Wending Our Way Home

Ah the last day. I’m always in a hurry on departure days and would rather be at the airport 2 hours early than right on the dot. It leaves no time for error or even chance.

We got up at 6 and our flight is at 9:30. It doesn’t take a long time to ride the train and bus but we did have to walk, buy tickets, get on the train, transfer to the next train, then catch the bus to the airport. Rita also had trouble checking in early apparently because we are taking a KLM flight to Amsterdam then a Delta flight to Minneapolis/St Paul. Add in the poor Internet access we had at the hotel and even airport and we weren’t able to get checked in early.

Anyway, we showered and finished packing. I’d packed most of our stuff in my check-in bag last night so we only had to pack the last of our dirty clothes, toiletries, and the electronics we left charging overnight. We snagged breakfast getting there a few minutes before they opened at 7. Went back up to get our gear, check out and head to the station.

The station was a little busy as it was morning rush hour but we arrived at the last stop and walked to the buses. We were looking for 119 or the Airport Express. We were waiting on the AE and watched as 119 left when Rita spotted that the AE was 50ck each, not the 26ck we’d already paid and since we didn’t have the additional funds, we caught the next 119 (which arrived before AE did).

The driver was really hauling and even just made it through two lights speeding up at the yellow πŸ™‚

At the airport, we were presented with three terminals. We weren’t sure so decided to get off at terminal 1 which was where we arrived at last week. The departure board said we should go to the gate but we needed to check in first. The check in desks were configured a little differently than we’re used to and we didn’t see a Delta terminal. Rita asked at the security desk and she pointed us to the desks. As it was 8:43 when I looked, we went to the desk but was shooed back behind the line. We waited 15 minutes while they got ready to open their desks and at about 5 of, we were waved to the desk. She started asking a few questions and determined we were in the wrong terminal. We needed to walk 5 minutes to terminal 2 and check in.

At the desk, we tried to use the automatic check in kiosk but we were 5 minutes too late. We were sent over to the Air France desk to arrange a new flight. Initially, the lady said she could get us on an afternoon flight if we wanted but there would be a 10,000 ck penalty; about $580 each but if we’d come back in an hour, she’d try to get it reduced.

We headed to the Starbucks for wifi so Rita could try to get in touch with Victor and Nadine to let them know as we were not going to be able to meet them in Amsterdam. We hung out for an hour then headed back. The lady at Air France was able to get it reduced to $250 each. A penalty but better than the first quote.

With that we had tickets to Denver via Amsterdam and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Rita hunted for a wifi connection to make sure Vic and Nadine were made aware. She was able to get messages sent off but wasn’t absolutely sure and wasn’t able to get confirmation from the couple. The next few hours was spent with Rita frantically hunting for a good wifi spot and generally waiting until the gate was announced, walking to the gate and then waiting there for the flight to be ready.

The plane was 20 minutes late leaving due to a landing light burning out and the flight a little bumpy going through the cloud layers both ascending and descending into Amsterdam.

We disembarked on the Tarmac interestingly enough and rode a bus to the terminal, then had to quickly head to gate E4 but had to go through passport control and then a security scan at the boarding gate itself. We’re in different seats for a little bit but Rita’s seatmate (she was in the middle) moved to be with his buddies because the person sitting there moved, so I moved to sit next to Rita.

There was time for four movies so a long flight in general. Since we were flying west, we were essentially standing still. We arrived in Amsterdam at 4:30pm and arrived in Minneapolis at around 7pm. Food was ok, standard air type chicken with overcooked rice etc. We had a snack about an hour before arriving in Minneapolis of pizza and gelato which wasn’t too bad actually.

In Minneapolis we had to go through the security checkpoint, pick up my check-in bag, go through the customs checkpoint, then try to find departures for Denver. There wasn’t a sign anywhere with directions so we had to ask at the information desk. We went upstairs and found our gate. I grabbed a sandwich and paid with USD for the first time in a week πŸ™‚ Rita plugged her phone in and we had real internet again so I posted a quick Facebook update.

We got on the flight at 9:15 or so and sat in the back. We had the entire row to ourselves so Rita moved back one row and I stretched out and napped. We’d been up since 6am and at this point just in counted time we’d been up for 16 hours. Add in the 8 hour time difference and we’d been more or less up for 24 hours.

We arrived at around 10pm (add an hour don’t forget so 26 hours) and had to wait for the bus to take us to the off-airport parking lot. We finally got home at 1am having been up with a few naps for 29 hours. We got stuff put down, locked the door, said hi to the cats and hit the sack. We got up at 6:30 or so as our house sitters were leaving.

I’ve snagged the pictures from all three devices and gone through them to make sure they’re rotated correctly. Next I’ll be incorporating them into the website then adding pictures and editing the blog where necessary.

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