When we checked our baggage it was only sent to Denver--which obviously isn't where we live--so when we arrived in Vienna the nice lady at the desk offered to check it all through to SLC. We were grateful and accepted her offer. We then proceeded to go through more security to get into our gate. They wouldn't let us take our carry-ons so we checked those, too...then endured the long overseas flight. For me it wasn't too bad. I fell asleep somewhere over England and woke up around New Foundland so that was pretty much the whole flight.
As glad as we are to be back home, some things were not quite so welcoming! The first thing we heard as we stepped off the plane in the Washington, Dulles Airport was, "Transfers only! Come on people, just because you don't speak English doesn't mean you can't use your head!" Ahhh...the good ol' US of A! While we were collecting our luggage to take through customs, Andrew got sniffed by a dog. We're not sure why. Apparently he looks suspicious. The guard was like, "Hey, you with the backpack!" Andrew turns around. The guard said, "Get over here." And then the dog sniffed him and went on his business. Apparently the guard wasn't satisfied because he walked by us like 6 times after that. You'll be happy to know that we weren't carrying and bombs or drugs (surprise!) so the dog always ignored us, much to the chagrin of his master. We made it through customs without any trouble, and our flight left shortly after we arrived at our gate.
On to Denver. By the time we endured our 4 hour flight we were starving. So we thought that we would go and get some food. Food in Jordan is so cheap--everywhere. You find virtually the same prices on the street, in a fancy restaurant, in a mall, or in the airport. Not so in the US. We had forgotten. We ended up sharing a personal pizza for $8. (In Jordan you can get a meal for two: medium pizza, salad bar, garlic bread, and refillable drinks for like 7.975 JD, not that I'm complaining). We weren't satisfied but at least we weren't starving! After our flight was delayed twice, we boarded our plane.
An hour and a half later, we arrived in Salt Lake and greeted our family. We then went and waited for our luggage. We waited and waited and waited. Then our carry-ons came through. Then we waited some more. We waited and waited and waited. Then when there was no baggage left on the belt Andrew and Reid went to baggage claim. Good news! Our baggage was found in Denver! I suppose that is good news considering it could have been in Tahiti but I really wanted it to be with us. After all, with the new rules we had no toothpaste or shampoo or chapstick or deodorant. I was really hoping that maybe we could shower. Alas...our baggage was supposedly on the next flight to SLC and would be arriving on our doorstep at 4 AM.
When we arrived home to our apartment at midnight we were dead tired, having been traveling for the past 72 hours, but we decided that we really needed a shower because we hadn't had one in equally as many hours. Our family had already moved our stuff into our apartment (hallelujah!) so we searched around for a few items. We found an almost used bottle of shampoo, a bar of soap, and an almost empty tube of toothpaste...and 2 new toothbrushes. Why I had packed those things up when we moved, I'll never know, but I'm certainly glad that I did. I'm a genius!
So we had a quick shower and went to bed. I had to be to work at 8 the next morning so we set our alarm for 6:30 and promptly fell asleep. We woke up at 6:00 and decided that was close enough to 6:30 and there was no point in going back to bed. We raced to the door like children on Christmas morning to see if our suitcases had come. They had not. Instead we went to the store and bought deodorant, shampoo, and toothpaste.
Then I went to work for the whole day while Andrew stayed home and put our apartment together. The benefit of that is that I didn't have to do much to move in. The bad part is I don't know where anything is. That, and we're missing random stuff like the plug to our griddle, a crocheted dish towel and a cooling rack. Bummer.
Lucky for us most of our clothes were in our carry-ons because we had done a short trip through Turkey and Dubai after we were done in Jordan so we took the small suitcases with us. Andrew decided to wash our clothes. For some odd reason the washer wasn't plugged in so Andrew plugged it in and then threw a load in. 10 minutes later he smells a burning sound. He runs into the kitchen but nothing was on in there, so he checked out the furnace. Our furnace is right by our washing machine--which was smoking and making strange noises. Andrew unplugged the washing machine. He took our clothes over to his parent's house to wash and dry. We called the repair man.
The repair man came. He looked at the washer. Yup, it was broken alright. The renters before us had broken it and didn't tell our landlady (Andrew's mom). The timer on the washer had burned out and thus was burning out the engine because sometimes it spins clockwise and sometimes it spins counter-clockwise and the timer was telling it to do both at the same time. I can sense its confusion. So, the repair man replaced the timer and told us to stay in the house for the first few loads we do just to make sure it works properly.
That evening we put a load in and sat down to dinner. A few minutes later our neighbour ran upstairs and rang our doorbell. "Are you doing laundry or something?" she asks, panicked. "Yes..." we reply and run to our laundry room (which is actually a closet). Water is everywhere and the machine is not running. "Water is pouring in our apartment!" our neighbour half-yells. What a wonderful way to meet the neighbours.
We take every towel in our house and sop up the water. The water that had been pouring into our neighbours house slows to a drip. We take our laundry out of the machine and put it in the bathtub. Then we start hunting around for the drain. We had to phone Karen to find it. When we finally did, we noticed that the AC pipe as well as the washing machine pipe had not been in the drain pipe well enough to collect all the water. Andrew put them back in the drain and we were able to drain our washer without any complaint from our neighbours. But we haven't tried washing another load...we'll have to see how that goes.
As stressful as this first week home has been, we are glad to be back but we definitely hope that everything quiets down a bit and we can re-meet our neighbours under better circumstances!