Home Again, Home Again

Jiggety Jig. And without our suitcases. Close connection in Zurich — we made it but our luggage didn’t. Funny experience in Zurich, we had. We exited the plane from our flight from Warsaw, Poland, knowing we didn’t have much time, to be met in the terminal by a young man holding a sign with “Philadelphia” on it. We said that’s where we were headed and he said he was to escort us to the next gate. Of course, that meant we first had to wait until EVERYONE was off the plane, in case there was someone else headed to Philly as well. There wasn’t.

But he had a great handle on the English language and was very chatty! We talked about the Europe Cup which starts tomorrow in Warsaw, Poland, and how the Swiss team did not qualify but they had beaten Germany for the first time in many years.

And we got to the gate. There were 3 ladies there ready to get us on board. First we had to get boarding passes. We were on a different airline from our first flight and the first airline couldn’t print boarding passes for any airline but theirs. And we had to go through a series of security questions. Just run of the mill “what electronics do you have along?” and “where did you get them?” and “Did anyone give you anything to carry along on the flight?” 

Because Lois and I had our tickets booked together, the Lady #1 at the ticket counter had to have our passports at the same time. Meanwhile Lady #2 was trying to do the security questions with me and needed my passport at the same time. And Lady #3 was running around trying to get another little security booth pulled up to process Ruby, while Lady #1 was trying to get Ruby’s info for reprinting the boarding passes. They were all good sports about it and we were on the verge of giggles by this time, desperately trying to get everything where it was needed at the right time. They were finished with me first and they told me to run along to the plane jetway (another 50 ft or so) and to tell them to hold the plane for the others. I told the lady who was scanning the boarding pass that there were two more coming. She said, “You hope.”  Lois was snickering as she boarded the plane. She said Lady #1 was trying to print our boarding passes and had forgotten to put paper. She said a bad word in German. It was too understandable for Pennsylvania Dutch speaking people, IYKWIM.

We settled in, laughing the whole while. The plane was only about half full and the delightful flight attendant, whom we wanted to kidnap and take with us on all future flights, was walking around asking people if they were traveling together. If they weren’t she immediately offered them a seat somewhere else where they could spread out. If they were, she asked them if they liked each other enough to sit together for 8 hours. If not, there were other seat options. So we had all the space we wanted, which was lovely! And the rest of the trip was uneventful. 

Unless you count us getting to luggage claim in Philly and not seeing our luggage. I found a US Airways employee and told her our luggage didn’t make it. She asked where we were coming from and said “Zurich.” She asked what my last name was an I told her. She said, “Oh yes. Your luggage is still there. They will send it on a later flight.” 

After being gone for 4 weeks it felt funny to walk into our house again. Everything seemed strange, for some reason. And I’ve noticed, too, that if I’m gone for a while, the house smells different. Good but different. We had a wonderful housesitter while we were gone, which we were very grateful for! 

I have so many pictures to sort through and process, it’s not even funny! First I need to do some deleting to make the sorting easier.

Here’s one to get you drooling. We were driving through the England on our way to Thirsk to see the James Herriot museum. We passed an entrance to a private residence that looked quite beautiful, from what I could tell. Since driving the left side of roads which usually have little-to-no shoulders makes turning around a little more complicated, I thought we could stop on the way back through. Sure enough. I remembered exactly where it was at and it WAS worth a stop. 

My, my. What must it like to drive past this every day when you leave the house???

Oh, and a little background on our trip. About a year ago our cousin Carolyn K. contacted us about going on a Long Trip with her in 2012. She would be graduating from Kent University in May (with Honors, no less!) and before she gets a job, she wanted to do a little celebrating and would we like to go along/plan it? No problemo! Ruby M. from Ohio was also invited along and we set out to make plans.

I had stumbled across some DVDs of Rick Steves Europe Through The Back Door at our local library. These are quite interesting even if you never plan to visit any of these countries. I guess it’s a good way to experience a little of the country especially if don’t think you’ll ever be able to go. They can also be found on YouTube and Netflix. We bought several books and they are worth the money. He includes some info on culture, lodging, food, etc. It certainly is not an exhaustive list of things to see/do/experience but you wouldn’t want a list like that anyway. It would be too exhausting to sort through, har har.

He also is a big proponent of no frills travel, seeing essentials vs. touristy, although sometimes the lines do intersect.

Here is where we were:

 

More to come later. Eventually.

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