So the last minute Chrismas shopping done. Gift cards from the center of evil, also known as Amazon, sent to Gordon and Barb. Heat is already set to 55F at the house. Charger for laptop and pills and headphones in the backpack. Yes, for the first time I am traveling using a Nike backpack. As we need to drag our bags with us on a train from Schipol to Amsterdam, we need to travel light, and thus I get a backpack. Corwin is finishing up the dishes I did last night. So just about to start the beginning of the trip. Susie’s driver Mohamed will be here at 9. Boarding is about 12:45 PM so that gives us the required two-plus hours. Somehow the travel gods showed mercy and we are pre-screened TSA on our boarding passes.
We sleep and get up and eat and are ready on-time. I even wash all the dishes by hand and put them away so there won’t be week-old dirty dishes in the sink when we return. Mohamed gets us to PDX early and we follow the process without issue. Susie’s wheelchair pass gets us through all the checks in record speed and with no trouble.
The hardest part of the trip is the plane. Susie has to walk to the back of a 767-300. You think that you might change states while walking to the end. Ten hours of boring and well-fed tightly squeezed travel. Food is not bad. The plane is 100% full, it is a huge plane to be full.
I think next time I should turn down all the water and coffee and soda. I drove Susie out of her seat three times!
We get to Amsterdam and Susie I think walked for ten minutes to get from one end of the plane to the door. There a trainee (that was what his badge said) was waiting for us with a wheelchair. I missed getting his name as we rushed through customs and Susie’s walker even made it! He gets us train tickets and helps Susie get on the train. He even took our first group photo for Christmas here in Holland!
We got here and I remembered enough of Amsterdam to find the hotel on the first try. Corwin was surprised at how I just took the alleyways here and there–I was here for weeks over the years and walked the streets to relax. The sweet smell of various intoxicants is stronger than I remember.
We are often to find lunch soon or is it dinner or is it midnight snack…
We are all so happy to be here.
Michael R Wild
Inntel Hotel, Amsterdam Centre, Room 2266.