We slept in until 7 a.m. Wow. I went downstairs and B.S.’d with the maid, JoAnna. Smiths called from Florida (neighbor lady I walked with while they were here) and offered to pay her expenses to come to Florida to care for his Mother. She is going. Her brother lives in Toronto.
I brought breakfast up for Doris. Then after breakfast, I walked into Glyfada. The store I wanted wasn’t open yet so I walked an extra block, I still wasn’t open so I went to an enormous toy store. I killed half an hour there. The store I wanted finally opened and I didn’t have enough money. I didn’t know they had video tapes we can play at home. So, I walked back to the hotel, told Doris what I had found. She wanted one also, so Dimitris took us down and back. He is very sick today, even more so than yesterday. I certainly hope we don’t catch it. JoAnna that runs the gift shop in the hotel is sick with it too. I think it is strep throat.
We spent the afternoon sorting and packing our bags. I’m glad we started early and that I stuffed a large duffle bag in my carry-on which is all I brought over. I bought cheap T-shirts as I needed them and a spare pair of jeans. The duffle bag is stuffed with my new wardrobe and gifts for everyone at home. I’ve kept track of every purchase and have a list made up of items, price and exchange rate for Customs for each of us.
I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. We were in the lobby by 6:30 a.m., ready to go. I can’t exactly say bright eyed and bushy tailed, because we ain’t.
Dimitris was on time and we got checked in with our luggage checked through to Anchorage. Their idea of a wheelchair all the way and ours differ vastly. Airport Security is far better than when we arrived. Today is Election Day. There are more police and armed military personnel with automatic weapons than I have ever seen. There is a military man every few feet in a grid pattern all over the terminal and no one can park near the terminal. We went through two security checks, then had to identify each piece of our luggage piled along the tarmac to the plane before they would load it on the plane and we got on.
Dimitris was feeling better today and apologized for Friday. It was just such a frustrating day all the way around and he was so sick.
The trip to Zurich on Swissair left a lot to be desired. My part was okay, but the oxygen situation wasn’t. They only had a full lower face mask and we couldn’t adjust the flow which was practically nonexistent. The food was good though. We flew extremely high across the Ionian Sea, Italy and whatever other country we might have edged over on our way to Zurich. It was raining in Zurich so we couldn’t see much.
Back to good old SAS to Copenhagen. This is the nicest airline I’ve ever dealt with. Everyone bends over backward to be of assistance. What wonderful staff and policy.
The sun is shining in Copenhagen, even. Gee, everything’s nice here. We weren’t here long enough to see anything though. We came over Frankfurt, Germany from Zurich to Copenhagen. What wasn’t cloud covered looked flat. No wonder everyone from there likes Alaska.
It is 8 hours 45 minutes from Copenhagen to Anchorage. They gave us a full row of 5 seats again just for Doris, me and the oxygen bottle. The hydrator stem broke off in the water bottle on the gauge. I put a piece of plastic tube on instead and it worked.
Another meal, very good, several cartoons, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” later and we are still 3 ½ hours from Anchorage. Doris is extremely tired which isn’t good for her. A very nice Oriental man joined us in our row so he could see the screen better. He doesn’t speak English and persists in taking pictures with his flash of the overhead projection screen of our progress on the map. He has used several rolls of film and no way to let him know they will all be blank.
Customs was impressed by my lists. They even laughed about my boxes of oregano and coffee. My carry-on bag full of assorted rocks and fragments of artifacts I found on the beach amused them. There had been a robbery in one of the museums in Athens just before we left and I had worried about all those fragments. Some had carvings on them and letters from old ruins. I think my bag weighed about 65 pounds, mostly rocks. All the beaches were rocks. No sand. The rocks all look like they were run through a tumbler and are lovely. My souvenirs for myself were inexpensive.
The connections are good and we finally land in Fairbanks. Joe is so happy to see Doris. He truly did not think he would ever see her alive, again. Neither of them were sure she would even survive the trip over. She has some other health issues and still isn’t ever going to run a marathon, but she is alive and perky, closer to her old self.
Doris not only survived a few more years, she got to see a Governor elected that represented the political party started by her and her husband. Her final cause of death was listed as cancer on her death certificate, her doctor here did not want to ever say she was cured, but her x-rays never showed anything in her lungs again but the small encapsulated dark spot she had for years. Joe told me she actually had a heart attack during an asthma attack.