Tuesday, May 27, 2014

April 29th: Breakfast in Amsterdam, Lunch in Iceland, and Allergies Everywhere.

Our last day in Amsterdam, and lucky me...I woke up with terrible allergies! Oh well...at least it waited until the end of the trip to really flare up. We spent a little time repacking our bags, then went downstairs to grab our last tasty breakfast at the hotel. I'm going to have to get some chocolate jimmies for my toast when I get home! We finished packing after breakfast and still had a little time left over, so we went for a short walk.

We wandered over to the Anne Frank House and crossed over to the other side of the canal. There was an open bench by the water, so we sat down for a little while and watched the canal boats drift by.

We hung out for a little while until it was time to get our stuff together and head to the airport.

We went back to the hotel, grabbed our bags, checked out of the hotel, and took a taxi to the airport. We made our way through the maze of terminals and gates at Schiphol, managed to drop off our bags and get through security with no problem, and grabbed some coffee while we waited for our flight. I spent most of the time blowing my nose and trying not to sneeze on everything. It seemed like the longer the day went on, the worse I felt. That bode well for the nine hours of flying we had ahead of us.

I got stuck gate-checking my carry-on again, but had at least packed smartly ahead of time so that I'd still have things to do on the plane just in case. It started to pour while we waited to board the flight. We eventually got on the plane, pushed back, and took off.

Bye, Netherlands...see you again sometime!

The flight to Iceland wasn't too long - only about three hours - but the screen in the back of the seat was broken and I couldn't watch any movies or listen to music. I figured that would be ok, since the next flight was six hours long and I'd rather have a working screen for that one, so I alternated between reading my Kindle and blowing my nose with the roll of toilet paper I pilfered from the room.

Finally, Iceland! This is actually Heimaey, a small island off the south coast of Iceland. We landed at Keflavik a little while later, got our passports stamped, then grabbed some sandwiches and chips for lunch. I had hoped to grab some sort of cold or allergy medicine, too, but it turns out they don't sell any sort of medicine at the airport. I was feeling pretty crappy by then, so I wasn't too happy about that, but there wasn't much I could do aside from buying a big bag of candy to serve as pseudo cough drops and getting on the six hour flight to Dulles.

Ok...I'm ready to go home now!

We boarded the plane, taxied out, and took off. Bye, Iceland...I'll see you again sometime!

I had hoped to spend most of the flight watching movies to take my mind off how sick I felt, but lucky me...I was in a completely different airplane in a completely different seat...

...and yet again, my screen was broken. I have to say, all of my other trips with Icelandair have been great, but this one left me unimpressed. Between the tired (and broken) interiors in nearly all the planes and the strike at the airport, it was definitely not the best travel experience I've had to and from Iceland. And in keeping with that thought, this flight was not one of the more fun flights I've had. I spent the whole time sucking down chocolate coconut candies and gummy bears to try to keep my coughing and sneezing at bay (and don't get me wrong - I love candy - but eating it for six hours straight because I couldn't buy cough drops was a bit much). I finished the book I had on my Kindle about halfway through the flight, so I spent the rest of the time blowing my nose and trying to keep from going nuts with boredom. Fun.

At one point I happened to see another Icelandair plane going the same direction a bit below us. We slowly passed it.

Flying over Greenland at least killed a little time. I'm trying to convince Mark that we should go there next year, while it still has ice.

The view from the plane was great...I hope I can check it out from the ground sometime, too!

The flight eventually (thankfully!) ended and we made it back to Dulles just fine.

And the highlight of the actual traveling part of the day: we got to ride in a people-mover at Dulles! It's kind of dumb how much I like those things.They look like silly little spaceships just toodling around between the planes.

I used my Global Entry card to zip through customs again, though Zach got the extended tour of customs since he bought a packet of seeds that he forgot about (that he remembered when the customs dog found it). He eventually cleared customs after having his bags searched and getting to stand in extra lines, and we went back to the car and drove back to my house. Zach hung out for a few minutes, then hopped back in his car and drove back to Philly (after all that traveling!! Though he made it there just fine.). I downed some allergy medicine and passed out. Thankfully I was off the next day; I spent that whole day in bed, then called out sick the two days after that. Whatever that was, it knocked me on my butt! It took a couple weeks to feel back up to speed.

Overall, (and aside from the allergies) it was a really good trip! It was a lot of fun to head back to two of my favorite places, and I had fun traveling with Zach. I'm sure we'll get to do another trip someday, though it might be a little harder now with his new work schedule. Either way, I know I'll make my way back to the Netherlands and Iceland again someday!

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