July 29, 2014

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The Long Day Part II

If you thought the long journey OUT west was bad, wait til you hear how the return trip went!

The start time of 3 a.m. was bad enough, but that was PDT... Pacific Daylight Time.  and we had to get our bags packed and left out of the room by 3:15 a.m.

The departure time was 4:15 a.m. and we were at the Vancouver airport by 4:30 a.m.  You'd think that with a flight time of 6:30 a.m., we would have plenty of time, with express check in, customs and baggage check to accomplish.  You'd be wrong.

At least one of our couples could not work the automated check in procedures, and needed assistance. Twice.  Another problem was the automated boarding pass.  The fact that they were both hard of hearing complicated matters, but we got them through the customs and into the security check.

Unfortunately the metal fragments in his jaw, and knee replacement and pacemaker all worked to trip the alarms multiple times until the wand narrowed the problem down.

We made the flight with 30 seconds to spare.

A three hour flight from Vancouver to Chicago went well, with a minimum of  disruption to our sleep.  However, $5 for a "snack box" instead of a meal leaves one wondering about what the airlines are coming to.

Oh yes, a $25 baggage check fee with penalties for going over 50 lbs is the latest wrinkle.  Still, dirty clothes seem to weigh more than fresh clean ones, and we had a lot...

The wait in Chicago was only supposed to be 90 minutes, but United once again had us over a barrel.  We sat at gate 73 for five hours.  Several of our people napped, ate more than one lunch meal, and waited.

And the terminal filled up and emptied repeatedly with various flights.

Finally, after a 5:31 p.m. rescheduled departure time, our flight boarded just before 6 p.m. and we were off to Pittsburgh once again.

We lost an hour in the air, and found we landed about 8:30 p.m. EDT, so we were claiming bags and boarding our motor coach about 9 p.m.   After a single damaged bag report, we left about 9:30 p.m. bound for home.

Arrival in Marietta was a prompt 11:30 p.m. and into S. Parkersburg at midnight.  Everyone was happy to be home, except we weren't home yet.  We had another hour's drive through the gathering fog.

Heat and humidity during the day is one thing, but overnight, it turns to fog...thick fog... and we were driving along the Hocking River, parent to the thick fogs of Athens County. About 1:20 a.m. we got home, and after a few minutes unloading our bags into the house, we hit the sack at 1:30 a.m.

What a long day!

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