Yesterday, March 6, I began a journey from Saint Paul to Barlad, Romania.
As noted in my previous blog we had received a dump of snow. I called for a shuttle ride, a service provided by my building management, and found that I had to leave at 2:30 PM rather than 4:00 as I desired. The shuttle van had been involved in an accident and so a small car was being used for transportation which lessened the amount of riders for each trip. So I was all checked in for my 7:35 PM flight by 3 PM. This included a review of my passport both by TSA and the Delta staff person who checked in my luggage. I had more than enough time to wander around the airport!
It was an uneventful flight, and that's certainly the best kind. The only surprise was how good the food was. For "dinner" I chose the cold salad. it came with grilled chicken which was very good and the salad greens and dressing were very good. For breakfast we had a breakfast sandwich and a banana.
Passport control in Amsterdam was a bit more stringent than I've encountered before. I had to answer some detailed questions about where I was going, did a I have a ticket back to the states, and also did I have enough money to support myself. This, plus the extra passport check, made me wonder if there is a security warning of some kind quietly in place.
I checked into the Citizen M hotel at Schiphol and elected to pay for an early check in for I didn't want to add another 3 hours of sitting around to this trip. Took a 2 hour nap and then opened up the Internet to deal with things rolling in now from North America.
Wandered back to Shiphol Plaza to look for a couple things I had forgotten to pack. I went into a supermarket. Enjoyed seeing the products there. Two things took my eye in particular.
I thought these guys were cute. The containers are for cheese spread. I was amazed at the idea of "cheese spread" in a country noted for production of fabulous cheeses. I tried to read the packaging and I'm guessing this product comes from Germany.
The shop was full of Easter chocolates, something I may pick up on my way home. However, I was surprised to find Christmas chocolates on a shelf.
The Christmas chocolates were not even on sale! In the United States this would have been on a clearance sale on December 26 and two days later the shelf would have been full of things for Valentine's Day.
I went to my favorite restaurant in Schiphol Plaza -- and I am really lucky to be able to travel so much to have a favorite restaurant here! I ordered the burger special.
I was really thinking about lingering longer over a coffee, but couldn't see my waitress. Suddenly there she was saying, "How about a coffee?"