Ok, the beginning of this vacation compared to the other trips to Virginia, Florida and Arizona was strange. Good experiences and bad followed in such close succession that after all, life was good. It started relatively uneventful with a relaxed trip to the airport in Düsseldorf at a moderate early morning time.
We did an electronic check-in, which is rather time consuming when you travel to the U.S…. and our boarding passes wouldn’t print. The weather outside: sunny with a chance of obstacles. The first leg to Amsterdam was ok with plenty of legroom. But our plane was a little late and we only had 40 minutes to catch our next plane.
Ambitious… especially when there is a huge line for the passport control. Well, after a brief flurry of panic, we made it. I believe we were the last people to board, which was a first for both of us. Available leg room and service on the Delta flight to Seattle was fine, we could both nap on the planed and after spectacular views when flying over the Rockies, we were totally relaxed when we entered the immigration line.
Lucky, as it proved, because our immigration officer did an highschool exchange in Solingen and tried his German on us and gave us a valuable tip how to get immigration officers off our backs for the next two years. So far so good… while we were last in the plane, we also were last at the baggage claim… because our luggage did not make it in the 40 minutes were were running through Shiphol Airport from one plane to the next. Alongside with baggage from another dozend passangers with connecting flights in Amsterdam.
Well, so clearing customs was a blast and we got to go to the Delta baggage claim, where a nice lady took our information and told us that our bags were already on a second flight from Amsterdam and should be delivered to the hotel by 9 pm. Still, we were relaxed and in tune with blue skies and sunshine outside. Colin had barely hung up the phone at the curtesy vehicle curb, when the Radisson shuttle already came around the corner. Which wouldn’t have been necessary, because the hotel is in walking distance and Seatlle does believe in pedestrain walkways. Our driver was a German girl who finishes her apprenticeship here and she gave us valuable information about public transport.
Still life was good, as the check-in desk provided us with complimentary toothbrushes and toothpaste. A late lunch at Danny’s down one block followed by a nap and realizing that ESPN seems to air all games of the World Cup made life good. Dinner at the hotel… it was a quarter to 9, but where was our baggage??? A call to Delta and that mystery was solved, in a negative sense of the word. The nice Delta lady at the baggage clain had told us crap, our suitcases were still in Amsterdam and, no, the telephone agent did not know when they would arrive in Seattle. Ok, that was the second I got angry, because there is one thing I absolutely hate: being lied to as a customer, which clearly happend that afternoon at the airport.
But well, I was too tired and too relaxed to get really upset, so we went to bed and made plans for a shopping trip the next day. Sometime during the night, when the time difference told our bodies that it was 10 am and we should be awake, we checked the baggage status again, and oh wonder… our bags were located and on their way to Seatlle to be delivered to the hotel after 12 am… and confusingly, life was still good.