Wednesday, June 19 – Home Sweet Home

Five thirty a.m. came quickly (it is 11:30 pm Tuesday in Atlanta). I did wake up a few minutes before the alarm went off. I slept pretty well considering I was not looking forward to the travel day since our travel days to get here were not that good.

And, it was pouring rain. Just great. Know how people in Amsterdam get to work in the rain? Ride their bikes holding umbrellas in one hand, steering with the other. Still speeding like a bat out of hell. Unbelievable.

We were able to have breakfast at the hotel. The cook made me two eggs over medium. Chuck got another omelet. Bacon, fruit, OJ, brown bread, and very strong coffee rounded out the meal.

The instructions said to be ready for the shuttle 15 minutes prior to pick-up time. They had a 15 minute window before and after the pick-up time. If they hadn’t shown up after the 15 minutes, we were supposed to call the company. Amsterdam is not a car/van/truck friendly place so adding the rain and the closed street, I was very concerned about the shuttle.

We thought we should wait outside under the awning but the hotel clerk assured us that the driver would come in for us. I didn’t know where he would be able to park to do so with the side street messed up.

At 9:10, we saw one of their shuttles go past the hotel. We just knew it had been out there, didn’t see us, and drove on. I was already starting to think of Plan B – expensive taxi or expensive Uber. But at 9:20, we saw their shuttle pull up and the driver came out – said he was here for the McCannons. We said we were the McCannons, so he loaded our luggage in the van and we were off.

He had to pick up another couple at a different hotel but it didn’t take long. He got us to the airport at the Delta area, and it had stopped raining by then. So far, so good.

Even though we were flying Delta, the check-in was being directed by their partner line KLM. I was used to going to the baggage check-in and getting our boarding pass there when we checked the bag. I had the pass on the phone but sometimes it is hard to bring up so I still like a paper back-up.

Here, we couldn’t get in the baggage check-in lane until we could show a boarding pass. I went to the self-serve kiosk and was able to print them for us. The baggage check-in was different also. Once you showed your boarding pass and passport to the attendant, she placed a sticker on the bag and you were allowed to go behind her and you had to place your piece of luggage in one of the compartments. It weighed and measured the bag. It gave you a luggage tag that you had to secure to the bag. Once you had it secured, you pushed the button, the door to the compartment closed. It opened again – no more luggage. I hoped we had done it correctly and that each of our bags would meet us in Atlanta.

Once we got to security, we had to take our shoes off and empty all pockets but didn’t have to show liquids or take out the laptop. They have a full body scanner so you had to step in there with your hands over your head. Something in Chuck’s carry-on bothered the people scanning so they ran it through more than once but released it without opening it. Not sure what it could have been – maybe his shoes.

Had to show our passports several times more before we actually entered the plane. There were several planes waiting for take-off so we didn’t get off the ground until 1:30 pm (it is 7:30 am in Atlanta). We received the pillow, blanket, face-mask, earplugs just like we had on the flight over.

We got a hot meal about an hour into the flight. Chuck was able to sleep some. I could not. I read for a while, watched 3 movies – The Upside (very good); What Men Want (okay); The Kid Who Would Be King (meh). I also watched a couple of sitcoms. Got up and stretched a couple of times. Went to the restroom several times. About 6 hours into the flight, I needed another Bonine as I felt a little queasy. Worked its magic.

We were offered water several times during the flight. We were offered other drinks and snacks a couple of times. About 2 hours before we landed, we were offered a sandwich.

We landed in Atlanta about 4:30 pm Atlanta time at the international concourse. We followed the signs to passport control. It was a long walk. We were directed to the self-serve kiosks where we had to complete a customs form and scan our passports. I could not get the kiosk to scan mine. Chuck was able to get it to scan. It printed out a ticket with our picture on it. We had to hand that ticket to the last check-point person. Finally got to the luggage area.

Our luggage soon made its way to the carousel. Now we had a problem. Where was the underground tram that should take us to the domestic concourses so that we could get our ground transportation. Seemed the only way out took us to the sidewalk. I had to ask an attendant what we were supposed to do. She pointed us to a shuttle that would take us over to the domestic terminal. Good grief. I know the airport is doing a lot of renovations. I hope the underground fast tram will ever be back.

We were the last ones on before it left. I as glad we made it because I didn’t know when the next one would be there. Groome’s Transportation would be picking us up at 6:15 and it was nearing 5:30 now and it was going to take 10 or 15 minutes to make the trip around.

I was glad it took us directly to the ground transportation/parking area and not the check-in area. We found a seat on one of the benches and immediately we were approached by a woman claiming to be a military person and that Delta lost her luggage from Germany. She said she had a voucher from the USO for a hotel room but she needed money for … (wait for it) … Depends. She was injured in Afghanistan and all her Depends were in her checked luggage. Nope, not buying that story. I saw her approach several other people on several other benches. Wonder how many times a day she works that area.

So Groome’s shows up at 6:00 pm. Yay, early! But, he tells us that the gate arm to the parking entrance was not moving when he approached so as he got closer to the arm, he bumped it with the fender and the gate arm fell off. What? What?

He had to call the Groome office and the airport security told him he had to wait for the Atlanta city police to file a report. OMG.

It was a full shuttle. He let us go ahead and board. Chuck sat in the seat next to the driver. I sat in an individual seat in the back. I knew it would be bouncy in the back but I didn’t want to end up in a middle seat.

The Atlanta police showed up and looked at the damage and the fender. They didn’t charge the driver with anything and gave some information to airport security so I guess they can file it with their insurance or Groome’s insurance. We got to leave at 6:30 pm. With the time difference, I have basically been awake since 11:30 pm the night before. I put my travel pillow against the window of the van and I was asleep although it definitely wasn’t a deep sleep. I roused up just as we were pulling off the interstate to their office. It is now 8:30 pm.

We load the car with our luggage and head for home. We reach the house at 9:00 pm. Our mail which had been held at the post office since May 31st was delivered today so our mailbox was full. Mostly junk.

We were so glad to see Pumpkin and he was glad to see us. He had put his weight back on. His toys were scattered around. We walked the house making sure everything was good. We sorted through the mail. We did not unpack the suitcases. We’ll face the laundry, bill paying, and grocery shopping tomorrow. At 10:30 pm, lights out.

Snuggling with Pumpkin is better than getting the towel animals.

Next up – Universal Studies Orlando Halloween Fright Night & 7 Day Western Caribbean Cruise.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: