10 November 2010


[UPDATE: 11-17-10. American Airlines emailed both CA and I 3,000 frequent flier
miles as compensation for our delayed flights. First time ever for that. Great PR.]

Cars and planes have defined our lives and times the past two days. A yellow cab picked us up at 1:00pm on Tuesday, and presto/change-o we're in Central Europe... No. Really, not that magical. Our flights included boarding our 4:55pm AA flight on time, waiting for a bit. Then waiting some more while the mechanics worked on the hydraulics, and then de-boarding, walking a long way from concourse K to concourse L, and re-boarding a different AA plane. Good news--it was the same configuration, so they didn't have to reassign seats and we still got our three bulkhead seats (for the two of us). All in all, though, we left ORD 3+ hours late. More good news (seemingly)--we had a pre-scheduled 4-1/2 hour layover at London Heathrow, so we should be good-to-go.

But, we aren't... Nope. When we touch down at Heathrow, there's a big Air Canada plane sitting in our spot, and so we wait. And, wait. Once they finally get that bugger towed away and we de-board, we scurry through Terminal 3 mazes, following all the signs for "connections." AA/British Airways kindly provide us with orange passes to speed us along, and someone along the way (in an official uniform) even mentions that these passes mean that they'll hold the flight for us.

They don't. Nope. For whatever reason, we weren't issued boarding passes at ORD for the second leg of our journey, and even though there's virtually no line at British Airways, we're delayed. Yep. No privileges extended via those orange passes. Everyone's kind, but even though we have 30 minutes before boarding and we've already cleared security, the gentleman is unbending as he reissues our tickets for a 4:45pm flight, instead of the 12:55pm we've expected.

So, we have time to buy some British fiction and we get to stretch our legs and we get  Lavazza capuccinos. CA's able to call DM and MK using our credit card and their Vonage (815) land line. Good thing for telephones, because for whatever reason we haven't gotten our laptop to play nicely with other servers yet. There's always a glitch in computer world.

LG meets us at the Flughafen in Vienna with her daddy, and we enjoy a giggling one hour car ride to Bratislava. When we reach Chorvatsky Grob, KF comes running out to greet us, with her new umbrella, and baby NJ tolerates our hugs and kisses.

MK feeds us well--the first taco soup and corn bread of the season, and a yummy apple strudel made from apples plucked from the trees of Slavko and Mirka Krupa in Eastern Slovakia.

We're very happy to be here again with our little girls and their parents. Ten days to dance and to laugh and to cook and eat and enjoy.

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