Our shocking trip to Croatia (Part I)
Day One in Croatia (Day 9 of traveling): We zipped up our luggage and headed to the Dublin airport. We had to leave our friend's wedding gift in the hotel because it would no longer fit in the suitcase (sorry Charles and Emily, I swear we didn't buy that much in Ireland). Even during the holidays I've never seen an airport as busy as the Dublin airport was this morning. We arrived two hours before takeoff but Jack and I were both convinced we would miss our flight.
Because of Ezra we were ushered into a "special services" line which essentially meant we cut everyone else only to be stuck behind the worst family in the history of world travel. I have no idea where they were going but they were checking two bikes, two sets of skis, and a table for waxing said skis. After a pretty easy check in (they let our bag "slide" at 28 kg!) we had to stand in line again to check the baby's carseat. This line was also held up by the world's worst family, lucky us.
Security too had a special line for "families" and we were able to breeze through with enough time to get breakfast and drinks before our flight. The flight from Dublin to Munich (or was it Frankfurt? can't remember) was pretty unremarkable. Our flight was late landing so we had to hustle to get to our connection. We saw some friends from Minnesota and started chatting. The gate agent yelled at us for not boarding when she called forth the "families" (this is totally optional in the US, who honestly wants to be on the plane longer than necessary with a kid?). And then just like that we had landed in Split.
The Split airport was a little podunk. The one elevator was so small our large family of three couldn't all ride in it at the same time. We got our bags and got in line for our rental car. Sweet cheezus, this was awful. If you ever have the opportunity to rent from Sixt, don't.
I don't really know why this took so long, perhaps it was the confusing insurance programs, perhaps it was that the rental agents were using the hot spots on their phones to power the internet, perhaps it was that you had to share your whole life story starting from conception before being deemed worthy of a car. I only know we stood in line longer at Sixt than we sat during our two flights getting to Croatia. Or as the gentleman in front of us stated, "I've purchased homes faster than this!"
I think the most trying part of the rental car experience was you could see the sun setting over the beautiful beach from the windows of the airport.
We finally got our car three hours after landing and set off to our home for the next few nights.
I was panicked we wouldn't have anywhere to eat based on our experience with places closing early in Ireland so I made Jack stop on our drive to the apartment. We found a grocery store whose name we recognized from our time in IE and grabbed some of the essentials (cheese, prosciutto, pistachio ice-cream bars, orange juice, wine). Someone even questioned us in Croatian which was such a high compliment, OOOOH THEY THINK WE'RE LOCAL!
The directions to our rental seemed pretty straight forward when I breezed over them during the booking. However, in a country where nothing was written in English, in the dark, where despite an international plan my phone was barely functioning, it was a miracle we found our accommodations.
From the host:
This picture is actually a photo of a terrace of Vila Diana hotel, in Kralja Zvonimira street, on a number 29. Below you will see a small street, between the mentioned hotel and curtain shop named Koltrina, which will take you directly to our parking and to our small Nincevica 1 street.
*Gives GPS coordinates*
House Sandra is also in my street, Nincevica Street, so after you park just enter the small street by it. Walk up until the end, for like 30-40 meters. Then you will see a black table in front front the house. That is our house, you have arrived.
Thank god we found that curtain shop.
We settled into our fairytale cottage and crashed hard.