Beautiful Day

Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
Trip End Aug 27, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Friday, August 27, 2010

Upon arrival at Londonderry airport, we were quite relieved to see that there wasn't a line-up to check-in for our flight to Dublin as, not surprisingly, we were running a little late. It wasn’t long before we discovered why there wasn’t a line-up, we were the last passengers to check-in….the other seven passengers were already in the departures lounge! There also wasn’t too much crowding at the baggage carousel and we soon had our bags and made our way to our hotel by local bus. Dublin was simply an overnight stop and we were up early the following morning to return to the airport for our flight to Chicago.

Again there was nobody else in the line-up for check-in when we arrived, but we managed to rectify that situation for the American Airlines staff…..we created a bit of a backlog, as prior to checking in they wanted to check passports. Not normally a problem, but after viewing our passports they requested a second form of photo ID, both of which then had to be taken away for verification? Apparently, because we weren’t from either the origin or destination countries of the flight we were deemed a security risk! (Or maybe it was the presence of a Middle Eastern country stamp on the passports?). Throughout our travels, American Airlines have been the only people to go to these lengths.

The flight itself was uneventful and even an eight hour flight seems to pass quickly these days with very few queries of "how much longer?". Our final night away from home was a good opportunity to use some more of those Hilton points and we stayed at the Doubletree in Rosemont. As always we made good use of the facilities (gym & pool), before heading out for dinner and some of Chicago’s most renowned cuisine – after a fifteen minute walk to Giordano’s we indulged in some wonderful “stuffed” pizza, mmmmm!

After working out, a leisurely breakfast and one final pack of the bags, Derek’s friend Karla picked us up early Friday afternoon. She drove us into the “windy city” and after an interesting and memory-filled tour of some of downtown Chicago we parked up at Navy pier. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we all enjoyed chatting while viewing and boarding some of the 20 or so Tall Ships which Chicago is currently playing host to. Having heard so much about Karla and Derek’s visit to Chicago as a young and impressionable teenager 26 years ago, it was lovely for the children and Sarah to finally meet and get to know her a little. She brought along a photo project album that Derek had made for her all those years ago, and the memories came flooding back. She was just as gracious a host today as she was in 1984. With such pleasant weather it would have been shame to be indoors and so we shared a wonderful last dinner on the patio at Harry Caray’s, a chain of restaurants named after the legendary Chicago Cubs baseball broadcaster.

Karla kindly dropped us off at the airport and despite being there in good time we were a little alarmed to discover that we didn’t have seats assigned and that they wouldn’t be until we reached the gate….uh oh, that doesn’t sound good :-( Hopefully, it will be fine; as long as we’re on that flight bound for Edmonton, everything is good……
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