Date: May 4, 2004
Cities: Athens, NYC, Atlanta, Gainesville
By the time we got down to breakfast many of our fellow travelers
had departed for the airport to catch pre-dawn flights. While we
waited for our time to leave, Allan helped Rachel with her luggage
handle. The spring mechanism had gotten out of alignment in the
handle, so the handle wouldn't retract. With the help of his trusty
Swiss Army knife, Allan removed and reseated the handle so that
everything was aligned, and the release mechanism worked.
The Elmira College group and all of us who were heading home to
Florida took the bus with Eirini to the airport. We hugged around and
then those of us flying Delta to JFK went to check in. Eirini was
amused by our miniscule check bag, and suggested it would be placed
with the oversized luggage. She turned out to be right (of course)
since Allan was asked to put the case on the odd-sized luggage
From the airport, Eirini would head back to her home farther in the
outskirts of the city. The Elmira College group went to Thessaloniki
to see sites in Northern Greece. They would return to Athens again for
a few days before flying home.
The first leg of the trip was just under 10 hours. Fortunately the
flight was only about 40-50% full. We took consecutive pairs of seats
on the starboard side. We had lunch early and a cold sandwich for
snack late on the flight.
At JFK our orange case came out of the luggage carousel unlatched
and upside down, so everything spilled when Allan grabbed the
handle. With the help of other travelers, we recovered all but one of
the checked metal pieces, which was a pleasant surprise given the
original dispersal pattern. Allan duct taped the case shut before
checking it again. Next time: twist-ties!
At the gate for the second leg of the flight, Allan called to check
voicemail and also for a no-news was good-news check on the dogs'
status. The flight was delayed for an hour while TechOps (maintenance)
repaired a hydraulic line.
We had plenty of time to make our last connection, and Allan had
time for a slice of pizza to augment the Luna bar and amaretto candy
bar we shared. In retrospect, another meal bar might have been a
better choice than the food vendors at JFK.
We arrived in Atlanta a mere 35 minutes before the third leg's
scheduled departure, so we only waited three minuntes to board the
turboprop while catching our breath. This flight had only 27
passengers on the 80-seat plane so we could spread out again. We look
forward to the day turboprop planes will be retired. The noise comes
through the seat of your pants as much as through your ears.
We arrived in Gainesville just before midnight and a friend picked
us up at the airport and took us home. We had a great time in Greece,
but we were looking forward to our own bed.