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The Plan for the Parental Units

Plan A


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2009 Baltic Cruise & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Sun from the plane

Sun from the plane

When my mother died I decided to carry on the tradition that she started of taking a trip with each of her grandchildren. I took the first grandson C on a Bus trip to Ireland (I have not finished writing up this trip yet because the photos got all mixed up on my computer). The second grandson - D - did a Mediteranean Cruise. Which is mostly finished. This trip was the first one with a granddaughter - B- who is the sister of the grandson who went with me to Ireland. Originally I wanted to do a Mediterranian cruise with her like I had done with her cousin, because I thought since she is Catholic that she would like to visit the Vatican. But I decided that the Med in the summer would be too hot for me so I booked the Baltic instead.

I booked the cruise itself on our cruise through the Panama Canal and down to Peru in the fall of 2008 (which made it cheaper) but the cruise ship company completely screwed up the reservation so that took some time to straighten out. I booked the tours in advance, including booking with a private tour company in Russia.

The projected schedule (which was not always followed) was this

Dates Places and numbers

9 June leaving from Dulles at 1715 going to Copenhagen on SAS flight # 926 arriving at 0715 am the next morning. We intend to leave for the airport about noon. We have assigned seats

10 June - Saga Hotel for 2 nights. They have free internet so I will be checking in
http://www.sagahotel.dk/
(+45)33 244 944
Saga Hotel

Saga Hotel


It is supposed to rain on the 10th and be good weather on the 11th.

12 June - embark on the Rotterdam. I will be checking in via the internet, but in an extreme emergency you can get ahold of us (keeping in mind that it will cost $16.00/minute) by phoning the ship. You will need our name and stateroom number, and you know our names, but we don't have our stateroom number yet.
Granddaughter B on board

Granddaughter B on board


1-866 HAL-SHIP (1-966-425-7447)
Have a credit card ready
Listen to announcement
Select the number that corresponds to the ship (in our case the number is 6 for the Rotterdam)
If you get a busy signal or message, hang up quickly and try again.

It will be much cheaper just to email. I will buy an internet package, so will be doing email.

13 June - at sea - Meet and Greet of Cruise board scheduled at 10:30

14 June - Tallin Estonia - no tour booked

15 - 16 June - St. Petersburg. Booked a tour with Alla Tours
+7 911 932 66 33

Night June 15th - ships's excursion to the ballet at 1900

17 June - Helsinki - ship excursion
Helsinki Highlights & Country Home Visit

18 June - Stockholm - ship excursions (2)
Vikings & the Gold Room and
Waterways of Stockholm

19 June - at sea

20 June - Berlin ship excursion which is 0600 to 2300
Explore Berlin & Potsdam by River Cruise and Coach

21 June - Århus Denmark - ship excursion 1230 to 1530
Århus Highlights

22 June - Oslo - ship excursion
Viking Ship Museum & Hadeland Glassworks

23 June - at sea

24 June - dock at Rotterdam. Hope to see the windmills of Kinderdijk
Meeting two folks from Virtual Tourist and going out to dinner with
them.

Hotel - Golden Tulip
Leuvehaven 80, ROTTERDAM - +31 10 4134139
Free wireless Internet throughout the hotel

25 June - taking train to Amsterdam, but have not gotten the tickets yet

25-26 June Hotel - Golden Tulip Amsterdam Centre-free wireless internet
Nieuwezijds Kolk 19 - 1012 PV - Amsterdam - +31 (0)20 5301818
Golden Tulip

Golden Tulip

27 June - fly back to Copenhagen
SAS flight 1550 depart 1800 arrive 1920
I have been unable to figure out how to call SAS and confirm, so I guess I will have to do it on the internet

Hotel Kastrup Hilton at Copenhagen airport
Ellehammersvej 20, Copenhagen, Denmark 2770
Tel: 45-32-501-501 wireless internet access
directly connected to Terminal 3 by a covered walkway

28 June fly back to Dulles - SAS fight 925
leave 1220 arrive Dulles 1500.

-------------------

Prequel

Getting to this point was extremely labor intensive. Just for the air tickets for instance it took me three months.

I wanted to fly non-stop to Copenhagen. On 5 January 2009, I wrote my travel agent that I had been trying to figure out how I could get from the US to Copenhagen and back. It seems excessively expensive, so I am wondering if I need to use Cruise ship air. But I've heard how impoosibly difficult those flights are in regard to time and connections.

I am in southern Maryland about equi-distant from DCA and BWI and B is near Charleston SC. I don't want to go through Chicago or EWR or Atlanta. I really don't like United or Delta. There is a direct SAS flight from IAD to Copenhagen (IAD (Dulles) is more of a pain to get to for us than BWI but we can do it) that looks good but it costs over $1K each.

