USA! USA! USA! Well, after getting a couple of hours of sleep,we caught an early bus to take us to the Tel Aviv airport. We left the hotel at 12:30 am Israel time. We had to do this because some of the people in our group had an earlier flight and they wanted to consolidate trips as much as possible.
Sooooo, we were at the Tel Aviv airport way early and had to wait for about an hour and a half (I think – might be my jet lagged mind though) before we could check our luggage. We finally got our luggage checked at 3:15 am and then went through the multiple security checkpoints. They went very smoothly though.
We got to our gate about an hour and a half before our flight to Vienna, Austria boarded around 5:30 am. That flight was around three and a half hours, so that part wasn’t too bad. We flew both of our homeward bound legs on Austrian Air and they were nice planes and the crew was wonderful on both flights.
On the way to Vienna, we went over what I think might have been the Alps. I’m too tired to try to figure it out, so leave a comment if you have more info. Lol
We arrived in Vienna without any issues. Judging from how the countryside looked flying into Vienna, it is a very beautiful place.
We had a short layover in vienna, but went through scanners so we had to toss our water bottles unfortunately. So, yet another water bottle purchase in the Vienna airport. But it gave me a chance to get a 20 cent piece. So now I have some euro coins and a few of the NIS (New Israeli Sheckle) for a souvenir. The only problem is that the smaller water bottles that I got for my wife and mother-in-law, had no English on them at all. So it turns out I accidentally got them that carbonated “sparkling water” instead. Oops. Made for some interesting fizzing when my wife added her powdered flavor packet to it. Yikes!
Them, it came….. that dreaded leg of the trip. The 10 and a half hour flight from Vienna to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. The flight was smooth, but long. Austrian Air has some good food, so I couldn’t complain. Plus they kept us very hydrated at all times. Each seat had a “personal entertainment” screen to help pass the time with movies, TV shows and games. It was kind of funny watching my wife and mother-in-law play that “find the hidden objects” game for a while.
Then, we finally landed at O’Hare airport. This is the first time that I have come back into the country with a passport. Yeah, I know….rookie, right? Lol. All of my travel for work has been domestic, so this was a new experience for me and my wife. My mother-in-law has been outside the US before though.
One saying kept running through my head while at O’Hare, and it was a quote from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where Arthur Dent proclaimed “I’m British, I know how to queue“, meaning spending forever in very long lines… I may not be British, but wow, can I relate. Yes, I just let my geek show a little there.
As I am typing this, we are sitting on the Van Galder bus headed to Rockford where my son-in-law (Jason) is going to pick us up. Not quite home yet, but the hard part is behind us.
I hope these blog posts of our adventure to Israel have been a blessing and hopefully a little inspirational to make you want to go there. I can guarantee that it is VERY much worth the small investment in going. Our Tour Guide Irit said one thing at the very first day of our tour that I will never, ever forget. She said “You have been reading your Bible in black and white. After this tour, you will see the Bible in color.” How true, Irit. Oh, how true.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Please leave them in one of my posts about our trip and I would be happy to respond to you.
And with that, I bid you my final Shalom from our Israel trip. God bless!