Thursday, July 6, 2017

Day 13 and 14 - Alpe di Suisi to Venice to Geneva to Reykjavik to New York to Denver...

July 3
Days 13

We left the Airbnb just after 6am. The car was due back by noon, and they charged $64 an hour if you were late returning it. After the fiasco we had getting there, we weren't risking it. We had programmed the gps to get us back to the Venice airport.

In yet another shocking turn of events, the gps routed us on some super sketchy one lane road that was obviously not the right way to go. WTF with all the directions being off??

Anyway, we managed to find the autobahn, and we made the drive in just under 4 hours, speeding along at a glorious 130kmph most of the way. We had opted to return the car at the airport instead of where we rented it near the bus station.

We found the garage where we had to return it, but accidentally drove past the return area for Avis. In an incredibly frustrating turn of events, the floor where the returns were was only one way. Yet it wouldn't go full circle, one way. Which meant we would need to exit the garage and then come back up. Only you need a ticket to exit the garage because they also rent cars from the same location. BUT HOW DO YOU GET A TICKET IF YOU HAVE ALREADY DRIVEN PAST WHERE YOU NEED TO GO AND THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH THE EXIT WHICH IS ONE WAY. For the first time, I finally broke down and started crying. We had so many problems the last few days and this was apparently my breaking point.

Maureen walked across the building to talk to the Avis people, got us a card, then we had drive around and come back up. Returning the car took another half hour. Luckily we were not charged for anything additional (which reminds me, on our drive back to Venice a BIRD flew into the windshield - luckily it did not cause any damage).

We were all "over" our trip by now, and opted to spend our last few hours at the airport instead of lugging our bags around Venice.

Our flight to Geneva left right one time, and was short, only about an hour. On to the NEXT problem. The hotel we had booked was actually across the border in France, about 5 miles away. They were not going to be able to accommodate us checking out at 4 in the morning (plus we were concerned about border crossings), so we had to spend the night in the airport.

There was a Swiss Chalet where we spent about an hour having beer (or wine for Maureen) before we tried to find chairs where we could stay for the night. Maureen and I found a little shop that would give us alcohol to go, which we hoped would help us sleep.
Third glass is for... A?
Steps - 11,778
Miles - 0

July 4
Day 14

We (or at least "I") did NOT sleep. Our flight was supposed to start boarding at 6, so we started heading to security around 4:30 (since Maureen still had to check a bag).

We had breakfast at the gate (stupid small coffee and a croissant) before boarding our flight to Reykjavik.

That flight was about 4 hours (?) long. I have absolutely no recollection of how I passed the time, but I think A and I watched Netflix.

Arrived in Reykjavik with about 2.5 hours to catch our next flight. We got through customs with no issues, got our boarding passes from the Delta counter, then picked up a ridiculously expensive wrap (to share) and a souvenir for our neighbor who was watching Batman and Robin while we were gone.

The flight was almost 6 hours to JFK. I watched Patriot's Day (and I was surprised at how emotional it made me) and most of The Girl on the Train. Dozing off in the middle of the movie was the only "sleep" I would get.

Arrived in JFK on time, and headed to customs. The line was INSANE. In the tradition of "things that only happen to me," I got a black "X" on my receipt. That meant that we had to go in a special line. I assumed this was random and they would ask more questions. Well the only question we were asked is if we bought anything. (Outside of food, we seriously only bough about 4 magnets and a patch). I then was hit with another "additional screening" - which meant we had to go in a tiny room with no windows or bathroom, and no cell phones allowed! After about 75 minutes, finally released, without ANY questions being asked of me, or an explanation of why I was flagged.

We exited the airport and opted for a taxi instead of Uber to take us to La Guardia for our last flight. We found some cheap pizza by the slice and a salad bar for dinner. Our flight actually landed about 40 minutes early in Denver, about 8:00.

Light rail took over an hour (presumably because of all the 4th of July chaos in the city), and then we still had to go to Maureen's house to get our car. It was after 10:30 before we got home.

LONGEST DAY(S) EVER EVER EVER (EVER).

Steps - 18,402
Miles - 0

THE END.

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