Friday, April 2, 2010

Adventures in The Netherlands with Adina Noel::: "Welkom in Nederland"

The warmer weather is finally getting to Spain, and with it comes the promise of spring break. I love spring break: its spring, its a break, what's not to love? This year was bound to be extra fun though, back in February I had made plans to visit my singer/songwriter and awesome friend Lise Low and her husband in Holland. So I packed a million things in my suitcase and that's where the fun began.

It's fair to say that I was freaking out about the baggage restictions for flying with Ryanair. I guess its the price to pay for a $50 flight. I seriously spent a ton of time stressing over my baggage, weighing, and rearranging. The thing I was most worried about was that my photography backpack was just a wee bit too large for the overhead compartment. Seven centimeters, to be exact. I was really worried that I would get in the plane and it wouldn't fit, and they would want me to check it in... and I am NOT checking it all my gear. I told my dad I would sooner not go to Holland than I would check in my camera, lenses, hard drive, and laptop. It would just be irresponsible to risk it, with all the weddings I have to shoot this summer. It also didn't help any that I was right on the weight limit.

I was getting so worried about things that my dad actually took me to the airport (about an hour away) even though it was a huge inconvenience for him and he'd been saying that he wouldn't do it for the past week. "If you're old enough to go to Holland, you're old enough to go to the airport by bus." He is such a great dad though... I kinda love him! ;) It probably also "helped" some that there were no buses at that time.

So I got to the airport and had about 2 hours or so, dad stayed until I checked in my bag, just to make sure they didn't give me any trouble about the carryon being too big. They didn't. They didn't even weigh it or anything. Then dad left.

So... I was sitting at the gate with two hours and wondering whether I would get some coffee when all of a sudden I start hearing my full name being called out on the airport speakers, in FOUR languages!

When I got to the airport people they said there was a problem with my checked-in bag and that I should follow them. Apparently airport security thought there might be a weapon or something hazardous in my suitcase. Fantastic. Notice how all of this happens when my dad is gone? Now, I realize that I am old enough to be able to take care of these things on my own, and I did, but I am not too proud to admit that I would have felt better
if my dad had been there.

I was escorted past security and through some "secret airport labyrinths" to a warehouse full of suitcases and lifting machines. There was my suitcase, sitting on its own on a desk apart from everything else. The scene was ridiculous, me worried that I am going to be accused of being a terrorist, and my suitcase on that desk just missing that one spotlight to make it more dramatic.

They made me open the suitcase for them (I guess its better if I open it if its something dangerous) and they found that my "weapon of mass destruction" was in fact a camera tripod! Haha. They must have thought it was a triple shotgun or something. The man laughed a little, slightly apologized, and told me that it must have looked like something else under the scanner. Then he said I might want to make sure my backpack fit in the overhead compartment. Ugh. He could have saved that last comment, because it only made me nervous again.

I sat at the gate and rearranged everything. Eventually I asked an american girl sitting about 4 seats across from me if it seemed too big. We started talking and agreed that if they didn't let me on the plane with mine, they probably wouldn't let her on with hers either. Conspired about how we would try to make the flight attendants feel sorry for us and cry, like when we got speeding tickets. Apparently her state trooper felt sorry for her, mine didn't. Silly American girls! This girl, who I will now refer to as "Miley Cyrus" because of a slight resemblance and I started talking and got along great. Photography, weddings, Chicago, Ohio, Bilbao, all good stuff for a conversation. We are gonna hang out when we hit Bilbao again, and now I have a model for a downtown Chicago shoot. So we kept each other company until we landed in Germany. Delayed flight too. Fun times.

When I finally arrived in Dusseldorf (Weeze) Airport I finally got to see my dear friend Lise. We had about an hour ahead of us by car before getting to the house, and by then it was about 11pm. So... what's the first thing I did when I got to Holland? McDonalds. Yes, I know, I am terrible.

McDonalds: The Netherlands

We got to the house, and called it a night.
The fun starts the next day on our NEXT Adventure in The Netherlands!

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