Sunday, December 17, 2017

Going Home

We didn’t have to rise too early, and the airport in Palanga is tiny and easy. We returned our rental vehicle [which was packed to the gills] and walked to Departures next door. It was also just as well that the amber museum and many of the shops were closed yesterday; our bags were already full. Since I combined my bags, we had an extra allowance for the painting Dan and Kim bought in Kaunas, but they did have to pay fees in Oslo to get it back to California.

We arrived in Oslo with at least a five hour layover. We wanted to check the bags and visit the city again, but check-in didn’t open until two hours before departure. I volunteered to relax at Starbuck’s while they went to Oslo for last looks. Since I had both carts of luggage within the Starbuck area, it was no problem to keep it company and to find various other patrons to watch it for me if I needed the nearby restroom. Coffee was 43 krona, and that was the exact amount of spare change Daniel had given me. That’s about $5 for a cup, but refills were FREE! I easily drank $5 worth while I enjoyed being on-line with my tablet and organizing photos. Time flew and before I knew it, the gang was back and we were on the plane back to Oakland.
View of glacial Greenland. Norwegian has the best windows on their ‘dreamliners.’

Flight was uneventful, and the three adults had the exit row on the right side of the plane. The landing, though, was something else. Apparently we were early, and our gate was unavailable. So we spun our wheels on the tarmac for at least 20 minutes before we pulled into the gate. Since we were row 7, we exited the plane fairly quickly only to find the door at the end of the gangway locked! Well, that took another 20-30 minutes. They had just opened a new baggage area, since Norwegian has become so popular they need a lot more space, but maybe the baggage handlers couldn’t find it, because it took almost an hour for our bags to show up! At that point, we just hugged goodbye and took off. I was happy to take BART back since an A’s game had just let out, and I hoped the Spatzes were able to beat the worst of the traffic. We had such a great time [even if that was the weirdest exit/baggage drama ever] that I’m going back to Scandinavia next June to explore Sweden for Summer solstice.

Thus endeth the saga of our Norwegian sojourn.
Good Yule everyone!

End note: Melissa tells me that the photo of me in one of the high seats will appear in the next issue of Witches’ Brew due out 1/10.

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