B's last day of school is June 7th, so I thought if we left on June 9th and arrived on the 10th that would give us time to decompress and de-jet-lag before we boarded the cruise on the 12th. I was thinking of going to Tivoli Gardens and possibly taking a little bus tour - seeing the little mermaid etc.

Getting home again is more of a problem. If I have to do a connecting flight (which it seems I will have to do), again I don't want to connect through EWR or Chicago or Atlanta.

I wouldn't mind getting off the ship and spending a day or so in Amsterdam, and then connecting through/spending a couple of days in London (LHR) or Paris or Lisbon or Frankfurt or Rome or just about anywhere in Europe or even Toronto before flying back to BWI or IAD or DCA or Charleston or even Miami.

17 January 2009
I have been completely unable to find any plane tickets at less than about $5K for the two of us. So I thought cruise air would be an option. The person I talked to (Angie) said cruise air would be $1929.00 per person. That's more expensive than the price for the whole cruise but it is better than anything I could find.

She also said the hotel in Copenhagen would be the Radisson Scandia for $1086/night,
Radisson

Radisson


and that if I booked that, I would not have to pay the $75.00 deviation fee. I said if I couldn't find anything cheaper than that I'd be surprised and the $75 deviation fee wouldn't matter. The hotel in Rotterdam would be the Westin for $830/night.

Someone on Cruise Critics said that she thought all the hotels in Copenhagen were booked for those dates by a convention. So I went to look, and some of the hotels have space Weds and not Thurs, and some just have no space, but there are still rooms.

My travel agent answered: "I agree with you, Air should not be that expensive and what these Cruise Lines charge people for their Hotel Packages is a Sin of the first Magnitude." He was able to get us a hotel room

Finally on 3 March 2009 I told my TA that I had booked:
SAS Flight 926 from Dulles to Copenhagen leaving on 9 June at 5:15 and arriving on 10 June in the morning at 7:15 am. $574.00 each round trip and we get meals, but the taxes and fees are $311 each.

When I went to book the connecting flight from Amsterdam to Copenhagen, I found that the flight I thought left at 8 am left at 8 pm and the earlier flights were much more expensive. So I booked SAS flight 1550 which leaves Amsterdam June 27th at 6 pm and arrives in Copenhagen at 7:20 pm on the 27th. The flight itself is only $48 each but the taxes and fees are $70+

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:10 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Flying from IAD aka Dulles the Pain-In-the-Butt-Airport

Packing and Leaving


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2009 Baltic Cruise & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Photo of Son taken by B on the drive from SC

Photo of Son taken by B on the drive from SC


My granddaughter is here. She took some pictures and got them transferred to my computer. That works.
Son's Graduation photo on the bulletin board in his room - taken by B

Son's Graduation photo on the bulletin board in his room - taken by B


She came down and helped put the mainsail on the boat.
Our boat in the marina-B's photo of me walking by the boat

Our boat in the marina-B's photo of me walking by the boat

B's photo of the Mast

B's photo of the Mast

We watched a video tape on Tallin and some of the CD that we got from the Statendam to show her what the ship might look like. We managed to activate and program the tri-data phone that we have rented for use in Europe (I have to de-activate it and send it back when we get home) . She soaked her foot this evening (she had an ingrown toenail). Bob has practiced turning on the computers and accessing email. I have set up the computers so Bob can get emails on pocketmail.

She can't find her student ID so maybe she left it home. If she finds it, it would be good that she has it for St. Petersburg, but if not it is no biggie.

I think I'm packed. My suitcase is very heavy because I have soap and bleach for the laundry in it, but it is still under 50 pounds. Thinking that maybe I will switch those two items to B's bag. With nothing in it my bag is under the 62" that is allowed. I hope it has not bulged over the limit. B does not have a money belt or anything like that, and I can't find the one I had for her cousin to use. The thumb drives that I ordered have not come, so I will have to use the one that I have.

It has turned hot and sticky. I hope thundershowers don't delay us like they did with her brother's flight. I still don't have our cabin number, but if they do like they did in Barcelona with the Jade, they had people at the curb telling people what their cabin numbers are so they don't have to carry all their luggage on.

9 June 2009

We left from home about noon June 9th, and it took us about an hour and 45 minutes to drive to Dulles.

On the beltway going to Dulles

On the beltway going to Dulles


Bob unloaded us at section 3, and we straggled inside with our bags. Most of the SAS counters were closed. I suspect that this is the only SAS flight there is from that airport. But very shortly a lady appeared and checked us in and gave us our boarding passes. A man, took our bags (didn't ask me to make a name label but this is a non-stop flight) and said mine was 21 kilos. I later asked Bob how many kilos to a pound and the said 2.4 which would be 50.4 pounds, but when I looked it up later 23 kilos was the maximum weight. That would be more like 2.2 kilos to the pound or 46 lbs plus.

