I had a five-hour red-eye flight from Seattle to Washington DC and then a five-hour layover in Dulles airport. I arrived at 5:00 AM and spent two hours walking the entire airport: all four concourses, up and down, eager to find the very first coffee shop to open.
Somehow I talked my way into upgrading to business class for the flight to Ethiopia. Amen. Having not slept a wink, I could not imagine sitting upright wedged between two strangers for 14 hours. I’d have rather run another marathon. (And the first one was not pretty.)
Ethiopian Airlines business class is called “Cloud Nine,” and for good reason: A continuous flow of champagne and a smorgasbord of traditional Ethiopian tasties interrupted only by blissful supine sleep.
Our next destination was South Luangwa National Park in Zambia
When we arrived at our lodge the first thing we were told is not to walk around the campus without a guide.
This kind seemed extreme. But sure enough each morning we awoke to new friends: the first morning there were two hippos right outside our front door and the second morning a family of elephants traipsed right across the yard.