I’M HOMEWARD BOUND…IN 4 MORE DAYS..ADAM, NYC, AND SCOTTSDALE ….add TWO More to get home.

       We all enjoyed another dinner from Braii the South African BBQ joint.  The owner/manager even bought me a glass of wine while I waited to return with our excellent meal.
       Today I am off to see Amsterdam Food Hallen, an old train depot converted into a shopping mall of sorts.  I read about it before I left but forgot until Jeannette told me they were having a Seafood Special over the weekend so I will have early dinner today while visiting the mall. Spotted a familiar couple on the way but can’t place them???

       When I arrived I went to the only Seafood place and his special was one Oyster for $3.5 Euro and that was everyday after 3 pm.  I ate some Dumplings then after browsing the whole mall, I started to return home. 


There were many other Non-Food Shops and a Movie Theater that I checked out.


As I was departing,  I passed the Hallen Hotel and the restaurant Relieve 43 or something like that was doing a Pop Up Seafood Bar on the Patio.  That is the Special I had been looking for in the Food Hall.  I got some Yellow tail Tuna Seviche, One Oyster, and two dishes with Herring then returned home.

      I headed home….



      Saturday I went to Westerpark and had a nice lunch at a little Shack just before entering the Park. 

It was a Chicken Sandwich but very good.  It was hot and I walked a lot in this huge park until I finally got to an area with swimming, roller skating, tennis, bars, and restaurants.  It was getting late so I found a Tram just outside of the park that took me to a transfer stop that took me home for Fresh Fish, Roasted Potatoes and a nice salad that Peter made.
      
           Sunday I packed and had lunch/breakfast at Goos near by

then that evening we ate Burgers but they were wrapped in a Tortilla and were excellent.  I retired early so I could get up and be out by 9 am.   
 ​
           I rose at 8:30 on Monday the 23rd or 11:30 pm Sunday night in Scottsdale Arizona, my destination today with arrival time of 7:22 pm. It was on Norwegian Air from Amsterdam to JFK in NYC then a 2 1/2 hour lay over for a connecting flight to Scottsdale on American Airlines.  Jeannette wasn’t quite up yet but I was getting nervous and left .

      I was at the Tram stop by 9 am to get the train at the Rai Station to Schipol airport to catch my 12:25 departure for JFK, with boarding at 11:25.  I suspected this was to be a bad day when at the first stop, a young man departing the Tram with loads of luggage got off first but the door shut before his wife with a backpack and the Tram tickets got shut on while trying to validate her and her husbands tickets before departing. She desperately tried to get the door to open while her husband was trying also, both pressing buttons before the Tram left the stop. The Tram cashier attendant just behind her just watched with a blank stare while the women begged her to Open the door. A Dutch woman yelled for help to the conductor in the front of the Tram to Open the door but went unheard while the Tram left the stop with the husband in Shock and the Wife watching him disappear as we approached the last stop. She validated the tickets of her and her husbands but now had to buy more to return to her husband waiting at the other stop. The Tram attendant still sat there without saying anything , showing no emotion except shrugging her shoulders as if to say…too bad!
          Now, it was my turn.  I approached the entrance and passed my card over the sensor to open the gate to enter the train station but it turned red as if there was no credit on the card and it was invalid which I knew was not so. I tried another and another then yelled for assistance. A man came out and told me there had to be a minimum of 20 Euros on the card to ride the Train. Now I find out on my last day that I had to go outside and use a machine to purchase a train ticket with my credit card and an International flight I had to check in for more than two hours in advance. There was no ticket sales at the Rai station only machines. My credit card was rejected…no credit but I could use my Debit card but that too was rejected. I reported this to the attendant and he came out to assist me but the debit card still was being rejected. He got me through the gate and told me to get off at the next stop where I could purchase the ticket at the sales office. 
      I climbed the stairs in the heat with my jacket on, struggling with my bags, waiting for the train, boarding, arriving then standing in line while the cashier spent 10 minutes helping a man with directions. He sensed my urgency and offered to go ahead of him but she refused and said it would only take a minute as she got on the phone  to confirm her directions with a co worker.
           Finally got the ticket, took the train and ​arrived 2 hours in advance but spent  the whole time getting the boarding pass, going through security, boarding the Norwegian Air  Dreamliner 787 to the next to the last row  in a center seat with no leg room and an 8 hour flight ahead of me and only 2 hours to go through customs then get my boarding pass and board my connecting flight. It would take 30 minutes just to exit this plane of 360 passengers from seat 38 H. I did manage to carry on my luggage without a problem so can go straight to Customs and Immigration with my speedy Global Entry Pass . 
       A slender girl sat in the Window seat and as good luck would have, Mr Lazarus I would discover, never made his flight so I got the aisle seat which help the leg room and frequent urination problems.  I ordered my lunch/breakfast of a small bowl of fruit,hot chocolate, and a warm loaf of bread with a slice of cheese and mustard for $15 from a computer menu with 
credit​

BITE TO EAT BEFORE BOARDING…ORDER ON THE  I PAD THEN PAY ON THE I PAD WHEN YOU LEAVE

EVERYONE HAD HIS OWN I POD…NOW REPLACE THE DELIVERY PERSON WITH A ROBOT?

