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Home Again and Eventually with all our Luggage

June 12 - I had tried to get a seat selection on the plane, but had not been able to do so.

The next morning, my grandson C. got packed and went to Burger King for breakfast rather than going to the hotel for breakfast. He brought me back a cup of coffee (not having realized that I don't usually drink coffee) and an egg and sausage sandwich. He also took the money that I had changed yesterday back to the Cambio on the corner and changed it back.

We had both showered, so I packed. I tried again for a seat selection, and found that we were an aisle and a middle, and that only middle seats were left.

I went down to the desk to ask if they had gotten my fanny pack, and they had not, and they insisted that I email them about it rather than just telling the concierge and that I should leave a credit card number to charge the postage to. So I went back to the room and did that. But before I sent the email, I asked to see my bill, and discovered that (as I suspected) that they had charged me for four sandwiches from the bar instead of just the two we had gotten - two chicken sandwiches when they were out of chicken altogether, and two ham and cheese. So they took two of the sandwiches off the bill.

At a little before 10:30 (which was the earliest scheduled pick-up time) we went down to the lobby to wait. They called to say they would be a little late, but they came about 11, and after two more stops, they took us to the airport.

I went to a kiosk and printed out a boarding pass, and then we checked our bags. They gave us a wheelchair. Since the wheelchair would not go through security, they gave me a pat-down search, and found the under arm pouch. Since I could not show them what was in the pouch without virtually disrobing, they took me into a private room. My grandson thought this was extremely funny and kept saying that I had a cavity search.

I spent some time trying to figure out how to deal with my missing VAT forms, and eventually got the one I had stamped by customs and mailed it. I also had not gotten something to give C's cousin, but the wheelchair pusher said I couldn't shop that he would get in trouble. They put me in the waiting room, and I got out the computer and edited photos. I had to put my head under my coat because there was too much glare to see the screen otherwise. My grandson walked around the duty free shops while I did this.

They kept asking me if I could do steps, because apparently we had to walk up steps to the plane. They also said we'd have to walk down steps, but in actual fact, they had a ramp. There was a handicapped girl (I don't know what her handicap was - it wasn't physical) who was being taken care of by the BA attendants, and C thought she might have our window seat, but she did not.

The person with the window turned out to be a British man who was flying with his wife and they were in separate rows. He also had a cane, but it was a folding one. The first thing that happened when he arrived was that he dropped a big water bottle on my head. Accidentally of course. When he was seated, he asked if my grandson wanted the window seat, but he didn't. I thought about this and asked him if he would like my aisle seat, and he said he would, so we switched.

Thus I was able to take pictures out the window. C. spent much of the time on the flight watching videos. We were given a drink and then a hot meal (C. got the cottage pie and I got the chicken curry) and then later a sandwich meal. I don't know what meals these were. They were served about 1630 on UK time.

We didn't go straight to Newark. We flew over Newfoundland, and there was snow on the ground and around the edges of the land there was ice. C. was surprised to find out that there was still snow in June. We flew in over Canada and down across Maine, and then went down the CT River valley and down the Hudson (according to the GPS map).

Getting off the plane, there was a row of wheelchairs, and my name was on the list, so the wheelchair lady got us very quickly to immigration, and then to the baggage claim. Suddenly she said, there's a lady over there with a list of missing bags. Let's check to see if yours is there. And sure enough one of them was. I was hoping it was mine, but it was C.'s. So after we went through customs, we went to baggage claim. We were the third people there, but by the time we had filled out the forms, there was a line way out the door. According to our lady, they were having problems with the baggage conveyors at Heathrow.

Then we had to find my sister who said she would be there, but she was expecting us to come out the normal way, and we had detoured to baggage claim. She called on her phone to Uncle George who had parked the car off the airport area. It was raining some off and on. We stopped at Chili's for dinner. I had a half rack of ribs which looked like it had catsup just put on top after it was cooked, and a Caesar salad which was doused in mayo. Uncle George had a plain salad and chili without cheese, and C had a hamburger. People were talking to him so much that he hadn't finished eating when everyone else was, so we got him a box and he took his fries home.

My sister took C's film to be developed but it won't be back until Friday, so she will mail it.

June 13 - We met Cousin Anne Y for lunch. She is my mother's first cousin, so I guess she is C's first cousin three times removed. Or something like that. She met us and we ate Chinese, and then she and C did some violin work. Then he walked back to her house with her and I took a nap. She bought him a tuning fork, which he thought was neat. They also discussed that she is a Quaker and thus a pacifist.

My sister took me for a pilates lesson after dinner, and it really helped a lot. We still haven't heard anything about his suitcase, so she also took him shopping and got some underwear and socks etc. She also lent him an old duffle bag to put them in

I was worried about whether my grandson got home in time to go on his camping trip (he did) and whether his suitcase came eventually (it did) I talked to Rob on the phone this morning and he said it came while C was at camp.

However I have not gotten my bum bag. I called CIE today and they said they had left my travel agent a message about it. I'd really like to have it back - it has all my receipts in it.

My travel agent wrote me:
I received a phone call from Ventresca Travel that they received your package from CIE Tours. Would you like to have the package send overnight or 2nd day delivery? The delivery cost needs to be charged to your credit card.

My answer:
Whichever is the cheapest. They refused to send it to me and said they had to send it to you. I'm also a little bit POed that it took 3 weeks for them to notify me (or you) and also that they failed to forward it to me in London as I asked. Just weasel excuses for not doing so. Given what the lady who phoned me (after I called them) said, I think about 45 Euros is missing from it. Plus the receipts for VAT were in there, and I'm losing that money too. At least nothing of real value was in there.

My next trip after this was Grandeur of the Seas Repositioning Cruise

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:05 Archived in USA Tagged airports luggage princeton

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