Day 14 (Wed, May 16): Flight from Florence (A. Vespucci) to Seattle (SeaTac)
When we got down to the Hotel lobby, at 4:30 as we were told, everybody was already on the bus. Sabrina met us and gave us two sacks from the kitchen with breakfast stuff, then got us out to the bus. On the way to the airport, we ate everything but the apples, saving those for later. Our Lufthanza flight left promptly at 7:15 and arrived in Frankfurt without incident (we were again given little goodies to eat).
The trouble really began when we hit Sea-Tac. We were directed into a very long line which turned out to be the one for foreign passports. After standing/moving in that line for what seemed an eternity, Karen noticed no one had U.S. passports and went off to investigate. Finally relocating in the correct line, we forgot that we had not eaten our apples. We could have saved ourselves grief by simply tossing them in the garbage then and there, but I think we were too tired to think straight. Anyway, that led to an "Agricultural Inspection" during which they ... guess what? ... took away our apples. Total time in customs: two-and-a-half hours.
Last hurdle: finding our ShuttleExpress. I was pretty sure we had been told to go to the third floor of the parking garage, but Karen could read the signs, all of which indicated the far end of the main building. Ultimately, we retraced our steps and crossed the bridge to the parking garage, and there, beyond the taxis, was what we were looking for.
We arrived at Chris's about 7:00. Had delicious roast chicken and Greek salad for dinner, drank wine and chatted until 9:30, then hit the sack. Incidentally, her house was all torn up due to the many remodelling/painting jobs underway.
Chris took us to the Amtrak station to catch the 7:40, which arrived in Bellingham at 9:44. We were met by Mike McMullen, who later took Karen out to the kennel to retrieve our Samoyed Lulu. Very happy to be home.
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