Gathering Graces 7/12/2017

*We were up bright and early on Wednesday morning to get our shuttle to the airport at 4:30 a.m.  When we arrived, the airport was already bustling, getting passengers ready for their flights.
*When we went to check in our baggage, it was determined my carry on suitcase needed to be checked, so I had to go across the room to another window to pay for my checked baggage, then come back and the three of us could then collect our boarding passes and luggage claim tags for our flight to Munich.
*The flight from Florence to Munich was very uneventful.  We were served a cherry croissant (which would prove to be a problem later in the day) and coffee for breakfast on the plane.
*We arrived in the Munich Airport around 7:20 a.m., and would not be leaving until 1:10 p.m.  So we camped out at some tables and chairs next to a place where they served food, and changed into our clothes for the next flight, shopped in the duty free store, and visited while waiting for our flight.

Three kegs of beer waiting to replenish the supply at the food area next door.  We saw a lot of glasses of German Beer walk by on passenger's trays.
*Around 11:30 a.m. we headed for the gate to obtain our boarding passes, which we had not been issued yet, and they were not letting people through.  We are not sure what happened, but there was some delay.  Then all of a sudden, they move a podium over, and start checking passengers boarding passes and passports.  Except for us, who had no boarding pass, and had to show our itinerary instead.  But it worked, and we made it downstairs.
*Our first stop in the bowels of the Munich Airport was a woman who checked our passports.  Then we went to the desk and obtained our boarding passes for this flight, and our flight from Seattle to Spokane.  We waited for the bus that would shuttle us to our plane.  Each flight we had in Europe involved being bussed to our plane that was located somewhere out on the tarmac.
*Kellee and I got settled in for our flight.  This time I had the window seat, and she had the aisle.  Tina was close by, right across the aisle.  Take off was a little late, but not too bad.  I didn’t sleep much on the plane.  I did watch three movies.  I paid for The Lego Batman Movie, which was hilarious, and then watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, and The Garfield Movie for free.  The highlight of this plane ride was being able to look out the window and see Greenland down below.  It was beautiful.
The east coast of Greenland.
*As happened on the flight over, Condor was very good to their passengers, feeding them often and offering them beverages at frequent intervals.  And we were close to the restrooms, which is always a plus!!
*Our flight arrived in Seattle a little bit late, so we needed to get moving to connect with our flight to Spokane.  We got off the plane, and made our way to an area where we had to scan our passports and get a receipt with our photo on it.  Then we showed our passport to another man, and went down the stairs to collect our luggage.  Then we gave the receipt to a man the my story ended up being different from Tina and Kellee’s story at this point.
*I breezed through the line and followed the people in front of me to the shuttle to ride to Terminal C where my Gate was for my flight.  Once I got there, I had no idea what I was suppose to do with my luggage.  An airport security employee walked by and I asked her.  She said I would need to go to the Alaska Airlines desk to check my bag.  So I found the desk (it was the last one, of course). and she checked my bag and gave me another boarding pass for TSA Pre Check (thank goodness!!), and I walked as fast as I could to my gate, which was at the far end of Terminal C (of course), and handed my boarding pass to the ticket agent at the gate and boarded the plane, with maybe 5-10 minutes to spare.
*This was not Tina and Kellee’s story.  When they gave their receipt to the gentleman after picking up their luggage, the cute little beagle that was standing there when I walked by was alerted by something in Tina’s bag.  The culprit was the Cherry Croissant we were given on the Air Dolomiti flight from Florence to Munich.  Tina had been asleep when they came by, so she put hers in her bag.  Once they realized the croissant was harmless, some people in purple uniforms looked at their boarding passes, and informed Tina and Kellee that their boarding passes were no good, and that their flight had already taken off.  They ended up having to take a later Alaska flight.  It was all rather bizarre.  But the important thing is, by the end of the day, we were all where we were suppose to be.
*I arrived in Spokane, and got my bags rather quickly (they all arrived!!) and waiting anxiously for Paul to arrive.  He finally drove up, and boy was he a sight for sore eyes.  It was so good to see him.  I was very hard being apart for that long.  But we both survived, but don’t want to be apart again for a very long time!!
*When I arrived in Kellogg, Paul and Zoe were very excited to give me a tour of both outside and inside to show me all the projects they had been working on while I was gone.  They had made lots of wonderful changes, and I loved them all!
*Before too long, it was time for bed!  It was good to be home.

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