Friday, March 12, 2010


Wow did 7 am come awful fast! Our man on the ground, Serge, gave us our wake-up call and plans to meet us around 10 am. Way too early to be getting up but still the 5 hours of sleep was much needed after the journey by plane(s). So today we decided to go to the market and get some necessities. Amazing how difficult it is to figure out some of the simplest of tasks like grocery shopping. We find some chips, hot dogs, bread, water, etc, but for the life of us we can't find any ketchup. Anyone know how to say ketchup in Ukrainian or Russian? Oh well, can't look anymore because our guy is early and we need to go. Looks like plain hot dogs for Logan.

Meeting Serge is great. We decide to go to a little shop for a bite to eat and to discuss our plans. Robin, Logan and I know immediately that we like Serge. He has a great heart for the kids and it shows in his passion for doing right by them as well as the families. We are blessed to have him working on our behalf. I can tell that ordering food is going to prove to be a challenge for us. Logan orders what we think is a hot chocolate. In actuality it is thick, hot chocolate pudding. Normally tasty, but not first thing in the morning for breakfast. Robin may be in love though-she has found awesome coffee, served in those little tiny cups. After she gets her coffee-buzz on, it's off to check out our options. See church we caught on film while walking through the town.

After a meeting with the government officials, we have our choices presented to us. Taking into account all that info, we make our choice and then it's back to the apartment to hang out. Robin learns a valuable lesson about some of the bottled watered here-it's carbonated. Logan thinks this is just about the funniest thing to ever happen. Movie time tonight-Harry Potter.

Next morning, a decision is made and we find out we need to take a train to another region of the country. We spend the day sight seeing and getting ready for our train ride. Anyone see the movie, "Dr. Zhivago"? The entire experience reminds us of the train ride in that movie. We left the station after 8:00 pm for an 11 hour ride through the Ukrainian countryside. Most of the train ride was at night so we could not see much out the window. We were in a sleeper car with two small beds and a small table. We spend the first couple of hours watching each other play video games, then we read the first chapter of "Harry Potter and the Prisioner of Azkaban". Everyone is starting to nod off. We make one last trip down the narrow train corridor to "a du tu let" which was a new experience for all of us. After that, we arrange ourselves on the two little cots for hopefully 6 hours of sleep (yeah, right!!!) Logan gets the best of the deal with 5 and 1/2 hours of sleep. Mom comes in second with 3-4 hours of fitful sleep. And, dad manages another 2 hours. That brings the grand total of sleep in three and a half days time to: Logan -22 hours, Mommy- 19 hours, Daddy - 15 hours (maybe). No wonder everybody is worn out after these trips.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


What a mixed bag of emotions for myself. On the one hand, the excitement of finally getting this process moving towards its ultimate goal is awesome. Knowing that we will finally get to meet the future little Mr. Webb is really cool. And on the other hand, knowing there's 12+ hours of flying, broken into 2 different flight, is unnerving for someone who has only flown once before in his life. My first thought was, where's the Zanex? But when you have awesome friends like the Pattara's show up at your door to pray for you, who needs meds. (Huge thanks JoAnn for praying such an inspired prayer)

Now while I was conflicted over this day, it's safe to say the boy and his mom were not. Logan was nonstop, bouncing off the walls and couldn't wait to get on that plane. (Maybe he needed the meds :o) And Robin is a frequent flyer, so for her this is a walk in the park. She has her sights set on her new son and can't get there quick enough. Ding-dong, limo showed up and away we went.


Ok, I think the prayer might be wearing off just a little. Stomach's a little in knots and I can hear the clock ticking with every second. Again, not the case for the boy though as the phrase, "Can we get on the plane yet." is repeated every 3 minutes for the next hour. Maybe his enthusiasm paid off because as we enter the plane, the stewardess asked if he like to see the cockpit. Well, yeah, of course he would. Even his dad wants to see that.

Co-pilot Logan Webb gets to not only see the cockpit, he gets to sit in the seat, wear the hat and turn the wheel. He absolutely loved it. He was grinning ear-to-ear as he made the flaps go up and down and lit the lights up across the console. Captain Rex rocks!


"Look mom, no meds." Takeoff went fine. Mom and boy like watching out the window as we climbed into the night air. As for me that video monitor in the back of the chair in front of me, showing the airline logo was good enough. The plane was pretty cool though. It was big and the flight wasn't so bad. (except if I actually looked out that window that is) We also had monitors on our the chairs and could watch movies, some TV shows and play video games on them. All that would have been really cool, except the movies didn't work. Many of the chairs were having issues due to some computer problem. (Hmmm, Logan playing around in the cockpit, problem with the equipment. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. It makes me wonder). So, we didn't get to see Blindside, maybe on the way home it I can keep Logan out of the cockpit, that is. Thankfully, there are IPod games though.

Meal time- airline chicken. Not too bad, and definitely the best of what was to come. Robin and Logan are able to catch much needed Z's, about 2 hours apiece. Jim, not so lucky. Can't seem to allow myself to relax enough for that. London's calling and in sight. Now I'm getting sleepy. Figures.


