One of the luxuries of being sort-of-retired is taking a vacation when educators and students have returned to the classroom. This freedom from school year time restraints is savored. For the last three Tuesdays I have been cruising the seas of the British Isles. Today’s slice returns to the very beginning of our trip.
Sunday, August 30, found my husband and I ready to begin our adventure cruising the British Isles. We were not looking forward to the three flights that would bring us to
Amsterdam, but they would be endured. First flight took us west before we could begin the journey east. It was a short layover, but there were no problems making the flight. Leg one completed.
The second segment took us from Dallas to Philadelphia. Too many planes wanted to leave at the same time. Slowly we moved up the runway. Finally we were in the air (about 30 minutes behind). My worry meter began ticking, we didn’t have much time between the flights. However, the worry dissipated with the smooth flight and landing.
As we pulled up to the gate, I noticed our next gate was very close. Relief flooded through me when I realized that we would not have to change terminals. I commented how lucky we were to my husband. Big mistake! (Don’t count your chickens before hatching would be appropriate here.)
The pilot’s voice came over the speakers, “Settle back into your seats folks. It appears that the bridge to connect us to the airport has malfunctioned. They are looking for someone to reset it.”
I watched out my window, nothing moved. I glanced at my watch, the hands were flying around the face. Back and forth I glanced. My mind began to spin various scenarios if we missed our flight. I was not worried about missing the ship, because we had built in a two day cushion prior to the cruise. But taxis and hotels must be contacted and made aware of our issue. Where would we stay tonight if we are stuck in Philadelphia? Just as I am resigned to the fact that we will not make our flight, the doors opened.
I was grateful we did not check any bags, but have all our luggage with us as we made our way to the nearby gate. Within a few minutes, they began boarding this flight. Relief sent all the pent up stress away. The third and final leg was about to begin.
Eight hours later we land in Amsterdam. The pilot announces there is a problem with the jet way. The airport is bringing a staircase to the middle door. My husband and I just shake our head. What are the chances of this? This time there is no stress, I am at my final destination for the day, there are no more flights today. Thus the trip begins . . .