The Long Journey Home

by Funhog Family on September 14, 2019

Packed and ready to roll

We got up at 4:30a to start our journey home.  The airport was 15mins away and traffic was light that early in the morning, allowing us to drop of the rental car and still make it with plenty off time to catch our flight.  Our flight to Vienna, Austria for a layover was pretty quick as was our layover there.  Then we boarded the nine and half hour flight to the U.S.  Again we were blessed as they upgraded us to business class, so we had plenty of leg room and those little hot towels to freshen up with.  We also got some pretty yummy food for airplane fare.  Austrian Airlines has started sending chefs along on the longer flights, so it was a gourmet experience.

Our fun did not really begin until we landed in Chicago.  Going to Slovenia we got to check our luggage from Phoenix directly to Slovenia without having to take our checked bags through customs in our Germany layover.  Coming back we had to collect all of our bags in Chicago and take them through customs before we could catch our next flight.  I knew it was going to be close, as we only had a 2hr layover in Chicago and getting through customs could easily eat that away.

There was a mass of humanity trying to make their way through the different check points before they got to the place they could collect their bags to go through customs with them.  When we finally got to the carousel for our flight we had an hour left (still enough time to catch our connection).  Then we waited.  Our first bag came out within fifteen minutes, so I was pretty sure our other two would quickly follow.  Then we waited…and waited…and waited.  There were others around us waiting for their bags too.  There was a guy beside us in his sixties that lived in Chicago, so no need to catch another flight.  He got so angry for having to wait that he was screaming at the carousel and telling everyone what he thought of the delay.  

I thought God was in the delay for us, though I could not understand why.  Everyone else got there bags eventually and we were still waiting.  Finally over an hour had gone by.  I looked down at my watch and we were supposed to be boarding our next flight that very minute.  Elijah looks up from his seat on the one bag we did have and he saw another one of our bags in the middle of the airport, sitting on a cart with no one around.  I went and grabbed the bag.  Then Elijah looks up again in a different area of the airport and again one of our bags is sitting on a cart in the middle of the airport.  Our bags were in different areas, no where near our carousel and they appeared the exact minute we should be boarding our next flight (only the Lord).

Getting our bags, we went through the next layer of customs.  Since we had gone to Slovenia, they made us go through a different line, which deposited outside of customs before we were able to check our bags onto our connecting flight.  This would mean we would have to take a bus to the next terminal and then redo all the check in process again.  I asked a flight attendant if they could let us back into customs.  She told me there was no way they would ever do that, but I could try.  I went up to the guard and explained everything, then miraculously they let us back in and we were able to check our bags.

Lights out

We had to wait another 4hrs for our next flight, which seemed to almost double our overall flight time.  Elijah was a dead man walking through Chicago and yet we were thankful for the Lords provision and direction.  We made it home and have been trying hard to get back into the rhythm of life we left.  Both Elijah and I are still waking up in between 1-3a each night, not being able to go back to sleep.  The sleep will come.

Elijah’s Take – We woke up really early and got on the plane after waiting a bit.  Then we stopped at an airport for a bit and then left.  The flight was really long.  When we got off we waited for our luggage for so long.  Then we got on another plane and got home.

{ 1 comment }

Learning Ljubljana – Slovenia

by Funhog Family on September 13, 2019

Castle on a hill

Originally we had planned to continue camping the last three days of the trip.  The weather changed and with predictions of 1-2 inches of rain per night we decided hotels may be a better fit.  This would also mean we would not have to pack soaking wet gear to travel home.  For our last rainy day in Slovenia, we spent the day in the capital, Ljubljana.  Our friendly concierge helped us pick the best parking lot, as some of them double or even triple their pricing after the first hour.  Even on a rainy day the city was bustling.  We made our way through the crowded cobblestone streets, checking out the city.  The center market was nice with all the market stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables.  Our highlight was the butchers bridge.  The city tradition is for lovers to come to the bridge and symbolically pad lock their love, with real locks to the bridge, then drop the keys into the river below.  What this has created is a bridge with thousands of locks locked all over it.  Some of the locks appear to be quite ancient and then there are countless others from all the different ages.  We also liked the dragon bridge, with the dragon statues.  After a couple hours of big city life, we were full and in need of a quieter place.  We retired to our hotel to get ready for our full day of travel to the states the next day. 

Time for Pool

Elijah’s Take – We woke up and daddy taught me how to play pool.  I taught daddy how to play table football.  We were waiting for the heavy rains to lessen, then we went into the capitol of Slovenia.  We hiked around and went on a bridge with a bunch of locks and fish statues that looked gross with locks in their mouths. Then we went and had noodles for lunch.  We hiked some more and then drove out of the city and to our next hotel.

{ 1 comment }

Tourist Time – Solvenia

September 10, 2019

Today Elijah and I decided we would try something we have not done during our whole trip, be tourists.  We started our day off with going on a 11a tour of the Skocjan Caves, with several hundred of our closest tourist friends.  At the entrance they split us up into six groups of 40 so […]

Read the full article →

Wash/Rinse/Repeat – Socca Fun, Solvenia

September 9, 2019

Wash/Rinse/Repeat.  Seems like we have gotten into a cycle on this trip of me doing something with Elijah, then allowing him to show me how to do it, and finally him leading me through it.  We woke up in Italy with the rain clouds gathering.  We knew that it would be raining heavy for the […]

Read the full article →

Basking in the Rio Simon – Italy

September 8, 2019

We got up early to be on our way to the Rio Simon today.  It was a must do canyon on our trip, that is known for its beauty and ticks!  The hike into these canyons always surprises us.  What I am reminded of constantly is that we are in poor shape for hiking in […]

Read the full article →

Lazy Day – Italy

September 7, 2019

Both Elijah and I woke up slowly this morning.  All our fun has left us exhausted, meaning we needed a rest day.  We chose to hang our the lake at our camp ground.  Elijah rented a kayaked and paddled all over the lake.  He had a great time exploring, while I watched from the shore.  […]

Read the full article →

Hand of God – Brussine Canyon, Italy

September 6, 2019

We woke up excited to begin our day with the highlight canyon of the trip.  I was positive our run ins with the Austrian army were over and that we would be allowed entrance into the Fraunbech Wasserfall today.  As we drove up to the trailhead, I saw the red flag was hanging from the […]

Read the full article →

Castle Hunter’s Leaving a Legacy – Austria

September 5, 2019

After a good hearty Austrian breakfast we headed to our canyon.  As I opened the door at the trailhead all we could hear was rifle fire.  I knew the Austrian army does shooting practice one day a month in this canyon, but I was not able to discover when that day was going to be.  […]

Read the full article →

God Speaking in Koritnica – Solvenia

September 4, 2019

It rained most of the night, which helped keep the smoke down.  In the morning we were packed up and gone before the campgrounds started waking up.  On the way out of town we stopped by the pharmacy to buy Elijah a pair of car sickness bands (all those countless twisty roads were impacting him).  […]

Read the full article →

A Kozjak Canyon Kid – Slovenia

September 3, 2019

Our day started with a full night’s sleep, thank you Jesus!  Still learning how to navigate all the rocks the tent is placed on top of.  We will spend the time next camp, no matter what all is going on to place the tent well.  We got to eat cold oatmeal while overlooking the river […]

Read the full article →