When the fireworks were finally done, I decided that I needed to run back to my hotel or at least walk as fast as my short little legs could take me so I started walking. Most of the people around where I was for the fireworks were still standing around and celebrating the fireworks and the start of 2017 but for me, I needed to get back to my hotel to finish off last minute packing and basically nap before the shuttle came to pick me up to go home.
One of the great things about the transportation in Stockholm is that there is an app you can download that is specific to their airport transportation and book a ride through them. It is a door to gate service that is quite convenient and totally worth it if you are taking a super early flight out of Stockholm.
If you’re going to Stockholm, and you would like to check out this service, you can check it out here: https://doortogate.se/en/
I got back to my hotel around 130AM by the time the fireworks were done and I had finally found my way back. I changed into my pajamas, repacked the clothing that I wore to start off the new year and crawled into bed for sleep for an hour and a half. I didn’t really fall asleep like I wanted to because I have a tendency to stress about the early morning wake ups so I have hard time falling asleep and an even harder time staying asleep. I woke up before my alarm around 245AM and laid there until it was officially time to get up and get ready for my long journey back to Los Angeles. Once I finally made myself mildly presentable (basically brushed my teeth and possibly combed my hair), I picked up all my stuff and went downstairs to check out of the hotel. Waiting for the shuttle to the airport was similar to the experience I had in Amsterdam waiting for the Uber. I couldn’t leave the hotel itself because I needed wifi so that I could track where the shuttle was. And lucky for me, there were no hiccups while waiting to get on the shuttle.
We drive the 45 minutes to the airport after picking up all the passengers and I got ready to start my extra long journey home. I was taking the first flight out of Stockholm so the airport was deserted and super easy to navigate. I found my way through the airport, to my gate and then waited for the flight to take off to Dusseldorf for my connection back to Los Angeles. The flight to Germany was relatively uneventful. We landed a little bit later than we were supposed to which meant that I had a very short connection in the Dusseldorf airport. Unfortunately, you have to go through passport control when you’re connecting through that airport and the line for the non-EU passport holders was absurdly long. I managed to get through the passport line with about 15 minutes to spare. My plane was boarding by the time I ran to the gate and I got ready to board. As I walked up to scan my boarding pass, I got an error message and had to go back to the desk to ask for assistance. Lucky for me, for my 12 hour flight from Germany to California, I had been upgraded. Not just upgraded to premium economy but fully upgraded to business class!!
This has never happened to me on an international flight before and it was definitely a welcomed surprise. I hadn’t fully adjusted to the time zones in Europe and had been functioning on minimal sleep. By the time I was leaving Europe, the lack of sleep had finally started to catch up with me and I could tell my body was very quickly losing it. So knowing that I had 12 hours of lay flat beds and actual room definitely made me very happy. I walked into the business class section and like a giddy child had to check out all the buttons and everything that they had to offer in business class. I definitely looked like I didn’t belong but I did not care and I loved every minute of it. When it was finally time to take off, we took off from Germany and I began the long flight home. Overall it was a relatively uneventful flight back to LA and nothing terrible happened. Unfortunately, even with the lay flat beds, I did not sleep very well on the flight back. The time zone changes had finally started to catch up and I was having a very difficult time getting to sleep. And when I would start to fall asleep, we would hit major turbulence which made the entire experience a bit on the rough side.
We landed in LA, I went through Global Entry for the first time and left the terminal ready to go lay down in my own bed and get started for the work week the next day.