Day 1 Summer 2018: Travel to Amsterdam

I thought summer break would never arrive this year but here we are, on the way out of town to visit four countries in western Europe.

Our first stop is the Netherlands, which we will get to via Ireland. The last two times that flew across the Atlantic, we flew Icelandair via Reykjavik to continental Europe. It seems that perhaps Ireland was paying attention and didn’t want to miss out on the opportunities ty to ferry Americans to and from Europe. Aer Lingus started their direct flight service from Seattle to Dublin just about a month ago, on May 18. Like Icelandair, Aer Lingus also offers plenty of connections to points all over Europe.

Unfortunately, perhaps because their Seattle route is so new, they have not worked out all of the logistics to the point in of precision. What was supposed to be a roughly one hour window to get us off of one plane, through the passport check and onto another plane dwindled to about 25 minutes because of a late departure. Despite our nerves, Aer Lingus handled the transition beautifully, having “connecting agents” sift us out from the crowd and escort us through the airport, through the immigration check point and onto a bus to our gate. Which just happened to be the plane that was literally right next to the plane from which we had just disembarked.

The flight was lovely, just 90 minutes more from Dublin. What we didn’t realize at the time is that our luggage had other plans.

Upon arrival at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, after watching our flight mates collect their gear, we ended up in the baggage office filling out lost luggage paperwork. Since there wasn’t much we could do beyond that, and we had been traveling about 12 hours by now, we found a taxi and rode the 15 miles or so to Haarlem to check in to our cute little hotel: Boutiquehotel Straats.

It’s been a crazy day, but not as crazy as the slowest day at school.

Tomorrow, we’re off to Amsterdam (in yesterday’s clothes).

UK: Day One

Look Left

Day One:

June 15, 2013

Our flights went off without a hitch.  We had heard about delays due to security at the airport, so we arrived with plenty of time to spare. My plan to knock the kids (and myself) out with Melatonin did not go as planned so by the time we had arrived in London, (10 hours flying and 1 hour layover in Reykjavik)  Kai and I were going on almost no sleep.

Platform 9 3/4
Platform 9 3/4

We arrived in London on Saturday just in time for the annual Trooping the Colours celebrations for the Queen (to celebrate her April birthday). We missed the parades and pageantry but we did get to see the flyovers by several RAF aircraft and (I think) the queen in her helicopter with two escorts. It was pretty neat to see the planes, but was a bit unnerving until we realized it was a celebration and London was not under attack.

After weaving all through London because of road closures due to the celebration, we made it to our hotel and checked in. After a bit of rest (but still no sleep for Kai or me) and some dinner at our hotel restaurant, we wandered out to explore. We stumbled upon a nice walking path along the South Bank. It was robust with Saturday evening happenings, which we enjoyed taking in. Our walk landed us in Trafalgar Square near a tube station, so we hopped aboard for an adventure to find Kings Cross Station and platform 9 3/4. There was an official queue and shop selling souvenirs, so the girls took advantage of the props for a fun photo op. By 9:30 we were all ready to crash, so we headed back to the room and crashed hard.