The roadtrip begins

Day 1 – UA865 from HAM to EWR, 6387 km

(comments in Italic by Daniel)

A 09:00 am flight should feel like luxury when you usually have to be up at five to catch your plane. This morning, taking the first of this seasonal service’s flight to Newark, it is a bit nerve-wrecking instead. They do take security controls seriously and I start to feel like being back in Egypt when I had to show my passport seven or eight times on one single trip.

This morning it’s not the passport but dangerous goods in everyone’s hand luggage that they’re crazy about.

I passed by, luckily, but for Daniel it took ages to be screened a second time right in front of the gate.

He had to unpack every single item in his backpack and – despite I appreciate them being thorough, this tested my patience. A lot. We were literally the last ones to board, when the announcement came that our 200-something travel party would be going to the States with only two working lavatories. Good job, United, sending the first plane to Hamburg this year, not working properly…

They ground staff took care of repairing at least one additional and we departed with a slight delay. Coming into Newark we just had to pass the passport control (about one hour) and after we managed to squeeze our three bags into a tiny economy car we made it to New Jersey without any major delay.

During the waiting time to get our start slot, a mechanic was able to repair at least one of the two broken lavatories.  After take-off we had a pretty good flight. Julia got her wine or two or maybe more and I got a great sandwich right before landing in Newark. The flight was just long enough to watch four movies… During the next flights we will create a best of movie list. Despite our expectations, the aircraft was a 757, so a smaller version of the long-haul capable Boeings. It only had six seats in a row (3-3) and smaller seats and displays. Therefore it also seemed to be slower than bigger airplanes – our maximum speed was about 800 km/h.

Arriving in Newark we waited for about an hour to get to the passport check and took the Skytrain to the rental car station. The AVIS station at the airport was the fasted rental car station I have ever experienced. Big screens with your name and parking lot number showed us all the information we needed. You can just go directly to the car, put in your luggage and start driving – the key is already in the car. After 1.5 hours we arrived in Branchville and I met the Perez family for the first time.

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