The real worry was catching our connecting flight from Amsterdam to Washington. We landed about one hour before our next flight was due to take off. After the struggle to get off the plan--we hadn't been seated together and Seamus was all by himself in the very back--we went to passport control, where, this time, there was no priority lane. I signaled to one of the guys herding the line and explained that we had a short layover. He examined my boarding pass and, noting me as a Nervous Nellie, scoffed, "You have plenty of time. You could even visit our casino or do some shopping." We ignored his advice and went straight from passport control to our gate--a long walk. A Schipol airport, security is done at each gate, and there was a long line at ours. We were still loading our items into the buckets for inspection as our flight was boarding. Hey, Mr. "Visit-our-casino" HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW? Not such a Nervous Nellie after all.
OK, it takes a long time to board a jet, so it's not like we were in real danger of missing our flight, but I had been hoping for a chance to use a bathroom and get a drink of water and take some ibuprofen for my pounding headache. There wasn't even a bathroom at the gate. We shuffled straight onto the plane, and I eventually took my Advil with the drink service.
After landing in Washington we were all herded into a rather sinister vehicle, like a double-wide on a truck bed, and taken to passport control, where, of course there was another long line. Eventually we declared our purchases, were readmitted to the United States, got our baggage, and waited in another long line at the car rental counter. (Our car isn't big enough for the whole family, so we had to rent for our trips to and from the airport.)
Instead of driving straight home, we had to drive to Richmond to drop Brigid off--she had already missed three days of class. I95 south out of Washington at rush hour. Everybody's favorite! I think that drive was three hours, although I can't remember through the haze of pounding headache and nausea, and then another one hour drive to Charlottesville to a nice welcome from the lovely girl who stayed at our house and watched our dogs. And the dogs, of course.
The courtyard project got underway while we were gone, so our front yard now looks like this, which we navigated through the dark, with luggage.
I've been up since 04:00, due to the time change. I think I'm on my fourth load of laundry, but no coffee because there's no milk or half and half. This will be a busy day, but I'm still on vacation and don't return to work until Monday, thank goodness.