Sunday, June 27, 2010

Home but not really

Yesterday was a day of goodbyes in Vancouver, British Columbia, to all my new Twitter friends that I had met on the Princess Adventure Cruise to Alaska. Beth and I woke early in our Stateroom C 205, level 10, to a nice breeze blowing in through the open sliding balcony door. Our packed suitcases had been put outside our hallway door the night before so all we had to finish packing was our last minute make-up kits, computers and paperwork for customs. Around 6:45 a.m. we walked out of our delightful and comfortable cabin on the Coral Princess for the last time and headed to the Wedding Chapel. The Princess Cruise hosts, Nicole and Brian, had arranged for coffee and danish to be available there while we all said our goodbyes to each other. As we walked into the chapel, Brian was at the white Grand Piano playing his personal compositions for us. The music was stunning and a huge surprise as we had no clue that he was a concert pianist.

Soon an escort came to the room and walked those of us with early disembarkation to the door. I walked off the Coral Princess with a sadness to be leaving but an excitement to be returning home to Rex and our family. The hardest part was saying bye to Beth as I didn't know when I'd see her again. She was leaving on a different disembarkation time, bus and airplane.

Since my airline, United, wasn't participating in the EZ baggage check where suitcases are taken off the ship and handled completely until the final destination, I had some extra hassles to deal with. At the airport I was directed where to find my luggage. Luckily there were free luggage carts we could temporarily use to transport our luggage to the check in counters. After standing in line at United, I was told my flight was being handled by Air Canada since United didn't fly to Seattle. That little piece of information was not obvious on my ticket confirmation sheet, it was down a whole row of letters and numbers where the United agent pointed it out to me. So I wheeled my luggage rack down to another counter. At Air Canada I was checked through to Denver and given window seat assignments. However, the Air Canada agent brought me and my luggage over to the scale to check the weight of my big bag. It was 3 lbs over the limit. She suggested I take things out of it and put them in the second canvas bag. So, there I was rummaging through the suitcase trying to find 3 lbs of clothing. My white bra fell out on the floor as I pulled various things out hoping to get to the right digital number on the scale. Finally the agent said "okay" and let me get by with a few extra ounces. I then had to get my luggage to another area where I put it on a conveyor belt. I really was hoping I could keep the luggage cart for my heavy backpack and the canvas utility bag I had used as a "purse". No such luck. Next stop, security screening. I ended up in the wrong line! It just wasn't moving. It appeared that every person in line was in some sort of trouble...and then it was my turn. And, yes, I held up the line too. I had my small manicure scissors confiscated. I had totally forgotten to put them into the checked suitcase. I liked those scissors alot and was pretty well bummed to have them taken. The security guy did apologize and was nice about it though. Finally I was on my way to the gate.

Beth texted me to check on my where abouts in the airport. I was glad to see she had made it to the airport as well. She texted me that she was with some of our group having lunch near gate 87. I was on my way to gate 95. Hmmm, I had time to detour, so to my delight I saw Beth again and some of our fellow Tweeters for a nice lunch before heading to my gate.

My boarding gate was not an easy one to get to as it turned out. It was down a hallway, 20+ steps, another hallway and finally I walked outside and up more steps into a small turbo prop plane. No wonder I was in row 5! There weren't too many rows behind that one!

Flight to Seattle was only a half hour long and my connecting gate was right next door in the terminal. I had over an hour wait so I bought a few snacks for the lay over and flight home. I still had 5 hrs to go before getting home. Later I was so happy to have snacks as the promised "light dinner" on my ticket info turned into "nothing, not even a bag of pretzels".

I was so happy to see Rex at the airport. He took my heavy backpack and that was a huge relief. It had my mini laptop in it, the plaster of paris baby bear footprint I was given by the ATV guys, my jewelry and make-up cases, the book I read on the plane, my nylon nightgown I had worn the night before, my curling iron, what snacks were left, a magazine from the cruise ship and I supposed other this and thats!

I was home less than an hour as I tossed things from one suitcase into another, raided my closet for clean clothes and headed back out the door with Rex to stay in a Winter Park condo for a week. So, here I am "recovering" and getting back to everyday life. No chocolates on my pillow, plates of appetizers delivered every afternoon, bed made up in the morning and covers pulled down at night...but it is nice to be back with Rex.

No comments:

Post a Comment