The lady told us to sit on the A/C seat and she would send us a wheelchair. Which she did.
Inside the airport (seated)

Inside the airport (seated)


My carry-on is also very heavy. After we stopped for B to use the bathroom, we went through security, and the wheelchair guy got us onto the people mover and out to the gate - well in advance of the flight.
Granddaughter in people mover

Granddaughter in people mover


I tipped him about $2.00 There were several people with small children including a pregnant lady traveling by herself with a small child. One of the children spent a lot of time shrieking. B bought a soft pretzel and blue ice.

We boarded with the group of people needing assistance. We were in 35 G-H which was a window and an aisle.
Looking out the window of the plane at the gate

Looking out the window of the plane at the gate


I thought B would like to see out the window, so I let her have the window seat. But she said not, so next time I will take the window which I really prefer because I found I can't sleep in an aisle seat and she was curled up to try to sleep in a way that would have worked just as well in an aisle seat and such a position would not be available to me.

As usual in June, the flight was delayed by lightening storms from 5:15 to about 8:45. We sat on the taxi-way with the engines off for most of that time.
Seatback camera while we waited on taxiway

Seatback camera while we waited on taxiway


At one point I went up to the bathroom and said I was hungry, so they gave us some cracker type snacks. We finally got dinner about 10 pm

SAS does not give you any choice of food. There was no - beef or chicken question. For dinner we had a salad, chicken and potatoes
Chicken dinner

Chicken dinner


Two whole wheat rolls and butter, two crackers, a slice of cheese

Two whole wheat rolls and butter, two crackers, a slice of cheese


and a cheesecake. They don't give you hot towels or eye masks or anything like that but they do have a free drink with the meal, even in economy. No rum though - the lady across from us asked. The people in front of us were (as we found out when landing) going to be on the same ship as ours, and the girls across from us were going on some kind of Methodist missionary thing to the Baltic states from NC

A lot of the announcements were in other languages first - must have been Swedish, Norse and Danish because I couldn't understand them and they took twice or three times as long as the English ones.

Although there is no choice of dinner, they do have the TV screens in the seatbacks which has a forward camera and a camera that shows what is below you. Their moving plane has all north up displays except one which is course up which at first was confusing until I realized what it was. We didn't originally have earphones at our seat, but I saw some in the seat ahead and took them before those people had boarded.

They also have a choice of movies (B watched the Pink Panther), games and audio tapes or to watch the moving plane. With the engines off on the taxi-way, most of the options are not available. I tried to listen to the comedy channel and was told to chose another one. Eventually I did get to it, and it was Victor Borge. The games were not available for very long in the flight - you had to run them with a controller which was in the seat arm attached by a cord. I played backgammon and then I tried tetris, but the instructions for what keys to push didn't really work for me. After awhile, all the games returned you to the main screen as they had been turned off.
My granddaughter's photo of me with a magazine

My granddaughter's photo of me with a magazine


The in-flight magazine had none of the options I'm used to with AA. No crossword - no airport maps. They did have a selection of other magazines and papers available and for awhile I looked at Boat Sales magazine.

I changed the camera time, but absolutely could not change my watch time no matter how hard I tried. That would be why a watch for B would be a good idea. Just a cheap Timex triathlon watch is what I have.

I just did not sleep as well as I usually do. There was no foot rest, and I dozed but didn't sleep.
Bottled water at our seat

Bottled water at our seat


SAS gave us big bottles of water at each seat. B brought hers off the plane with her, but I had another bottle and my SAS one was empty so I left it.

Normally if I get some sleep on the airplane, when I get to somewhere, I can keep going until after dinner of that day and then crash. This time not. And B didn't sleep much either. The boys were much more resilient about sleep. My ribs hurt and kept me from sleeping, and I couldn't keep my head steady so it would fall forward or sideways and wake me up. Having an aisle seat was good in that I could get up and use the bathroom easily and the bathrooms were near us.

I did eventually get my watch set so that it is the correct time here, but for some reason the information screens on the flight kept saying (like they did on a previous flight) that the time at our destination was 5 hours different. I finally asked the flight attendant and he confirmed that it was 6 hours difference.
Europe from a plane

Europe from a plane


Breakfast on SAS

Breakfast on SAS


They gave us breakfast which was a ham and cheese sandwich, a thing of yogurt, OJ (I gave my OJ to B) and tea or coffee. I had tea, B had coffee. They came around and asked me if I needed wheelchair assistance and I said yes.
Landing Copenhagen

Landing Copenhagen


She asked me how the flight was, and I said it was very smooth. She told me that there were seven of us on the plane who had requested wheelchairs, and I should be sure to identify myself to them.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:56 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Summer Sequester and Celebration in 2009

From my bedroom


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2007 The Sparkling Emerald Isle & 2009 Baltic Cruise & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

I came back from this trip in June with a cold I got from my granddaughter. This turned into bronchitis and I was sick for most of the summer
Our house in the summer.  Maple tree on the left and window A/C

Our house in the summer. Maple tree on the left and window A/C


Starting in August, we put in a geothermal furnace. When we moved here in December 1973, we had the original furnace - central heat had been installed around WWII. The furnace was working pretty well and we had an attic fan to cool the house in the summer. But I thought we should replace the furnace in the summer when we were not using it, and that a geothermal unit was the way to go.

