And the trip begins…

I have decided the easiest way to update everyone is to just add entries as I would have if we could have posted freely while in India, so, we start at the beginning.

As Josh put it, we had a sleep over on Monday, December 26th in Chicago.  Trevor drove us to the hotel, and Josh’s parents brought him later.  It was nice to be able to spend time getting organized and making more detailed last minute plans. The hotel provided a free shuttle to the airport, and dropped us right at the international gate 5 of O’hare International Airport on Tuesday 12/27.

Our check in process went very well, the security.  As much as we try to be prepared and make security easier, there are always some changes, and although the lines were fairly long, and some of us were given mixed messages(Josh) ranging from “Come forward” to someone else telling him “Sir, stay with your bags”.  We finally all made it through without any extra scrutiny and found our gate where we sat to wait.  Thankfully the plane departed only a few minutes late, and we were on our way to Paris.  Now this trip was very different from our first one, we had extra stops.  We thought we would be better with shorter flights, but it took us much longer to get to India.  Unless there is a significant price difference, I don’t think we will take this route again.  Our flight left Chicago just before 5 p.m. on Tuesday for Paris(approx 8 hour flight).  We arrived in Paris early morning on Wednesday.  We had about a 2 hour layover in Paris, but it ended up being just about perfect time to get to our gate and have a little time to relax before the flight to Mumbai left just before noon(approx 8 hour flight).  Our first flight was Delta, this flight was Air France. Delta flight was much more comfortable and seemed to have more space.

We arrived in Mumbai just before midnight of Wednesday 12/28.  Now we had a 6 hour layover.  We had to collect our baggage, and luckily were able to check it back in right away and head through security again towards our gate.  Then we decided to get something to eat.  We didn’t have any Rupees, so we were using US $.  Tyler and Josh opted for KFC because very little was open at that hour.  The airport was quite nice, and once we finished eating, we went to our gate to wait and nap.  Our flight from Mumbai to Hyderabad left at 6:15 a.m. Thursday 12/29.  We arrived in Hyderabad at 7:35, and were able to get our luggage quite quickly and then head to the meeting area where we were greated by Raja, Kumari, Chris Wells, Vandan & his wife, Raja & Vandan’s nephew Abhilash, and their father Solomon.  There were others whose names I didn’t know.  We decided to give Josh the honor of riding shotgun with Raja driving us to the hotel.  We were able to sleep for a few hours and get a shower before meeting everyone back in the lobby to leave for the drive to Vijayawada. We arrived in at our hotel in Vijayawada around 5 p.m. Thursday 12/29. End of travel for a few days. Time to sleep for the night so we can get started tomorrow.

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