Robert Stuart Trail 1812 — 1813

Day 1: August 12th, 2007 Munich — Pittsburgh

Because I am flying with United this year, I don’t need to get up this early. Around half past nine I arrive with my parents at the airport — and everything is full! No parking spot to see! So they just can stop for unloading and then my trip starts.

Luckily, the Lufthansa counters for US flights are all empty. But this happiness does not last long. I have to look for a United counter, which is well hidden somewhere in a corner. But they are also not very busy and an employee accompanies me to the Self Check–In. There he guides me through the menus and so I am finished with everything in a very short amount of time.

Next is the security check. There is the usual procedure with wiping over my stuff to check for explosives, due to all my equipment. Then the passport inspection is next. There I am really curious, because I am now without mustache. But they waive me through without any question. Also the second security check is passed pretty fast. Last is the usual interrogation by the American airlines about what I am all carrying with me.

At a quarter past ten also this last obstacle is made and I arrive at the gate. But unfortunately my plane is delayed. The flight arrives around noon in Munich. So the boarding is also delayed to 1pm. My neighbor in the plane is from France and studied materials management in Germany. Now she is on a business trip in the area of Omaha to improve production there as a project engineer.

Around 3pm I arrive in Chicago. First step is the Immigration. Like every year before, they distribute you from one long single waiting line to the different counters. But as usual, I end up at a counter, where the guy in front of me needs forever. After there have already been passing two people on the other counters, they order me to a different counter.

Then things are going quick and easy. To my surprise they also do not ask about my new look. Then I walk to the baggage claim. After a very short waiting, my suitcase already arrives. Now I can quickly pass customs and drop my suitcase for my connecting flight to Pittsburgh. The airport train takes me to the terminal. Now I must pass again security. There they open up every single film roll and check the content!

Around a quarter to five I have passed everything and walk over to my departure gate. Now I must wait until 7pm. When the boarding starts, I am called to the counter. I already expect the worst like the machine is overbooked or something else bad. But the lady tells me, that she has upgraded me to First Class and she hopes, that this is okay for me. Yeah, absolutely!

I even arrive a bit earlier in Pittsburgh. Because my mobile phone is not yet reactivated, I must use the public phone again. Because the phone card is way more expensive, I put in a dollar in quarters to call Helen. Then I pick up my suitcase. This time I have two suitcases: My usual big suitcase and a trolley. Otherwise I would have been over the weight limit for a single suitcase.

For my big suitcase I specially bought a new luggage strap, which was still in place in Chicago. But now it is missing! Somehow the employees in Chicago are not able to handle my strap correctly. That’s unbelievable! This one was even to just press to close it. But even that is too complicated! That is really annoying!

But I have no choice. Lucky me, the suitcase didn’t open up. So I roll all my stuff outside. There we have around 75 degrees, which is pretty comfortable warm. On her first round, Helen missed me. Because I did not knew her new truck and she did not knew about my new looking, we just saw each other on her second round. Back home at Helen’s house, I write an email to my parents. Then I fall dog–tired in my bed…

  • Sights
  • General
  • Breakfast: Home
  • Dinner: Plane
  • Motel: Home
  • Distance: —