Wednesday, June 25, 2014

From Saint Paul to Amsterdam

Early Monday evening I left my apartment, stopping at Lund's to say good-bye to my granddaughter, and then took my luggage and me to the 10th Street Station of the Green Line. From there I traveled to the Downtown East station in Minneapolis where I had to pull the bags across the tracks to the other side and catch the Mall of America train. I missed the connecting train by about 30 seconds, so had to wait a good 10 minutes for the next one. 

At the airport I took two elevators up to differing levels in the airport -- a safer way to move about with two suitcases -- and then took the blue train into the main terminal area. Then another elevator up to the ticketing level. There is an English idiom, "sweat equity," meaning one works to save money. In this case, I surely did put in some sweat equity. Traveling this way cost me the princely sum of $2.25, quite a savings over a taxi or shuttle fare.

There I went to the drop luggage line. There I found my printed out boarding pass was a problem. For some unknown reason it had printed out very small and computers can't read the bar code. That problem solved for checking luggage. I found my larger bag weighed in at 42 pounds. It holds many games and other materials for teaching English as well as a netbook another volunteer is donating to the Global Volunteer program in Poland -- oh, and some clothing for the next 9 weeks!

My boarding pass was printed with a TSA pre-check symbol, but again the bar code problem. There I was told it would be quicker to go through the regular line than back track to Delta and have a new boarding pass printed.

Through security and had plenty of time to make my flight. And again the same problem with the bar code. I will surely ask for a new boarding pass when I get to the airport if I every have this print-out problem again.

I had a very nice aisle seat. When my seat mate arrived she asked me if I liked aisle seats or window seats. I told her either one is OK. Then she asked if I would change seats with her son, so they could sit together, so I ended up in a window seat. It was right over the wing, and that was the only thing one could see out the window.

I was glad to have put a shawl into my handbag, for when I got to the changed seat I couldn't find the blanket provided by the airline. I was able to sleep perhaps two hours on the flight.

Got into Amsterdam perhaps just a few minutes early, picked up my luggage and walked to the Citizen M hotel.  I crashed out for an afternoon nap. Then I walked back to Schiphol Plaza for supper.  I was looked forward to eating at La Place. This is one of my favorite places in Amsterdam Central and only in my last visit here in May did I discover there is branch too at Schiphol Plaza. I picked up a nice supper of fruit and a "herby" cheese roll.

Then while placing it on the shelf at the cashier's line, I did something to cause it to become unbalanced and it crashed to the floor. The staff was so very nice. They told me to go back and choose again what I wanted to eat. One young woman ran for a broom and dustpan and cleaned everything up.

So I did as told and got my supper again. It was all so very good. The cheese roll did have some kind of herb, but I couldn't decided for certain just what it was. And the fruit was so very favorable. This restaurant advertises that everything is 100% natural, and it shows in the fine flavors of the food. The strawberries and pineapple were so very good.

I found my favorite shop in Schiphol Plaza for picking up water and chocolate bars is closed and under renovation. So I tried the supermarket for the chocolate bars and got a carton of water down in the canteen of the hotel.

Slept well -- perhaps my body remembers European time since I've only been away for 3 weeks.

Had my favorite raisin bun with a cappuccino for breakfast this morning. Looking forward to getting into Siedlce on Thursday where I will have time to sort through my suitcases and take out all the teaching materials I plan to use later this summer at Reymontowka. This sort-out will help me determine whether I really brought everything I planned to take or accidentally left something at home.

Off as far as Warsaw today. Hope to find it warm enough to eat supper at an outdoor cafe.

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