Day 15 - Thrown off the boat!
Waiting to mail postcards in Barcelona airport.
I'm not in coach anymore!!
Those would NOT be tomatoes on your pizza!
And they tuck us in, too!
Cruise. Over. Sadness.
It's been several days, and we still can't believe that we are not in 8078 anymore!! Call it jet lag, denial, or bitterness, we just ain't there no more!! But, we have finally recovered enough to tell you about our last day. Or days.
It started early on Saturday. We knew that we would have to go to the dining room to get our "thrown off the boat" stickers. But we also could have breakfast brought to us. So, we did the best of both - had breakfast delivered and sent Molly to get the stickers, which were Blue Ariel, by the way. So, we ate, stickered up, and reluctantly left our home.
We hung around the lobby, waiting for the "Blue Ariel" announcement to sound so we could start our weeping and wailing (hopefully getting sympathy from Captain Tom to let us stay). After waiting a bit, I went down and asked the CMs if we had to wait to be called. Those stinky petes said we could leave whenever. So, we walked out. For the last time.
We walked out of the terminal, got a new sticker, and boarded a bus that was headed for the airport. As we pulled out, I saw my PCanal friends Bob and Eileen, who had all their luggage - a backpack and a carry-on rolling bag. Those two know how to pack!!
Anyhow, eventually we arrived at the airport. We got off at one terminal, only to find out that we had to walk down to another terminal. On the way, we passed some losers with Disney stickers who were obviously going to take our place on the boat. I thought about tackling them and stealing their tickets, but decided sleeping on an airplane would be better than in a Barcelonian jail.
So, we entered the airport pulling our two-ton suitcases (again, feeling admiration for Bob and Eileen). MB found the way to British Airways, which had no lines. Point #1 for BA!! Especially after passing Iberia, with lines out the wazoo. We had time to spare, so we waited for the airport post office to open so we could mail our postcards that we had collected. That mission was accomplished, so we decided to find our gate. Now it got interesting. We found the line to go through security, which was LONG!! We did the usual Disney thing, and stood in line, inching forward. However, as we were almost at the actual security roped off lines, things started getting ugly. Apparently, some people in Barcelona have NOT been to Disney, and do not understand about staying in line. They started going around the line to get in front, and the crowd began voicing their opinions. Very loudly. Security started hovering around. Just as we were to turn into the actual security que, a lady said to MB, "You weren't there all the time." To which point we assured her that she was, keeping to ourselves the idea that this lady obviously was new to her line position. We made it through security, found our gate, and awaited our plane to London.
The flight was fairly uneventful. Our snack was an egg/cheese sandwich, was is a far departure if you're used to peanuts and crackers. Some of our fellow cruisers were on the plane, including the family of the day who got to board first at Port Canaveral. However, since we were all very sad, we had little to say to each other. The only exciting part was the toddler who didn't want to sit down while landing, and whose parents were not interested in him sitting down, instead asking the flight attendant to make him sit down. I saw a castle while we were landing, which I found exciting.
We landed at Heathrow, and I was not too thrilled. First you have to go away from your gate, get in another line to go through security again. Luckily we were able to check two bags each, because here you can carry on only one bag. Another wait, albeit much nicer than Barcelona, but still a long wait to get through security. Then you walk aways to get on a bus to go to the next terminal for your next flight.
By this time, it was eating time, so we wandered around until we found a place to serve us. MB had pizza, but didn't eat her little tomatoes on her pizza, which I decided to eat, which I popped in my mouth, only to discover that they were not tomatoes but peppers. Sadness and pain!! We finally got our waiter to bring us the bill, which we brought along with a personal charge card machine, so we got to do part of his job. Fed, we went in search of our gate.
Upon arrival at our gate, I noticed that it was a big ole plane. Having never flown across the ocean, I was not comforted by the largeness of my transport. Added to the fact that the call letters on the tail were LU. Was this an omen? Good or Bad? We waited around a little longer, because our flight was delayed. Was LU experiencing engine trouble? Finally, they said we could board. Another concern was that there didn't seem to be a lot of passengers - especially since it looked to me like LU could easily transport a few thousand people.
Nevertheless, I got in line to check in. MB and MO got in one line, and I got in the other. They were delayed a bit, but got ahead of me. When I got to the check in person, she asked if I were travelling with two others, and I said yes, and she said that our seats had been re-assigned. I knew that MB and MO had said that we couldn't get seats together, but I figured they had arranged that with BA. Sucks for them - this lady apparently had gotten us all seats together!!
Well, we are all herded out the door, and told to go down the steps. Now, I haven't flown a lot, but I did think it odd that I was going downstairs to board LU, who seemed to be at least 90 stories high. Apparently the people ahead of me thought so too, because they were trying to go back UP the stairs. But no, we were told to go out the door. And get on the bus. This was just really getting interesting. Busing to America.
But no, we were just bussed to a runway somewhere to get on ANOTHER BA plane, a regular sized one. I get on the plane, realizing that I have a mighty low row number, 10, not Row 34 or 42. The lady at the door says my seat is just down on the left. Lordy mercy - we got upgraded to business or world or something. All I know is I see MO and MB with a glass of champagne and HUGE grins on their faces!! So, I sit down in my Lazy Boy seat, complete with blankie and pillow and sound-proof headphones. Not a bad way to end a concierge cruise!!
The pilot says we are going to be late, because something having to do with radar over the Atlantic, so we're going to have to fly over Iceland or the North Pole or something. Being late to leave already, makes our connection in Chicago look precarious, but oh well - guess I'll just have to look at the wine list!!
So, to put the flight in a paragraph, let's just say that there were scads of attendants in our section, either bring food or drink, or asking if we needed something; movies on the little fold-out TVs, a lazy boy seat the would lay out flat, and just about anything else you needed. It was great. The flight was smooth, so I managed to take my first trans-Atlantic flight with causing an international incident!
Upon our arrival in Chicago, we knew it was going to be tight. Unfortunately, lots of international flights arrived late as we did, so customs was took forever, as did getting our bags. By the time we had taken the shuttle to the correct terminal, we had missed our flight to Nashville - even though technically we could have made it, with our checked luggage, we weren't allowed to. Luckily, the guy at the United counter changed our reservations for the first flight out Sunday, and didn't charge us the $100 per person change fee. Welcome back to America!!
We spent the night in the airport Hilton, pretty much falling into bed as soon as we got in the room. We got our flight out Sunday, and flew with about 10 other passengers who had missed the flight the night before. And one dog in a carrier who came with his family from Germany. He was not thrilled with flying, as was Molly, who got to sit with a lady who kept leaning over Molly to look out the window - Molly's all about personal space.
So, we finally got back to Nashville Sunday morning, and have been recovering ever since. We have unpacked, finished our scrapbook, and shared lots of memories. We're glad you took the journey with us. Thanks for reading!!
P.S. Maybe one more entry tomorrow - a kind of "Sum It Up". Also, to Three Circles - we have something to send you if we can get an address!!