Getting to D.C.

It was such an ordeal to get here yesterday, I was throughly exhausted by the time my head hit the pillow.  The first flight was okay. I arrived at the airport at 0730 (Central European time),  checked bag, went through security, went through gate, and then we had to ride the bus to the plane, no biggie, except it was raining when we had to get off the bus & board the plane. The guy sitting next to me looked like a German woodsman, come to find out, he was.  He likes to live in wooded areas & his profession is tree cutting (he was part of the crew that helped clear out areas around Ramstein).  This was his first flight he has taken since 1988 & he had so many questions.  He was on a trip to surprise his daughter…. in LIMA PERU!!!  I hope he can get to her, considering he doesn’t speak Spanish.  Okay, he wasn’t a bad seat partner, although he did want to talk, which I don’t. I don’t like to talk in bathrooms with other people, either.
We (We, as in I) get to Amersterdam, walked out of that terminal, my flight was a short walk to another terminal.  Went through the customs agent.  Had to discuss the finer points of the SOFA & how I get to live in Germany without a resident card.  He stamped that passport (ggrrrrr…. I never left the airport, I’m not really in his country).  Anyways, went through, found my gate, went to the restroom, refilled the bottle of water that I had been lugging around empty since Frankfurt.  Noticed there was a long line to get through the gate, so didn’t have time to do much since my layover was short.  Got in line & discovered, I have to go through a full body scan & bag scan.  That bottle of water that I just filled up would have to go away.  Yes, another complete security check at the gate.  You cannot take any liquids on the plane.  What the heck!
I got through the security check & finally got on the plane.  My seat was near the back, so I made my way back & discovered that the person sitting next to me was a large woman.  I thought about charging her for the amount of my seat she was using.  She wasn’t so big that they would have required her to purchase a second seat, but she was big enough that as much as I could get to next to the window, I still would get an elbow in the side.  I gave her (or I guess she took) the armrest, which was okay, but she went a bit beyond that. It just made for an uncomfortable flight, although I think I did sleep about a half hour at the beginning.
We landed about 20 minutes early in D.C.  We landed at about 1610 (Eastern time).  I made it off the plane, then had to board a cattle car to the customs terminal.  Got in the U.S. citizens line, and waited… and waited… and waited.  My turn came, got through, went to pick up suitcase.  They like to stack the suitcases by the belt & I didn’t see mine.  I watched the ones going around & around, didn’t see mine.  Went back to the stack & really started looking harder & finally found my suitcase.  There was a restroom, used it, then got in another line (to turn in my customs form) to get out.  This wait was shorter, but I still had some waiting.
After getting through all of that, I made my way down to the super shuttle area.  I started to wait in another line & the guy at a competitor service, invited me to use their service.  The cost was about the same, at this point, I was just tired of waiting in more lines.  I bought a round trip ticket (it saved me $2 total), but I was able to schedule the pick up time & not have to worry about that on Sunday.  I then was able to go to the shuttle.  It, of course, was full & we drove & drove.  Dropped off one lady at her house, dropped off a guy at Reagan airport, had to listen to another guy bitch that he had someplace to be & he should have taken a taxi, dropped off that guy at his hotel, and then it was my turn.  Got to the hotel, checked in, when she asked for my address, I stated that I live in Germany.  She then asked if I had a US address.  I gave her my APO, she didn’t want that.  I told her she could have my address in Germany or she can have my APO address, which is a US address. She ended up using the APO.  I had requested a king size bed., the woman wanted to give me 2 doubles, “but the only king size I have is on the train side”.  I was nice, told her I was exhausted & I really don’t want 2 doubles, I really wanted the King.  After a few moments of her clicking away, I got a king size not on the train side. I finally got up to my room at about 1930.
It was a really long day.

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