Monday, December 31, 2007

Trip home

Thanks for being patient, was a bit of a mess getting back into the normal swing here at home...

The trip home was pretty straight forward, after getting to the plane I mean....

We woke up and started getting all of our stuff together, I thought packing to GO was hard, I almost couldn't get my suitcase closed! I didn't buy anything, so why won't it fit? I don't know, but I finally did. Normal check out time was noon, but they allowed us to extend it til 1, our flight wasn't til 6:25. We went across the street and this time Starbucks WAS open, and got a breakfast sandwich and I got a latte. Back to the hotel for last minute stuff and then it's time to set off. Remember our walk on the first night here? We did NOT want to do that again, so we had it all mapped out... Walk to Union Station, ride the metro to L'Enfant, find a little shop to browse for a bit or a restaurant and have a nice lunch then board the bus for Dulles. Well that worked just great til we tried to use my fare card, it didn't work so we had to go find the stationmaster, she tried it and then tore off a little piece of the corner and said that it had become demagnetized...hhmmm sounds like our hotel keys...and just opened the gate and let me thru, she told us to give it to the station master at our destination and tell him what she said and that it would be cool. Ok, no we go again, we board the train, ride to the transfer station, switch trains, ride to L'Enfant, get off, go to the station masters booth, no station master. Look around, no station master. Can't leave the station without seeing him or buying a new fare card. Push the call button after about 4 or 5 minutes, no station master. Start getting a bit impatient, we DO have a plane to catch after all...approx 15 minutes later a man in a metro uniform shows up, NOT the station master, but at least an employee, we told him what was up and he opened their little gate and let us out...finally! Ok, up the escalator to the street, where are all the little shops and stuff? Closed on the weekend. Great, about a block and a half away there is a Starbucks, so we drag our stuff there and get me a Latte and Trav a water and a Washington Post and just sit around for about an hour waiting for the bus (we missed the first one by just a couple of minutes-imagine that). The bus is on time!! And not even really full, cool, we get all situated and relax. We forget it's a regular bus and not a special, we have more stops to make and we pick up people and their luggage at those the time we are done picking them up we are stuffed to the gills. There were 8 or ten people standing in the aisle with their luggage and one lady even had her big suitcase on her lap because there was no where else to put it. That was a bit of a long ride all scrunched up like

Now we have to make it thru security, but first we print our boarding passes. The guys from outside kept trying to get us to go out there and let them do it, but we were in no hurry, we had plenty of time to spare, just the way we planned it. So we have a nice conversation with a couple going to Las Vegas and just wait our turn. Check our bags and it's off to security. There is a line, no make that two lines, that snake around like you are at Disney! They have little bags set up on a pole for putting your small stuff in Long before you get to the front of the line, to help speed things up, then there are the folks half way there who check your boarding pass and ID so that you are not holding up the line at the machines and they stamp them and direct us to the proper checkpoint. It was pretty efficient, those lines never stopped moving! And they were not skimping on security, they were just fast (they even swabbed Trav's C-Pap!) And WE MADE IT!!! Now to put everything back together again and get our shoes on and our laptops and cameras back in the cases. and we are off for the concourse...about a mile away, sigh, walking is most definitely a major part of our vacation this time. So, now we are within sight of our gate...let's find lunch...look! there is a Potbelly Sandwich shop down that way! We go there and have a nice quiet lunch...I only ate half my sandwich, put the other half in our bag to snack on on the plane. After that we go on down to our gate and get comfortable for the wait, about an hour.
Boarding was uneventful and we got all settled without incident. The Captain made his welcome speech from the front instead of the cockpit and he was funny...he said that he and the crew were from New England and he expected us to keep him up to date on the the Pats game and if we didn't they would make a u-turn and head for - Cincinnati!!! lol There were a number of football fans on board and the game was on a lot of the little TV's...but we really didn't hear much til we were almost ready to land, then there was some noise going on, but nothing you could figure out if you were not watching...just about the time that we touched down at Orlando a cheer went up from all those fans, turns out that the passengers were NOT Pats fans and when the Giants pulled ahead, they cheered. We told the Captain after we landed that No the cheer was NOT because we landed safely! lol

And there we were, home....well, not quite, but pretty close, just got to claim our luggage, get the shuttle out to the satellite parking, find our truck, drag our bags to it, pay the parking fee, get out of Orlando, drive 2 hours and then make it past the dogs....ok, not really pretty close. We got in at about midnight, took a bit to get settled down and went to bed. It's great to travel, fun to see new things, but there is nothing in this world quite like walking in our own front door and taking that deep breath at having arrived Home. It's good to be back, safely and with our sanity intact (ok that last part isn't true, but let me pretend ok?).

Thank you for taking this journey with us and we hope you enjoyed it too.

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