I was awakened for the last time for a breakfast of eggs, one potato wedge, a roll with butter, and water. We were about an hour and a half outside on Amsterdam, flying over northern Italy. I listened to more of Warbound and enhanced more photos.
The flight landed uneventfully at gate D57. After using the facilities, we went the entire length of Terminal D until we came upon a Starbucks. Steph got a cup of coffee while I connected to the free wifi and uploaded all of my draft blog entries to WordPress successfully. We reviewed our email and then sought out some place to camp out until the 11:40 boarding for our final flight to Dulles.
We went to the same place we had had breakfast on the way out. Being more familiar, we were able to navigate the lines and the crowds better, though there was still no logic to joe things were arranged. While waiting for my mini Dutch pancakes, I spoke with a guy in line who was on the way to Tanzania. They were doing things themselves, and I did not mention my reservations about attempting that. When we sat at a table, it was next to the guy’s wife, so we continued the conversation while we ate.
After breakfast, we found our gate (E6) and then a charging station to recharge my iPad as it would not charge off the USB port on the plane. I also charged the USB power pack I had been using to charge our phones in Africa. We still had three hours before boarding, and Steph was stiff after sitting on the plane for 11 hours, so she wanted to walk a bit. I was dead tired, though a little perkier after eating, so I stayed with our carry-ons at the charging station while she stretched her legs.
We took turns walking about and using the restrooms while the iPad charged. It was long and boring. I nodded off at one point. At 10:45, we went to the gate and waited there until the security line formed. We went through and then waited for the plane to board. We boarded with no hassles. But when we got to our seats, we discovered that this Airbus 330-200 did not have USB ports! Having had them on all the other flights, we had planned on charging our phones on the plane. Good thing I recharged the USB power pack! We were able to charge our phones with it.
I fell asleep immediately after takeoff and woke up two hours later when they were serving drinks. I plugged in my headphones and listened to more of Warbound while enhancing pictures. They served dinner a little while later. It was nice Indian chicken with rice. I started watching Zero Dark Thirty, which is 2 hours and 40 minutes long with dinner.
Several times during the film they interrupted with announcements, which paused the film. Twice, the film would not continue from where it paused, and I had to fast forward from the beginning. The second time I was 1:27 into it, and they had to reboot the system. We still had 3:30 left in the flight, so I was hopeful that I would get to see the end of the film, but they said it would take 15-20 minutes for the system to reset, and I wondered if it would crash again. I enhanced more photos while I waited. When it finally did come back, it crashed again before I had forwarded it to where I had left off, so I decided to give up on the movie and went back to photo enhancing.
About an hour before landing, I awoke. It had become very warm and stuffy on the plane, as if they had turned the air conditioning off. I resumed photo enhancing and got through 2000 pictures in total before I had to shut down for landing.
We touched down at Dulles right at 3:00. Unlike our departure, at the international arrival terminal, you don’t take the new trains. You still take the old mobile lounges to the terminal where customs is. Fortunately, the line went quickly. I was surprised that you go through customs before collecting you luggage now. We got our bags fairly quickly and were out into the main terminal in no time.
Viv ran up to greet us, and were driving home in a couple minutes. There were no issues and we were home by 4:00. After a quick check of the house, we were at the kennel before 5:00 and had the girls home and bathed by 6:00. There had been no issues during their ten days in hock, and they were super affectionate. Bree even jumped into the bathtub!
We ordered a pizza for dinner, and acknowledged the end of our vacation over recorded episodes of The Big Bang Theory.