It was a very very long journey, about 27 hours, to get from Dulles to Joao Pessoa. I made the trip with David Freelan and Stephen Arnold. We went from Dulles to Miami in 3hr and then had a 5hr layover there. Then we had about an 8hr red eye flight to Rio De Janeiro. We then had an 8hr layover there! Finally we had a short 3hr flight to Joao Pessoa.
I carried the majority of the batteries for the robots in one of my carry-ons and every time we had to go through security the security guard had to take my bag to the side and check it out. So, I got to tell a lot of people about how we were going to play soccer with robots and that those were the batteries for them.
We had some fun at all of the layovers. During the layover in Miami, a friend of Stephen’s from highschool stopped at the airport and we at pizza with her. We found that the Miami airport is strange and that you have to come out of security to go from domestic to international flights. We didn’t go outside because it was rainy. While at the airport we waited in an empty area around the corner from our gate. Our trip was in an hour and we decided we were going to walk around and check out our gate. We get there and there is no one there! We walk over to the counter and find out that international flights board an hour early and that we are just on time. We were glad we went to check it out.
The flight was reallllly long. I had an isle seat and sat next to David who had the window. We got a mini pillow and a fleece blanket. Each person had their own screen with a pretty big selection of free movies, games and tv shows. This was cool. So, for the first 2 hours I watched “The Book Thief”. It was a book I had always wanted to read but never got to. So, it was fun to watch the movie. The worst part of this part of the trip was when the person in front of me laid back their seat. I had practically no room for my knees. Next time I fly for so long I have to get the seats where there is nothing in front of me. We were served food twice. My first time eating plane food. Not the best but nice to eat something.
In Rio we had a super long layover. But first we had to go through customs. We didn’t run into any trouble. The asked David to open his one pellican case with the tools for the robots, but they only looked at the pictures that Stephen printed out of what was inside and didn’t make him disassemble the foam packing. They had stopped him because it was curious that he was bringing in so many tools. But he explained they were for the robots we had just brought in. So, all went well. After customs and re-checking our baggage it was a lot of waiting. The airport was small and security was nice. We didn’t have to take off our shoes like we do in the US.
The top three experiences at the Rio airport I think were the view of the mountains, I tried an espresso (awful), and our first experience trying to order food when the people behind the counter only understand Portuguese. This was the start of our trip long use of obrigado (thank you in Portuguese). Also of note, toilet paper was disposed of in cans beside the toilet and there was a person sitting in the elevator and pressed the floor button for you. We also may or may not have been able to see the Jesus statue from the airport. We couldn’t tell what the big white statue looking thing in the distance was to be sure.
Since security was simple and we were there for so long I went out side and walked around the front of the airport. I saw some construction, palm trees and jagged mountains. I also saw a car called LOGAN.
So, that pretty much summarizes my first international flight. Overall I enjoyed it.