Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Last Days

Well, our vacation is over now. We have been back a couple of days, but we weren't actually home. Because of that, I'm having to reconstruct the last days of the vacation from semi-distant memory, which isn't always the companion of accuracy. I assure you, however, that none of my misremembrances are intentional.

DAY 8
We were trying to save a nice, sunny day for a day at the beach, but it was not to be. All things considered, an overcast day might be considered a better beach day. I am very fair-skinned, and the prospect of a blistering sunburn lacks any appeal. (Having lived through a couple of those, I can offically NOT recommend them.) Also, beaches tend to be less crowded on cloudy days. Everyone stays away, which is just fine with me. Anyway, we had a nice morning on a mostly quiet beach. I can't say Katelyn exactly enjoyed the beach, but she didn't dislike it either. She loved the water, once she realized that's what that foamy stuff was, but she didn't enjoy the feeling of wet sand between her toes. In fact, she would get as little skin contact as possible by only standing on one foot at a time, a move which I have dubbed "The Flamingo." Very cute. The beach was so relaxing that we took a family nap --again on the Scott and Jodi blanket-- until we had to leave to get ready for part two of the day.

Stephen ka-chinged himself huge amounts of spousal points when he offered to let me go to see Anne of Green Gables: The Musical while he spent the afternoon with our daughter. WOW! Whenever I was doing research for this trip, inevitably the source would say something about having to see this musical. However, in efforts to book tickets, I would find things that said, "Wonderful for all but the smallest viewers!" (Read: NO BABIES ALLOWED!) I know that my angel would never interrupt a theatre patron's experience, but I know not all babies are so reliable. So I played it off. "We don't really need to see that," I said convincingly. Stephen, however, decided that I should see it anyway. As much as I hate to spend our vacation time doing separate things, I snapped this chance up right away. And the musical lived up to all the hype. It's no Phantom of the Opera, but I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks, my love! After grabbing a quick supper at McDonald's, we went back to our hotel.

DAY 9 - AKA Travel Home Day

We got checked out at around 10:30, and we meandered down to Halifax. We made another stop at the Gateway Village shops where we had stopped when we first got to the Island. I wanted to pick up my souvenir -- a PEI visor cap. We then paid our CAN$40.50 to get off the Island, and we went to the airport. On the way, we saw a sign for the halfway point between the equator and the north pole. Pretty cool, eh? At the airport, Stephen returned the rental car in mint condition. We got our boarding passes for the flight into Boston and had fun with Katelyn playing on the airport's wonderful "ways to keep kids busy" toys. We flew into Boston, grateful to be almost home. And then calamity struck. Of course, we had to go through customs to get back in the US. Very expected. Not expected was the absolute NIGHTMARE getting on our flight from Boston to Indy.

After being directed by the customs officer to "pick up [your] bags, go down the hall to the left, and..." Unfortunately, the elipses there represents the rest of the directions that she said, but that neither Stephen nor I heard. Whoops. Error #1. Well, we're smart people, and we knew we could figure it out. We got to baggage claim and noticed that our carosel, #3, was noticably moving but empty. Where's our luggage? A nice lady brought it to us on a cart. How thoughtful! We proceeded to follow as much of the custom officer's instructions as we remembered. I know she said something about rechecking our baggage. When we went out into the hallway, a sign let us know that baggage recheck had been moved to Level 3. I don't know where we were, but it wasn't there. As we continued down the hall to the left (as directed) the Air France lady asked if we were traveling Air France that day. Oh, I wish we had been. That would have been SO much easier. Instead we went up the elevators to Level 3. The doors opened into what can only be described as mass chaos. We looked everywhere for the United desk to check in, but it was nowhere in that whole building. We looked again, and still no United. Feeling a little overwhelmed and a lot desperate, we finally found a security man to ask for help. He said that for United we needed Terminal A, not Terminal E, and that it was just a 3.5 minute walk. We went back down the elevators to the ground level and walked outside for 3.5 minutes to Terminal A. Ground level was baggage claim, so still wielding our luggage cart and stroller, we found another elevator to get to ticketing/check-in. We arrived at the United desk thanking God that we had a two-hour layover in which to figure all of this out. In fact, one of those hours had already ticked by in customs and being in the wrong place. We prepared to get our boarding passes from the self-check-in kiosk. Stephen inserted his ID and was greeted with a friendly message that read, "Please check in at US Airways." For people flying United, we were quite confused. The bag handler explained to us that United and US Air are partners, and that we would need to proceed to Terminal B for US Air. AARRRRRRRGGGGHH!!! So, again, with luggage cart and stroller wheeling away, we took the 5 minute walk to Terminal B. (Incidentally, there was only one terminal at the Boston airport we didn't visit. I say we hit Terminal C next time, Stephen.) Finding ourselves in front of the US Air counter after walking through the skywalk AND a parking garage --all necessary-- I was very tempted to get down and kiss the carpet, but that sort of behavior generally gives you a one-way ticket to a full body cavity search at the airport these days, so I controlled my impulse. We finally got our boarding passes and went to security, where we, for about the fifth time, removed Katy from the stroller, folded it up, removed our belts, shoes, and other miscellany from our pockets, took the laptop out of the bag, placed everything on the conveyor belt, stepped through the metal detector and undid all those activities on the other side. Is the ordeal over yet? Not quite. We were to proceed to gate B9. As we walked down the hall, we read the various gate numbers. B6, B7, B8, B10, B11... Where's B9? Oh. Apparently downstairs. So we had to find another elevator. When we got down there, it was not just B9. It was B9a and B9b. For crying out loud! Neither gate was labeled with our flight. Katy needed changed and fed. Stephen wanted to go to the Palm store upstairs. I had to pee. Stephen got to go shopping. Katy got changed. No sooner had I started feeding her in front of gate B9b than they announced that our flight would be leaving soon from B9b. Ugh ugh ugh. So we packed all our stuff up, moved to the other side of the gate, and got on the place. Note: Stephen shopped, Katelyn ate, and Deven did NOT get to go.

When we were on the plane, life finally settled back down. We landed in Indy without any trouble, got our luggage and car, and drove home. I started out driving because Stephen was the only driver the whole vacation with the rental car. I made it to Muncie before I konked out and he had to take over. I felt like such a dweeb. But better a live dweeb than an accident victim, as the French say.

And so went our vacation. I had a marvelous time, and now I'm going to grab the next book in the Anne of Green Gables series and read it for about the 11th time. Enjoy your day!

1 comment:

Paula, Bobby, and Rebekah said...

That is crazy!!! We're glad you're home safetly. I feel your pain about the airport. My parents helped, but I still felt like there was too much stuff and too much to do while taking care of her and pushing the stroller. Talk to you soon.