Plane's a little late finally getting in and getting everyone off. Connecting flight leaves in 45 minutes, we'd better hurry. Bags are already checked through and it's a connecting flight so this should be easy enough. Crash! That's the sound of that idea dying the hard way. Let me elaborate. First, the British people are very nice and friendly. Upon landing, we rushed through to the connecting flight area. Jim-"Robin, I don't think we're going to make it unless we hurry." Robin's reply, "We'll make it. It's a connecting flight and we should be able to get through the process quickly." First snag-long line at passport check area. Jim-"We're not going ot make it." After an official pulls us from line and sends us through. Robin-"See we're going to make it." Bam! Maybe not, as we get through that area and enter airport security. Can you picture about 500 people all waiting for their carryon and personal checks? Clock's ticking and things aren't looking good. Our turn, several issues as we get checked slow us down. Jim-"We're not going to make it. We only have 15 minutes." Airport security-"No problem, you'll make it. The terminal is right downstairs and you still have 10 minutes." Cleared security. Running on through to the terminal. Problem-where's the plane? Flight doesn't leave until 8:10, it's only 8:05, maybe we're in the wrong spot. Helpful airline information worker-"Oh, that plane left 10 minutes ago. you wouldn't have made it anyway because they close the doors 20 minutes before takeoff." Kaboom! That might have been helpful knowledge to have before running all over the place don't you think? Us-"We didn't make it."

RAMIFICATIONS-In the states, this might not be such a big deal because we jump on the next flight out. Small problem is there are no other flights until the smae time tomorrow. Additional problem, we have a midday appointment that cannot be missed or rescheduled. Panic sets in for Logan and I. Thankfully, Robin is a traveling veteran. She talks with an airport agent who then does her magic to come up with a solution-a flight to Germany! That's right, the Webb family got to make an unexpected visit to Germany. (I am a Vebb after all) After about an hour we're on an older, smaller plane preparing for takeoff. No screens in the seats to distract me this flight. Mild exhaustion is catching up as Robin is zonked out in the seat next to me. The bot of course is looking out the window with wild expectation, and sleep is starting to pull me in. As we sit ready for takeoff, i close my eyes to sleep. Vrooooooooooooom! The plane guns it down the runway and my eyes pop wide open, fully alert and in a slight panic. Robin, out like a light. This smaller plane reminds me of the Amercian Eagle ride at Great America-rickety. As we ascend, the plane shimmys and rattles way too much for my liking. Logan (teasing me) "C'mon dad, look out the window. We're getting way up into the clouds." That boy of mine is a regular riot. Midday airline snack/meal is some strange muffin and cheese spread with diced tomatoes. It must be a British thing-not very good. But since we haven't eaten a real meal yet, we force a few bites.


We made it. Now, on to the Ukraine. Oh, wait... I forgot to mention that we don't leave for 5 1/2 hours. Ok, let's get something real to eat. Never realized how hard it is to order simple food in another language. My ham and cheese - strange cheesy taste for me; Logan struggles with his "crunchy" hot dog (the outer skin dries out after cooking); and Robin, she can eat anything... just about. All-in-all not bad, but not too satisfying either. Break out a Twix bar. After finding our boarding gate, sleep is definitely in order. Sprawled out on the airport chairs, we all catch some shut-eye. Mom & Dad about 2 hours, Logan about 3. Ouch, my aching back. Time to board. This plane is a little larger but a newer, cleaner model of the one we took into Germany. Takeoff scenario... the same, except I am not falling asleep this time. My two "dwarves", Sleepy and Excited, are in their usual positions and away we go. Much smoother take-off. Not as much shimmy and shake, not as bad on the nerves. Maybe I'm getting better at this or maybe I'm just too exhausted to worry. Alright it's mealtime again. Pasta with bread and some green stuff and mushrooms I had to scrape off the top before eating. Ukraine is in site, and I finally fall asleep for 20 minutes anyway. Upon landing in the Ukraine, all told the sleep total is Dad-2 hours and 20 minutes; Mom-5 hours; Logan-4 1/2 hours. Well prepared for what was about to happen next.


We arrived shortly before midnight Ukrainian time. Upon exiting the plane, the cold nightair woke us up. And i mean cold--minus 8 degrees Celcius. We exited the plane directly outside and boarded a bus to take us to the terminal. Unprepared for that type of exit and we weren't wearing our jackets either. Brrrrrrr! Inside terminal, passport check time. All clear, let's go get our luggage. that's right you know where this is going don't you? Round and round the carousel goes and nary a Webb bag on it. It seems that when we didn't board our British Airways flight, neither did our luggage. Nor was it sent sightseeing to Germany. I guess they just hung out with the Brits and enjoyed a spot of tea.

After about an hour of hunt and seek, we got info about how to call and locate them for the next day. Bagless, we ventured out into arrival area where "Uncle Niko" awaited us. Bless his heart, he not only came late at night to get us, but also waited the extra hour while we played "let's find our luggage". He even made sure to wash his vehicle prior to our arrival so we could enjoy a clean ride to our apartment. Small problem-water + minus 8 degrees Celcius temperatures = frozen doors and locks. We all had a good laugh and eventually got in.

Our apartment was clean and accommodating. After small talk, unpacking the few carryon items we had, we said goodnight to our new Uncle Niko. Since all of out tolietries, change of clothes, etc were in our suitcases, preparing for bed wasn't as long as usual. No teeth to brush, no clothes to change into, just blankets to crawl under. Heck, without teeth being brushed no kissing goodnight either. Ahhhhhhhh, sleep here we come. Until tomorrow when we meet Serge and hopefully find our luggage.