game and my days here but they really should be accompanied by the pictures and videos I took. Since I’m still stuck in The Netherlands I don’t have any way to really upload or edit them.

Why am I stuck in The Netherlands? Well, apparently I’m not the only one who wants to get back to Chicago. Unfortunately most of the other people have tickets. I however, can only list myself for any available seats. Sometimes that works out great. Like on the way over here I ended up in a first class suite. Trust me, sweet only starts to describe it. It is a fantastic way to travel if you want to arrive well fed and rested.

On the other hand, when the flights are really busy it’s a problem. Then I travel all the way to the airport (45 minute train ride) just to sit there for several hours and turn right back around. It’s not cheap. It costs about 30 Euros round trip. Not too bad if you only go once. It starts to get expensive when you have to do it several days in a row though. Plus I have to clear customs and get a stamp in my passport every single time. My passport is going to be so full but it’s only going to be of AMS stamps. There’s also the lugging of my bags back and forth, up and down several flights of stairs and on and off of trains.

The silly thing is, staying here longer is kind of a treat. I feel more at home here than anywhere else in the world. I really love spending the extra time with my host family. If I knew when I could get back I wouldn’t be bothered, I’d be ecstatic to be here longer. It’s the back and forth and the unknown that has me all stressed. I just want to know the plan.

The flights look a little less full tomorrow than they did the last two days so I’m really hoping I can make it home. We’re supposed to sign the new lease on Friday. Plus I really do miss Joel a whole bunch (aws and all that mushy stuff, sorry). Wish me lots of luck. Now I’m off to bed because 5:30am comes really early.

::Tear::

So sad. They tried their hardest but just couldn’t pull it off. ::sniff sniff:: I’m still so glad I came and showed my support. I’m also glad I got to spend time with my host family. They’re the best. Still… maybe next World Cup, Holland.

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