Train to airport, flight to Newark and then to Indy, finally home
29.05.2007 - 29.05.2007 14 °C
Our flight left Amsterdam at 1:30 pm. We decide to give ourselves one hour to get to the airport and then 2 hours at the airport. We had no idea how many times we would get turned around in the adventure to the airport so we wanted plenty of cushion.
We left the hotel at 10:30 for our odyssey home. The tram to Central Station went well. No problems. Our first Snafu happened at Centraal Station. I tried to buy tickets from the automated machine. What seems to be a pattern with automated ticket machines on this trip, it wouldn't take my credit card. So we went to the ticket booth around the corner and stood in the que. 10 minutes later we're on our way to platform 13.
The train to the airport is quick and painless. Not crowded at all. We did however sit by two Cris Kodiak's who were apparently out very late the night before and did up their last night in Amsterdam much differently than Megan and I. Cris would have been proud of them based on their stories. After 20 minutes of eavesdropping, we get to the airport and after a little wandering around, we find the Continental check in counter. Our bags are all under 50 lbs. this time. Megan apparently didn't buy too much stuff! So they take them without us having to repack.
We're at the gate plenty early and I have one 20 Euro bill left. Better spend it while we still can! I was feeling unusually generous with Megan so I took her to the little "grab and go" coungter and told her to get whatever she wanted. We grab !5 euro worth of sandwiches and various snacks. I then still have 5 Euros left and I bought Megan a small 2008 desk calendar for 4.95. I've got .05 Euros left!!
The flight home is long. Each seat back has a TV in it with about 10 channels to chose from AND they recline!! We watch two movies and Friends reruns. Much better than our flight to London.
Our bags arrive in Newark. Good. We recheck them and head to our next gate. Along the way we stop in a bar / sandwich shop for some eats. We start a game of travel scrabble and try to kill 2.5 hours.
We land in Indy at 9:30 pm. In the process I lost another Scrabble game to Megan. I think she's cheating somehow.
Home by 10:30 pm. The house feels empty without the pups. We'll get her tomorrow. Now it's time to sleep. 10:30 pm is 4:30 am in Amsterdam. Megan needs to be at the office by 8am. We are tired but glad to be home.
Overall, the trip was excellent. We learned a lot about foreign culture and a lot about our travel likes and dislikes. Megan found that moving hotels every 3 days isn't so bad. She was worried that being in 4 hotels over the course of our trip would be a pain. It wasn't because I carried all her crap! I learned that our next trip will have a strict luggage policy. "You must carry and or transport everything you pack." That doesn't mean pack 6 suitcases and then give 5 of them to the husband to schlep across 4 countries.
I also learned that I like trying to learn other languages. My linguistic skills aren't very good but I try. The French would always cheerfully oblige my requests for, "How do you say......" Many Americans we observed weren't even trying to say please and thank you in French.
I learned that not all European food is bad. My last trip to Europe was a much different story. Of course that probably has something to do with Kodiak always ordering Paella containing some unknown crustacean with 4" tentacles and beady eye balls staring at me. I almost starved on that trip. This time was different and I'm proud to say that we never ate at McDonald's. (Full discloser.... I did get a McFlurry in London and Megan got one coffee, out of pure desperation!)
Finally, I like that it takes at least one week to miss home, and about 1 day to miss the puppers. All too often our vacations are just long weekends. That always leaves us wanting more. Not this time. Our Europe 2007 trip was perfect and as Cris Kodiak would say, consisted of many "best days ever!!"