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Mike's Adventure to Poland - 2002

Part 1: The Trip Over

As always, I begin with the adventures of my trip over.

I arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport at the TSA-recommended time of two hours before departure for international flights.  I was through security and at the gate with an hour and 58 minutes left until boarding...

Then, the most annoying family in the world sat down next to me.  Although they looked like the Osbournes, they acted more like the Griswolds, so as soon as they said they were boarding my row, I immediately got in line, even though it meant that I would be on the plane for an extra hour longer than my 8-1/2 hour flight.

Unbeknownst to me, this annoying family also got in line.  As luck would have it, guess who I was assigned to sit next to.  After arguing with the father over my seat (do you really think the seats go "A-B-C-G-D-E-F-H-J"?), I finally got to sit and listen to these guys bicker for about 15 minutes.  Then, the flight attendant asked if anyone would be willing to move to an aisle in the back of the plane.  Me! Me! ME!

NWA 747-200
The Northwest 747-200 that flew me from the Twin Cities to Amsterdam.

So, we took off and flew to Amsterdam.  It was dark when we left, and it was dark when we arrived.  I have never flown to Europe from the Midwest before, and so it was kind of shocking when we didn't leave North America until 3-1/2 hours into the flight when we passed from Newfoundland over to Greenland...

The movie was the "Crocodile Hunter," which I had no desire to see, so I chose that time to sleep.  At least until all the kids started screaming.  You would have thought that this plane was "Operation Babylift II" with so many kids on board!

So, we arrived at Amsterdam at 7 AM, and I had a baguette while I waited for my 11 AM flight to Warsaw.  I went and waited at my gate.  They changed my gate with that of the KLM flight to Tripoli, and I was wondering why the other passengers kept giving me bad looks...

So, finally on the KLM 737 to Warsaw, and we are off.  The flight attendant started passing out sandwiches and asked if I wanted "meat or cheese."  I chose "meat."  Turns out it was ostrich.

Then we landed in cloudy Warsaw.

Continue on to Part 2: Warsaw Arrival