The Flight Over and Waiting for Us

Well, our trip started with a bang!   Our flight, a short connector from Florence to Paris and then the big hop from Paris to Washington DC on Air France  was scheduled for Tuesday, October 22 at 10 AM.  The Saturday BEFORE, I got an email saying my connector flight had been canceled.  Ben didn’t get an email.  (still don’t know what was happening with his flight)  Three hours on the phone produced a connector flight that left Florence at 6 AM and went through Amsterdam on KLM.  We were not happy!  That meant that we had to be at the Florence airport at 4 in the morning, leaving our house around 2.  But our friends and house/dog sitters, Thane and Melissa were game to drive us there and so off we went.

 

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Nerone is trying to ignore this, maybe he knows something is up.  But here we are, Nerone, Ben, Martha, Thane, Melissa.

 

 

 

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The check-in staff at the airport in Florence could not have been nicer.  Ben’s handicapped assistance was quickly provided.  The extra bag fee was waived because handicapped folks need to bring medical equipment and such with them. 

 

 

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At the airport in Amsterdam, we were met by a cart and taken to a lounge area to wait for our next flight.  I was able to go off and buy us lunch and bring it back.

 

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No one fussed or complained when I walked out of the food court with a bottle of beer and a bottle of wine, along with two great sandwiches. 

 

 

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There was even an ATM that would give you US dollars if you wanted instead of Euros.  (for a fee of course)

 

 

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The inside of the plane was great.  The TV/movie choices were great.  And the food….   Let me tell you, THE BEST, THE BEST airline food I have ever had.  On some of the long haul flights, for a fee, some airlines offer, even in economy, the option to pick your meal ahead of time.  I had ordered the Indonesian  rice table meal,  Ben had picked some Japanese sushi/bento box type of meal.   Now yes, we had to arrange it ahead of time and paid extra for this, about $20 each, but totally worth it. 

 

 

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Getting off at Washington Dulles, this is what was waiting.  Sort of ironic. 

 

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While there, by coincidence we caught up with a friend and a former co-worker of mine, Michael Freiband.  Michael teaches travel and tourism courses at Northern Virginia Community College and works as a volunteer at the Traveler’s Aid desk at the airport.  I walked right by him and he called out my name.  It was nice to catch up with him.

 

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And waiting for us at our former neighbor’s house, lots of goodies.  Our former neighbors, Jane and Tony, who know that we never truly go out of their lives, picked us up at the airport with a cooler full of Miller Lite, took us out to dinner and then helped us get settled in our little Air BandB cottage.   All in all it was a very pleasant and easy way to start a long trip.  Just keep this in mind  when you read about our return trip. 

 

We just love KLM.  That will be our airline of choice in the future.

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