Tales from the River – Traveling, 2011-09-28

Sept 28, 2011:

Yes, we probably should’ve started packing a few days ago but we both had it in our minds exactly what we wanted to take with us.  And we have brand new, BIG, 4-wheel pieces of luggage so we can travel easier.  Most friends and family we talked to were totally amazed that we hadn’t finished packing the night before we left.  In reality, Ed STARTED packing the afternoon before and I didn’t start until the night before.

Ed only had one huge bag and his carry-on.  I, on the other hand, was thinking ahead – or trying to anyway – and I spread my stuff out between one huge bag and one medium bag, plus my rolling laptop carry-on bag  There are lots of extra room for the goodies we bring back!  Yeah!

And, yes, we were packed and ready to go by 1:35 pm Wednesday.

Checking n to American Airlines, International Terminal D, was a breeze.  No bags over 50 pounds.  Yes, thinking ahead again.

Going through security was easy – at least for me.  Ed had to remove his belt and the two pouches that hold his camera and phone.  He had everything else in his travel vest but, for some reason, refused to give up his camera and phone to the vest.  Then he told the TSA agent he had a new pacemaker.  Instead of a manual search, which we both expected, the agent perked up and said Ed wouldn’t have a problem going through the security machine because all it did was bounce rays off of his body and it wasn’t magnetic

That was great until they said he needed to raise his arms.  I must’ve had an odd look on my face because the agent standing beside me asked what was wrong.  I told him that Ed had just had surgery and wasn’t supposed to raise his left arm above shoulder height.  But by that time, Ed had already complied and the machine had finished the scan.  Oh, well.  So far, no harm done.

On to the Admiral’s Club and two complementary drinks.  I guess, since we were on an international flight, we got two coupons, so I had my calming coffee & Bailey’s and Ed had a nice, refreshing gin & tonic.  We had 2 hours to kill when we went through security so free drinks and some sliders were a good treat.

I thought we were in business class but I was wrong.  We were in front of coach and behind business class and there was no first class section.  Coach seats and service, bah, humbug!  I will be changing our seats on the return flight!  Yes, I’m spoiled, I know, but I hate being cramped and having coach food and paying for drinks and NOT having a mini-TV at my seat.  Ed was fine with it but, as Executive Platinum, I was really looking forward to being pampered on this long flight,

A sleepless night in mid-air, above the Atlantic Ocean.  I dozed but never really went to sleep.  Ed didn’t sleep at all.

We had an hour and a half to go on this 9 hours flight.  I would be very glad to stretch my legs and I’m sure Ed was suffering even more than me.  He had the window seat but, with his long legs and his carry-on under the seat in front of him, he wasn’t able to stretch them out fully and his knees had been scrunched up into the back of the sleeping man leaning back in front of him.

Finally, the long night was over, breakfast was served and we landed in Madrid.

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