2015 Jul 24 – Voyage of the Vikings

We flew to Boston yesterday.  The ship doesn’t sail until tomorrow at 5 pm but we have done enough traveling to know it is not wise to take plane rides scheduled to arrive the same day you are scheduled to leave for somewhere else.  Too many things can go wrong.

Our first plane of the day left Kelowna at 8:50 am, which necessitated a 5 am wake-up.  Thanks very much to Carmen for picking us up at 6:30 and driving us to the airport.  This duty usually falls to our daughter but she had to be at work already at 6 am – go figure.

We arrived on time to check our bags, go through security, sit a few minutes and board the plane for Toronto.  Nothing exciting to report about that.  We had 1 1/2 hours between flights in Toronto. We had to do a hop through LaGuardia Airport  because WestJet doesn’t fly direct to Boston and we had to take an affiliate flight on Delta from La Guardia to Logan Airport in Boston. (WestJet just announced that they will be making direct flights from Toronto to Boson.)

Because we were now going to be entering the USA we needed to collect our bags and go through Customs and Immigration.  Our bags took over 1/2 an hour to fall down the shute.  We then had a long walk to Terminal A where we put our passports in the kiosk reader, received our receipts and entered the zigzag line to go through screening.  By the time we got to the tail of the line we had 30 minutes until our flight was due to depart.  The zigzag was 6 rows long and moving slowly. Not going to make it….

A fellow a couple of lines over heard us say we had a flight in 30 minutes so he flagged down a US customs officer and told them our problem. There was another couple in the line a row ahead of us in the same dilema.  The staff member waved us over to the NEXUS priority boarding line and we got through security quickly. We speed-walked to our gate; arriving just as the plane was due to begin boarding only to find out it was delayed 15 minutes.

Perfect!  We were starving – 2 mini-bags of 15 corn chips do not constitute a meal.  (No food on planes unless you pay extra for them.  John had a $7 turkey bunwich but I didn’t bother). We hustled over to a nearby food supplier, picked up an egg sandwich, a ceasar salad, one bottle of water and a granola bar.  Total cost $33.06!  Yes, you read that correctly.  When my mouth dropped the clerk said, “You have to love airport taxes.”  Seriously!!!  More like, “One does not have to like airport rip offs.” (Obvioulsy I should have opted for the overpriced airplane bunwich)

Anyway we swallowed the bullet, paid for our food and made it back to the waiting area as  boarding commenced.  Flight time from Toronto to New York is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  We arrived a bit early  – about 6:50 pm EST.  I had a window seat on this flight and could see the ground almost the entire flight, which was nice; usually all you have is a great view of clouds.

IMG_6165 IMG_6167 IMG_6171The above three pics are blurry so don’t worry about your vison. We were flying out of Toronto and it was a bit shaky on the plane.IMG_6173 IMG_6176 IMG_6177 IMG_6179 IMG_6174 The normal airplane view. Our flight to Boston was scheduled to leave at 8 pm.  We landed at La Guardia and the Captain announced that the air control tower had put us into a queue formation that they don’t use because it doesn’t work well and we would be delayed getting to the terminal.  We sat out on the runway able to see a long line of stationary airplanes ahead of us.  15-20 minutes later the Captain came on again: the plane using the same gate we were scheduled to use had also been stuck in the queue and had just arrived at the terminal. Therefore, we would have to wait for it to deboard the passengers, get cleaned and re-stocked, board the new passangers and move away from the gate so we could get in.  Estimated wait time 30-45 minutes.  He shut down the engines while we waited.  Two more updates followed and we eventually deplaned at 8:10.

We were hoping that our Boston flight may have been caught in the back log and delayed in leaving but no such luck; it had departed on time.   We made another long trek to the Delta service counter in the next terminal and managed to get re-booked on the last plane of the day from New York to Boston, leaving in an hour.  With a 20 minute delay in departure time and a 35 minute flight time, plus luggage collection and a hike through the almost empy Logan airport we arrived at our hotel, checked in and got to our room at 15 minutes after midnight, Eastern Time.  The only available place to eat closed at 12:30.

Mad dash downstairs for food – made it with 5 minutes to spare! With the time zone change it was really only 9:30 Pacific Time but our bodies felt it was a lot later and we crashed as soon as we got back to our room.  Breakfast is served from 5 am until 10:30. We missed it.  We woke at 11:30 and then dozed until 12;30 so breakfast was lunch.  No bacon and eggs today.  Tomorrow maybe…. Just as well we don’t have to be anywhere until then.

PS.  Tomorrow we board the MS Veendam and begin our 35-day Voyage of the Vikings cruise.  Internet on board is VERY slow and VERY expensive so my blog postings will be sporadic.  If we have a port of call with a short shore excursion, or no excursion at all and we don’t spend all our free time looking for geo-caches, I will try find wi-fi to work on a blog.  I will do my best, but make no promises about scheduling.

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