Lightning, Planes, Bikes and Boats Going Home

photo of a turtle swimming underwater

Now comes the day I have been dreading, going home. We have plenty of time in Paris, like three hours, but only two hours in New York LaGuardia which we have to go through customs. I had never been to either airport. I also worry we have a tight connection from the ship to the airport in Basel, Switzerland. Also, my first time at that airport.

The ship docked earlier than I expected, so we got on the van earlier than expected. There was a Viking representative at the airport, and he took us to the long line to check in our baggage. The line move pretty good in spurts as there were plenty of clerks there. There was a check-in line for first class that someone ahead of us in line got to use periodically.

While in line I could see this lady was faint. She finally fell to one knee. The clerk was very helpful, and they got a wheelchair for her. Meanwhile our friend, the husband his wife was touring Basel at this point, went to check-in at the first-class line because it was open. My wife and I were the next customers who had the lady faint. We talked about that for a bit before going through security.

One thing nice in Basel is they have separate entrance for security based on your slight. That means the lines to get through security aren’t long. Consequently, we got to are gate in plenty of time. On to Paris.

When we flew into Paris we wondered is we would see any of the sites from the plane. The answer is “no”. We flew in over the country on the outskirts of Paris.

We had to catch a train to a different terminal. When we got there we had to check-in to customs. If you had a U.S. passport you went one way if you didn’t you went the other. I’m guessing you spent more time talking to customs people in that line.

We found our gate and decided to find lunch. This is different in Paris. We didn’t see lunches that cooked food. They had a cafeteria type place between gates. You go down a line and pick out food and drink and go pay for it. There was only one person ringing up food buyers, so that part took a while. This was not high-class French food, but it worked.

When we got on the plane our friend was the random person chosen for an additional security check. His seat was next to me and my wife and after sitting in ours for a while we noticed he wasn’t there. We started to worry about him. He finally came on and said the guy that was looking at him at the help someone else and so he had to wait for him to come back.

The nice thing for this flight was they fed us. I think later we also got a small snack. I was going to watch a movie but decided I would be too distracted about our connection to enjoy it, so I read and talked most of the flight. I did sleep for a little bit. Then came our adventure.

We got to the airport and after making it through customs found our baggage claim where we picked up our suitcase and then dropped it off. This is a TSA requirement when coming into the Country. My wife then had to go to the restroom which was on the other side of the gigantic room. So, she walked there as we waited for our bags.

Soon, as she left the bags started to come out and the bags started to come out. Her bag and mine were 2 or the first 3 bags that came out. I was thinking great, our friend should get his bag soon and we will have plenty of time to get to our gate. Thus began our adventure.

Our friends bag never came out. Meanwhile he told us that his wife’s train to her son’s little town was cancelled. However, she got on a later one that was supposed to come in at midnight. Myself, I never knew they cancelled trains in Europe. It worked out as she came in close to midnight, but her son was there to pick her up.

Our friend had different problems. He talked to a person in baggage claim who said his bag might be in Denver. We didn’t think so, but he couldn’t make a claim until we got to Denver. Before this we had plenty of time, but it was not much later, and my wife and I still had to check our bag in.

That line very long, but now we had to find our gate. It was fairly busy, but we found someone to tell us. However, we only heard part and we weren’t sure if we had to go outside to the next terminal. After some confusion, we found out that was exactly what we had to do. At the end our friend ran ahead of us to see what was happening at the gate. When we arrived, he saw us and said we had to go through security that way which was a help. The gate was right there, and we just went into a fairly long line to get on the plane. I say we made it by 15 minutes, maybe a couple more.

When we got to Denver, none of us got our luggage. I thought it was too tight in New York once we had the delay waiting for our friends luggage. Fortunately for us our suitcases were scheduled to arrive on the first flight the next day. It was still a couple of minutes before midnight at that time. Our friend wasn’t so fortunate. According to their records his bag was still in Basil.

We went and picked up our car and stayed at our friends, happy that everyone was safe for the night. We got up early the next morning to start getting our house fixed, so we were busy all day. I watched for our luggage online and late in the morning they said gave it to another company to deliver to our house. So, it make it to Denver. About 6 pm the company wrote us and said our suitcase would be delivered between 6:30 and 11:30 pm. Now we were busy all day and had a long day (32 hours) the day before. We kept busy that day and wondered if we could stay up to 1130. However, at 650 the lady called and said she would be at our house in 10 minutes. We were really glad to see her and gave her a real good tip. Then we went to bed after a little unpacking.

Postscript. Our friend wasn’t so lucky. When he called they couldn’t locate his suitcase. Meanwhile his wife had a great week with her son. However, on her flight home she had to change flights and ended up going through Houston. She got in late to Denver too and also didn’t have their suitcase. However, she was told it would be delivered later.

Her husband drove her home and they went to bed. At 4 am she got a text her suitcase was on her porch. She decided she better go downstairs and get it. When she opened the door she saw two suitcases. The second one was her husbands. How it got there the same time as hers we will never know.  

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