Family travel tips to share and how to master hotel stays is one of the most important.

Homeward Bound

Traveling certainly offers me many opportunities to visit new places, meet new people, experience new cultures and of course take many pictures. Why would I want it to end? Well, when the Christmas Holiday approaches, it’s hard to explain but I just want to get home! And so it happened this Thursday (Dec. 4). After a reasonably comfortable overnight stay at the Sheraton Hotel at Frankfurt Airport, I boarded Lufthansa Flight 440 and – after a 50 minute delay caused by an unexplained “airport emergency” – we took off at 11:50 am local time in Frankfurt and landed at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) at 3:15 pm Central time. About 10 hours and 25 minutes of flying time. As my cousin would say – a real “butt burner”!! And so it goes … another trip completed and some well deserved REST.

I’ve been soooooo very busy this year that I have been unable to take much of my allotted vacation time. Hence, I am now on “mandatory vacation”! I must use up most of my 2008 vacation time in the second half of December and the first half of January. During this time interval, I will try to share my Christmas cheer in the form of photos which I will post from time to time. I plan on making NO TRIPS during the Christmas Holiday and will instead remain at home-sweet-home taking care of chores that I’ve put off doing the rest of this year. And as one wise friend once said to me: “Christmas is the time of year when people who normally don’t travel that much, travel”. And he’s correct! That’s why I prefer to stay away from crowded airports, avoid the flight delays, don’t get stuck in traffic snarls, etc and simply stay home. Besides, I’m sure there will be plenty of travel next year!

So before I close, here are a few pictures of my return trip home:

Pay attention to the escalator sign!! Press the handle down!! Releasing the handle LOCKS the cart in place and as the escalator goes UP the cart rolls DOWN …. and can hit the passenger standing behind the cart. I am still nursing the leg wound caused by the cart banging into my shin! Ouch!

CAUTION: Stay away from the Starbucks at Terminal 1, Wing ‘B’ at Frankfurt Airport … if you like decaffeinated coffee, you will hate what this place dispenses. The decaf Americano I ordered tasted so weak, it was basically warm, brown-colored water with so very little flavor. Shame on you Starbucks!

Flight 440 departed from Gate 15. What was unique about this gate is that it is connected to its very own Business Class lounge. You board the plane directly from the lounge area! What a concept!

A view from the window near my seat. The 747 has two engines on each side of the aircraft.