DSCF0837(This is what I wrote while on the plane)
Royal Jordanian Airlines is the worse I’ve ever flown, not that I’m a frequent flier. The heat is stifling and I’m so thirsty I can’t even make urine. I still have over 7 hours left on the flight and I’m so miserable that I can’t even sleep. There is not even WiFi on this plane. I’ll never fly this airline again if I can help it. I have to push the call button at least 10 times before a flight attendant will come and see what I want. I saw one attendant walk so fast down the isle she almost took a guy’s head clean off his shoulder as he was leaning a little in the isles. The seats in this plane are so small and the plane itself is old. Ahmed used this airline when he went for Hajj and that is why he picked them for our trip to Egypt. This is definitely not an airline I would fly with again. Total waste of money. (Well not a total waste, we got to Alexandria safe and sound and they fed us more than I expected.)

Ahmed and I have been traveling for the last 48 hours. We left my sister-in-law’s house on Monday morning around 3 pm to drive back to NC to take the car and the leftover items we could not and did not want to take with us. The drive is about 8 hours long. We got to Durham, left the car with a friend of Ahmed’s, and returned immediately back to Florida for our flight. We were of course cutting it very close as we had to be at the airport in Orlando, Fl in enough time to check in for an international flight and it was scheduled to leave at 3:40 pm on Tuesday. We pulled in to my sister-in-law’s house at about 10 am and immediately put our luggage in the rental van we got before we left Durham. At this point, we had only eaten a quick lunch on our way out of Gainesville the day before at McDonald’s so we were running on the fumes of gas station coffee for me, Monster caffeine drink for Ahmed, and chips and candy bars. We were hightailing it down to Orlando, which is 2 hours from Gainesville on absolutely nothing but prayers. We made it to Orlando airport with our 6 large bags and about 4 carry-ons, not including my purse and our coats, at 2 pm. We knew we had entirely to much luggage but Ahmed was determined (as always) that we would make this flight.

We thought booking our flight for 12/25 would make flying a breeze as most people would already have done their traveling. That idea turned out to be a joke and the line at the American Airlines counter was wrapped around the counter. Two ladies told us if we had our confirmation number we could self check in. We gave them our flight itinerary and immediately they started conversing with each other in Spanish about how they could not find our flight, we had no confirmation number, oh and this flight was for 2:40 and not the 3:40 we kept on insisting it was for. Come to find out, our flight was moved forward an hour but the discount online website we used to book neglected to tell us, so in fact we missed our flight leaving for Chicago because it left an hour earlier as per the new flight plan! The American Airlines employee was very helpful and got us booked on a United Airlines Flight leaving within the hour at another gate. A skycap was called to help us load our massive amount of luggage and off we went around the corner in an absolute hurry because we needed to catch this flight in order to make our connecting in Chicago that evening. We get to the United Airlines counter and get charged 600 dollars for our baggage because they only allow 1 bag where American Airlines allows 2. We had purposefully and meticulously spent the last month whittling down our belongings so we would only have 2 extra bags at 175 a piece. We were expecting to pay 300 dollars for the bags and instead had to pay twice that much with absolutely no options since we had already missed a flight and were in danger of the whole trip going wrong. We kept pushing though and Ahmed as optimistic as ever paid the price and said, inshaAllah everything would be alright. He had brought an extra bag full of books and wanted to pass it off as a carry on. I was skeptical and with PMS riding me hard I thought this was not going to work. I tried to keep it positive and when he said, don’t worry, I said, ok. We got to the check-in after the TSA screening, which was every bit as tedious as I thought it was going to be, and because the United flight was booked they were trying to check as many carry-ons as possible. So we ended up checking 2 of the 4 carry-ons we had and they did not even blink at the heavy bags were we trying to bring on the plane. InshaAllah, when we get to Alex all 8 of the bags will be there and we will have pulled off a wonderful feat. Of course, I still don’t have my crystal glasses or my Breville Juicer, but you can’t have everything.

As I type this it is Wednesday, 3:47 am EST and I have been traveling by car or plane since Monday at 10 am. I’m officially exhausted and the plane is so hot I can’t sleep. My menses came on of course during the flight from Orlando to Chicago and the extra set of clothes I packed in my carry on got moved to the checked baggage because my carry on was so heavy I could barely drag it.

All-in-all, this has been a great adventure, we have traveled this month by car from Durham to Philadelphia, from Philadelphia to Gainesville, Gainesville back to Durham and right back in the same 24 hours to Gainesville, from Gainesville to Orlando, and currently we are flying over the Atlantic ocean to Amman Jordan with a connecting flight to Alexandria, Egypt. Traveling is certainly a hardship and I haven’t had a shower since Sunday, but I’m having a wonderful adventure with many more to come.