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30 maart 2017
Today started very early for all of us!
Yes we would not fly out of Amsterdam until 11 am, but we had to be at the airport 3 hours beforehand, which meant we had to get up early anyway!
I was at the airport around half past 7, so was my brother Eddie with Caroline and my mom and Caroline’s mother arrived ten minutes later by train.
First we got rid of our suitcases. The day before I tried to check in online, but for some reason it wouldn’t let me. Which was not really a problem, because we had to talk to someone giving us seats together anyway. We had booked our trip separately and thought we would be able to get seats together when checking in online, but that didn’t work. So we asked the lady at the desk and she did manage to get us seats together, so we were happy!
When that was done, we had some tea with our moms and Eddie and around 9am we left them to go through security. For some reason they had to scan Caroline’s viola again and they asked me to open my bag and explain to them if I had brought a picture album with me…not sure why they asked me or what they were talking about, it took me a moment to realize I had brought a book of the Golden Age with me, which contained pictures of the various paintings that were made during that time.
Maybe it had something to do with the recently returned stolen Van Gogh paintings?!
But anyway, we were already at our gate at half past 9, so way to early, but you never know how long the lines are so better early I say!
We were flying with American Airlines and had already noticed that this was one of the smaller airplanes, 2 rows of 3 seats whereas I normally go to the US in the bigger planes with at least 3 rows of seats. But ok, at the desk they told me that they were going to fly bigger airplanes, but not until May.
The boarding procedure was a bit stupid really, they had divided everyone into groups, but Caroline was in group 6 and I was in group 8, but our seats were in the same row. No one really heard what was being said, plus this type of boarding took forever. Why not just start with the last rows of the plane and work your way forward??
Anyway, it took a while for us all to store our stuff and sit down. Before boarding we were asked not to put our jackets in the overhead compartments until the last minute, as it was very busy and there may not be enough space for all of the hand luggage. So we dutifully held on to our jackets and asked one of the stewardesses if she could put them up there, before she closed all of them…but she just kept on walking. Later on we saw her serving the people that had paid more to sit on her plane, which explained a lot!
Like I said it was a small airplane, we did not have our own tv screens, but there were several bigger ones hanging in the aisle, which was not a very good idea for taller people! Our neighbor put the jackets overhead and he moved to a seat in front of us, so we had one empty seat between us, plenty of space to out our stuff, very nice!
Since we didn’t have our own tv screen we all had to watch what was on the middle screen, which for me was a bit difficult, because I was sitting near the window…but the movies were not very interesting so it was ok.
They gave us our lunch pretty quickly after take of, we had pasta in a creamy cheese sauce, pretty good. After lunch I had asked for some hot water to make my own tea, normally on a plane they make tea before serving lunch, which makes it very nasty to drink when you get I after lunch. They told me they were going to bring it when they were done…I’m still waiting for it!!
I had never done this before, but I was really thirsty and it didn’t look like they were going to give us anything to drink anytime soon, so I pressed the button for the stewardess to come and asked for some juice and hot water…which this time I did get, but she was not happy that I had asked!!
The service of these ladies was just really…..I don’t know they were just very cranky and probably didn’t get paid enough!! So Note to self, no more American Airlines for the longer stretches!!
We managed to get into Philadelphia ahead of time, which was very nice, but the waiting at the security check was long!!!! There were a lot of families and of course they all had to give their fingerprints!! By the time we were done, our suitcases had already been taken off of the belt. Fortunately they didn’t give us any trouble at the customs, although they did ask Caroline twice if she had a return ticket! She’s here to do research in a lab, so they had to make sure that she was going home. She already had all of her papers ready to show them, but she didn’t need them, which was good!
We took a taxi to our Airbnb address and at first we were wondering where we were going to end up. As the cab drove down the street it had run-down buildings and just looked really creepy.
But fortunately it looked better the closer we got to the house!
We were able to let ourselves in by getting the keys out of a lockbox, which was hanging on the door handle.
The owner of the house, Amy was here, so it kind of felt like breaking into the house!
Our room is on the 3rd floor, the attic so we took our luggage up in stages.
It is very nice, we have a little kitchen and a bathroom up here. We put our clothes away and let everyone back home know that we had arrived safely. Then we talked to Amy about where to get some groceries and we walked to a mini market about 10 minutes away. We got something to drink, something easy to make for dinner and something for breakfast. We didn’t feel like exploring the rest of the neighborhood, so we went back to the house, took it easy. We had our easy, first real American dinner of hot dogs, for which we managed to burn the buns on top in the toaster oven…we didn’t care we were hungry and tired, it was food! Haha
We tried to stay awake for a long time, watched a movie on Netflix, but we didn’t make it to the end, around 8pm it was lights out for us!
We have a very nice double bed and an air mattras for one, which we had put some extra air into before we went to sleep….hope it holds!!!
Bye for now,
Linda and Caroline
30 maart 2017 20:16 | Door: Doris Edwards
Welcome! So happy to hear of your arrival and impressions of the trip on American Airlines. I concur that asking for a cup of hot water, to say nothing of a cup of tea, seems to annoy them. Shame on them.
The adventure begins... Enjoy. Looking forward to your Easter road trip to Ohio. Let me know if any assistance needed.
Hugs to you both