Life Imitating Art Imitating Life

I awakened this morning in a Barcelona hotel room to the view of a beautiful sunrise over the Mediterranean.  Believe me, getting here was more than half the fun.

Our journey started on Monday afternoon when our flight leaving Seattle was almost two hours late.  In view of the fact that our Paris connection for our Barcelona flight was an hour and a half, we were concerned.  After all, even if we made the flight, what if our luggage didn’t?  So what did I do on the nine hour flight—watched two movies, started reading a book, played some solitaire, and worried.  Did I sleep? Nope. I tried to, but worrying got in the way.  After all, there’s some history here.

Years ago my parents went on a seven day Alaska cruise that departed from Seattle.  They made it to Seattle, their luggage didn’t.  In fact, it didn’t catch up with them until AFTER they we’re back home.  On the cruise, they had one set of clothing—the ones they were wearing.  The purser gave them an allowance to purchase whatever they needed.  My mother, an old-fashioned farm girl who lived through the Depression, knew a thing or two about washing things out by hand, and she did so.  As for the clothing allowance?  She went to the gift shop and bought herself a lovely beaded evening bag which, in our family, has forever been known as “the purser’s purse.”  By the way, on the cruise Norman and Evie received a prize for being the “best dressed” people on board.

Given that, as I was writing Man Overboard, it made perfect sense that Cami Lee would end up losing her luggage as she was heading for Southampton to meet up with a cruise ship. I had fun handling her mounting difficulties having landed with none of her goods.  I enjoyed creating the fictitious Lost Luggage Retrieval System which a: Did not help her retrieve her luggage and b: Gave the bad guys information on her actual location.  Oh, and I also had fun with her fictional shopping trip in Southampton where she had to buy EVERYTHING!

But back to Monday and Tuesday.  Bill is the official worrywart in our family.  Before we ever boarded that late departing aircraft in Seattle, he was already agonizing over our short connection in Paris.  Since he’s an engineer, he did what he could about it, including printing out maps of the Charles de Gaulle Airport and mapping out our potential route from the arrival gate to the next departure gate.

When we landed we were well prepared and set off at a stiff pace.  It’s a forty minute walk, including going through security where we both had to be patted down and have our luggage searched.  I’m sure we both bear a very strong resemblance to any number of potential terrorists.  Once through that, we raced on.  We arrived at the Barcelona bound gate two minutes after the twenty minute deadline.  The gate agent had just finished canceling our seats, but because there were still people lined up on the jet way, he was able to rebook us.  Unfortunately, our luggage did not get rebooked.

We arrived in Barcelona and went to the luggage carousel where our luggage never appeared, see paragraph above.  We waited and waited until all the other passengers had grabbed their goods and departed.  That’s when we finally approached the lost luggage lady.  With a couple of quick phone calls she was able to confirm that our luggage was still on the ground in Paris.  It would be put on the next plane and delivered to our hotel in the evening.  It was.  By the time it arrived at 7:30, we were already in bed and asleep.  We asked the bell staff to just put it inside the door and let us stay asleep.

So this morning, with our luggage well in hand, I’m feeling downright civilized.  Having gone to bed at 5:30 pm and awoken at 6:00 am, I can truthfully say I had a good night’s sleep.

I can also say that, without our months of walking, our sprints through two major airports would have taken far more of a toll.  We’re doing fine today.  Not so for my Fitbit.  It’s having trouble syncing.  It’s saying I’ve walked 8,000 steps today, and that for sure is NOT true.  It also can’t figure out how long I slept.  If I lose the Fitbit steps for the cruise, so be it.  By the way, a few minutes ago when I logged in and was unsuccessful in syncing it, I was told that I have 6,677,000 lifetime steps.

Not bad for an old girl.  Now it’s time to take our luggage downstairs and get ready to board the Silver Whisper.

Bon voyage!

8 thoughts on “Life Imitating Art Imitating Life

  1. As the wife of an airline pilot, who was able to travel quite a bit free on space available, I never packed more than one small carry-on suitcase. I never checked a suitcase. I had a large purse that held a lot, too. My trips were never more than two weeks. I washed things out like your mom did.

    Adjusting to time difference is harder when you go from west to east because you are really going backwards in time. It is easier on your body going west from east.

    Hope you have a great time. Aren’t you glad you are in such good shape?

  2. I am elated that you are taking a relaxing, memorable timeout for a gorgeous cruise! Enjoy it all. As for the Fitbit issues, there are all kinds of solutions found on Google and YouTube, including syncing problems when traveling in Europe.

    Looking forward to a future Blog that will share your travel highlights.

  3. Bon Voyage. I was on a cruise to Alaska that left from Vancouver years ago. A group of 6 from the Midwest didn’t have their luggage either. It did catch up with them in Ketchikan. I always hated connecting flights in later years, especially if somehow bad weather areas were involved. Sunny CA but plane coming from Chicago. You know you will walk a lot just because it is fun to on a ship. Enjoy every moment of your vacation.

  4. Just discovered your blog and I am having a lovely time reading backwards in time…..almost as good as a new J.A. Jance novel! There used to be market stalls selling tiny wild strawberries in Barcelona in spring….up on a hill is all I remember, which doesn’t narrow it down much. But if you see some on a menu somewhere they should be terrific.

    Thank you for many hours of pleasurable reading over the years!


  5. You make everything sound like a delightful adventure. I “feel” for you about the pat down. On the last trip Larry (husband) & I took before he died, he could barely stand and was wheelchair bound. I had check that we could take Boost (nutritional liquid) on the plane with us because Larry could not eat very well. When getting cleared, we were told the only way we could take the Boost was to have it scanned. I said okay. Two bottles passed with flying colors. One set off some kind of alarm. I told them to toss it. They said they couldn’t. I said open it and check it that way. They said they couldn’t. They separated me from my husband, tried to force him to stand (he kept collapsing into the wheelchair) in order to wand him and the chair separately. It was a horrible experience. But, after that, the flight was pleasant and we had a most delightful time with Larry’s sister, brother, and their spouses. Hmmm, I guess everything can be a delightful adventure.

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