Leiden Trip - The Departure

I had decided not to take my cell phone. At the last minute in case of problems in Chicago I thought it would be good to have. I powered it on and I had a voicemail. Jen called. Jon was doing all right but he's in the hospital getting his appendix removed.

We arrived at the airport at 2:00, before the prescribed two hour international flight check-in requirement. With an empty line we walked up to the United Airlines desk. I said "Remsik." The lady working the desk got a horrified look on her face and turned to the manager working next to her. "We tried to call you. Your flight from Madison to Chicago O'Hare is running 40 minutes behind." The gyst of the conversation was sorry but, the only way you'll make your flight is to drive to Chicago.

We had just been dropped off so we didn't have a car. We decided to check the price on a rental car. As luck would have it the cost of the rental car was similar to the amount we'll get refunded by United for missing the connection. We drove down to O'Hare in just under two hours. We had cash for every toll except the last. I had to take down the phone number and have Chris take care of the $.80 potential misdemeanor.

At O'Hare we dropped off our 2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx at the Avis lot and took a shuttle to the international terminal. We got in the building at 4:30 and mentioned to the United employee that we were trying to make a flight that was leaving for Amsterdam at 5:50. She suggested we try the line about 30 yards away because it looked shorter. After getting to the shorter line we told that united employee the same thing. "Oh. You can't check-in here for Amsterdam, you have to go to the international desk." After 45 yards back the way we came we mention to the United employee monitoring the line that we were trying to make Amsterdam. He got a hurried look on his face and short-cut us through a barrier to the end of the line. We saved steps but not time.

The obviously international line disappeared in front of us fairly quickly. Next hing Phil Chen is motioning us to his desk for check-in. We explain that we are in a hurry, it was 4:55 and we were trying to make a 5:50 flight to Amsterdam. "Oh my gosh! We have to hurry!" He frantically weighs our luggage and sends them off. Then after discussing world politics with the janitor he decides to take our passports and send us along as well. We caught a break at the security check-in. There were approximately twenty people in front of us when they started a new line at us.

We made our plane, watched The Incredibles, and The Village, slept a few winks and landed safely in Amsterdam around 9:30AM Sunday Morning.

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