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The Trip Home - March 13, 2003

View Photos from March 13 (18 images)

This was the earliest morning of them all. We had to wake up at 4:15 to get ready and to the lobby by 4:45. The driver was going to meet us in the lobby at 5:00, so we wanted to make sure we were at the airport in plenty of time for the flight. Besides, the armed guards across the plaza were not letting people drive through to the hotel, so Neil decided to wander around outside periodically to keep an eye out for a car. Shortly before 5:00, he drove up. Well, this is a good start, knowing we'll actually get to the airport on time! Except for the fact that Neil couldn't find the travel packet that held the voucher for the transport, and, um... the airline tickets. So he gets the room key from the front desk and runs up to the room, thankfully finding the packet on the desk.

We drove through the dark city for a long time, almost 45 minutes, on the way to the airport, arriving shortly before 6:00 am. That gave us plenty of time to find the Swiss Air counter, get our boarding passes, and get to the gate. You have never seen such a deserted airport-just a handful of people for our flight and almost no one else, including airport personnel and merchants. We boarded our flight around 6:45, and around 7:00 the pilot came on, telling us in Italian, German, and English (not all at the same time!) that we couldn't take off yet. The big Swiss Air hub, Zurich, was fogged in, and they were having so much trouble getting planes in that they weren't allowing flights to take off for Zurich yet. So we sat at the gate til 8:30 or so before getting started.

"Don't worry about your connections; they're all running late," the pilot said. When we got to the Zurich airport we thought we'd just make our connection. But when we realized we were being brought off the plane, loaded onto a transport bus, and taken to the terminal,. At the terminal, we didn't even see our flight listed on the screens. When we and several others realized that our connection had already left, we began the waiting process. After Ginger got extremely frustrated at the way the ticket counter was run, we finally did get a flight. We chose to do the Zurich to Washington, D.C. to Dallas route. This meant getting home at about 10pm instead of 2:30pm. Oh well! At least that's on the way home and not on the way TO Europe!

With our boarding passes for our new route in hand, we headed to the gate. Since there was time to pass, Ginger went down the hall to the small gift shop. Oh my! Look at all the Swiss chocolate! There were several choices and we decided on about 5 bars of different flavors. There was raspberry filled milk chocolate, 70% cocoa dark chocolate, honey chocolate, pistachio chocolate...... We boarded our flight and made it to Washington where we had to clear customs. As things go, of course the computer system crashed for them. But that was ok as we knew we had time to make our connection.

The flight to Dallas was packed! Not an empty seat in the house! (plane, that is.) Not to mention that the MD-80 that brought us home was far less luxurious than the originally scheduled 777. We made it safely home to DFW where Ginger's mom and dad picked us up outside the terminal. After receiving a cool gift basket with different kinds of food and visiting with them at our apartment, it was time to turn in for the night. Ahhhh, sleep.

So there you have it, a collection of Neil and Ginger's honeymoon stories. We'll definitely be going back to Europe for more adventures! And we'll keep the website up for years to come, so make sure you come back frequently to visit NeilAndGinger.Com!