Monday, March 10, 1997
Up at 6:30 am....I must be excited about getting home. We were all packed and on the bus to the airport by 8:30 am. Barbara had four boxes full and taped them together in two units in addition to all the luggage she'd brought with her. She talked them into putting everything on the plane without extra charges....it helped to be in business class. We were limited to three bags and that made her four. She is returning by the business class…too full to upgrade her to first class, they said.
Jim and I had to open two of our suitcases at the airport security; one was because of the camera tripod (which we’d never used) and the second due to the camera battery charger and the glass pebbles that we’d bought at Kimbles Outlet. Nice to know they are checking bags so carefully. We put the computer and cameras through the x-ray machine. No problems, but when we put the carryon luggage through we had to open one…it was the box holding the glass swan for Priscilla. Never know what triggers the guards. Patti and Randy had no trouble with the shell casings from WW I!!!!
We had time for Patti and Barbara to do last minute shopping, a bite to eat and then on to the plane for departure at 11:05 am. Newer plane with individual TV screens built into the back of each seat. Had two movies free (they played each one twice) and the opportunity to put $5.00 on your charge and play any one of about twenty. The flight channel was especially nice as it had a map showing where we were at all times plus information on times, etc. Made for an easy eleven hour flight home. We were on a direct flight to Los Angeles.
Randy and Patti had to pay duty on their excess purchases as we went through customs in Los Angeles. It took a little extra time as they used it as a training exercise for a new officer. Barbara breezed through with no extra charges...business class does have its privileges, I guess. But we were all together at last and Ed, our limo driver, was waiting with the limo to take us all home. He’d brought a bottle of champagne for us to toast a final farewell to each other. A wonderful trip had ended.
Barbara met and talked with an actor by the name of Gabriel Byrne on the plane. He was flying in to present an award on Tuesday evening. We found out later it was on the Video Blockbuster Awards show. We watched the show on TV.
That story reminded Barbara of another story. About ten years ago the actor Dudley Moore was on the same plane with her and asked her to dinner. But she was off to meet friends and told him thanks, but no thanks. Another story that we’d hadn’t heard before. She did keep us all entertained on the drive home!
Tried to sleep after we dropped Barbara off but no such luck.! Arrived home at 6:00 pm. So nice to be home again!
Starting on Sunday, September 11th...less than two weeks from today...I will start blogging the story of our three week tour by car with another couple all around Germany and Austria in the fall of 1997....including Berlin and Dresden that are still rebuilding the WW II damages!