So we got estimates and on 4 August, they started digging the thermal wells.
Bob watching the trenching

Bob watching the trenching


They dug the trench right across the driveway
Trench

Trench


so we were isolated in the house. They put in five wells starting in the front yard, and across the driveway to the back of the house
Well diggers

Well diggers

Machinery to put in the wells

Machinery to put in the wells


Threading the hose into the wells

Threading the hose into the wells



Controls for the new furnace

Controls for the new furnace

Left old furnace that burned oil.  Right new geothermal heat pump

Left old furnace that burned oil. Right new geothermal heat pump

Left - old water heater that was here in 1973.  Right - new geothermal water heater

Left - old water heater that was here in 1973. Right - new geothermal water heater


Filling in the trenches

Filling in the trenches

Driveway after the geothermal people got finished

Driveway after the geothermal people got finished


After the furnace was installed, Bob had the big maple by the front porch taken out - he was afraid it would topple onto the house in a hurricane.
Tree man in the bucket truck

Tree man in the bucket truck


Maple

Maple

Cutting up the maple tree

Cutting up the maple tree

Cutting off the stump

Cutting off the stump


We bought a native magnolia called a Sweet Bay to replace it
Sweet bay

Sweet bay


and had the yard landscaped. (i.e. re-graveled the driveway and laid sod)
New driveway from my bedroom window

New driveway from my bedroom window


Progress - Left - house with maple tree and A/C.  Middle Maple tree and A/C gone, Right - after landscaping

Progress - Left - house with maple tree and A/C. Middle Maple tree and A/C gone, Right - after landscaping

We didn't use the boat at all this year and we hauled it on 5 October.
c8453a40-b94a-11ea-95af-712ba05d8bb9.JPGBarnacles on the prop because we haven't used it

Barnacles on the prop because we haven't used it


Our 50th wedding anniversary was in June, but the children got together to give us a party and they decided to have the party at the time of the Oyster Festival which is the 3rd week in October. My oldest daughter told me:

It was a group effort. E organized the food. I found the
place and did the invites. B did the pictures. Rob showed up :)

Our daughter E and her youngest child came as the advance woman. While she was here, we went to the Solomons Maritime Museum,
E, our granddaughter and Bob walking in

E, our granddaughter and Bob walking in

Finding a shark's tooth

Finding a shark's tooth

Dressing up as a colonial child

Dressing up as a colonial child

Watching the fish

Watching the fish


and we drove down to St. Mary's City. Before we went to St. Mary's City, we drove into Glen Mary Farms where she had kept her horse
large_100_3192.JPG
And we went by the house of the scarecrow man. Each week the scene in the garden changed - sometimes the scarecrow was working with a horse - on this day he is using a saw horse to cut wood for the fireplace
Scarecrow

Scarecrow


When we got to St. Mary's City, we went to the museum, and then up to the reconstructed Great Chapel
large_y100_3205.JPG
4793b650-b94b-11ea-95af-712ba05d8bb9.JPGGreat Chapel

Great Chapel

Photo on display of finding the lead coffin

Photo on display of finding the lead coffin


Walking with the re-enactor

Walking with the re-enactor


Tobacco flowers

Tobacco flowers

Drying tobacco

Drying tobacco


Re-enactor in the garden

Re-enactor in the garden

At the Oyster Festival I found that I could not walk across the fairgrounds without stopping and sitting down to catch my breath twice. This was a concern.

Afterward, we had snacks and cake at Corbels.
y100_5301.JPGlarge_10735_1268746601384_1311398201_773622_892583_n.jpg
Our daughter B had made a slide show of the photos of the last 50 years, and my sister gave a speech. My sister in front of the slide show screen

My sister in front of the slide show screen


And of course we took group photos. The only one missing was one grandson who could not get off work.
large_10735_1268747401404_1311398201_773642_4489308_n.jpg
Unfortunately, my sister who took the photo had her finger over the sensor so most of the photos are out of focus

I went to a cardiologist who said there was nothing wrong with my heart. The lung doctor said I had only 85% aelvolar function so I started going to pulmonary rehab.

Our next trip was January 2010 - a Celebrity cruise out of Baltimore.
Then in June I took my next oldest grandson to Yellowstone and Hawaii

The next trip was our cruise to Alaska

Posted by greatgrandmaR 07:14 Archived in USA Tagged anniversary geothermal maryland Comments (4)

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