DO NOT HAVE TO TALK TO ANYONE…JUST PLAY WITH THE I POD…BARTENDER???????

card payment. The attendant delivered my order with all the efficiency of a robot. We then sat on the runway for close to 2 hours. I could only hope my connecting flight would also be delayed. It was but after boarding and waiting on the tarmac where I was not able to get on.  

          We landed at JFK at  4 pm with my AA flight scheduled for 4:40 take off BUT our gate was occupied with another plane set to depart in 10 minutes…then ten more..and by 4:40, we pulled into and exited the plane. 
          I checked my phone and it turned out my plane was delayed until 5 and was leaving for Gate D 40 at terminal 8.  I ran to immigration to discover 11 of the 12 Global Entry machines were OUT OF ORDER! The line was long and was not moving. I got in the regular line with a few hundred people but they had machines similar to Global Entry but 30 of them all working. I found out that to get to Terminal 8.   I had to take a train and it was now 5:10 but on the way I checked my flight to see it wasn’t taking off until 5:50 so when I arrived I headed  right for Gate 40 but couldn’t get through security without a boarding pass. I saw an Help Desk for AA and explained my situation and that is when I found out my plane was on the tarmac and there were no more flights until 6:30 am on Tuesday so they put me down for STANDBY!
          To check any other airline flights I had to go to their terminal so back on the train to Delta terminal 4 but got on the wrong Air train going to Howard Beach, then returned, exited and got on the right train to Delta terminal. I asked if they had any flights leaving for Phoenix tonight. one with one business class available. Great! How much is this one way flight…$1600.00 !!!! 
   It was getting late and I was already on Standby for 6 :30 am so decided to take the Jamaica train to a hotel then take it back the next day. I finally booked a room through Hotel.com for $130, then took the train but it really didn’t go far and I knew I would have to call Uber to get me to the hotel which was actually in  Queens. Uber has been reliable and for less than $20 a good deal . I arrived in a really seedy area with the hotel entrance in the basement. There was no place for Uber to drop me except in the street out front. 

      I checked in and found the nearest restaurant was Wendys a block away. It was after 8 pm and I was hungry and needed food now so I could get at least 8 hours sleep. I got a bowl of chili, cheeseburger and some chicken tenders which I was too full to eat. Had some Famous Grouse Scotch and fell asleep around 10 after setting my phone alarm for 5:45. I woke after a restless sleep at 5:40…just before the alarm. I had taken a shower before bed so just dressed and called Uber for American Air to check on my standby. 


       When I arrived the lines were out the door,but I was on standby and that line was 1/2 the size, so I jumped in line. One hour later I was still in the same position and was unable to get any info on the status of my standby BUT while trying to just book and pay for ANY  available flight that day, I got nothing but none available. After checking over 8 flights I got on Google Flights and discovered Delta had a flight to Phoenix leaving at 12:25 at terminal 4. I booked it noticing that was the time my Amsterdam flight left yesterday. I booked it on my phone before the 3 available were taken…$580…and it was at LaGuardia airport.
        $200.00 more than I paid for my flight from Amsterdam ? I wanted to get home! 
        I called Uber to take me to the NYC LaGuardia airport to catch my flight. A female driver arrived but said she couldn’t find me. She called on the phone but the wind was blowing and I couldn’t understand her and requested she text me after I told her I was standing by the only stop light there with my suitcase.jacket on and a tan baseball cap. She asked if I was at B and I said I didn’t know what B was and that I could not see her car and walked to each and asked and they were all men. Was she at the right place? I told her signs displaying all the airlines were lined up but she never replied and said she was leaving Terminal 7 even though I was there and said I could go back on Uber and call for another driver. I had my GPS on but she was NOT on it. 
      I called another and I could see Marcus in his Lincoln MK what ever coming around the entrance and blinked his lights when he saw me. He jumped out and loaded my suitcase and we were on our way. He was a cook at a Nursing home in Manhattan, a union cook for 20 years, married and a NYC Licensed Taxi driver that now worked part time for Uber making $150 a day part time and after being on his feet all day enjoyed his leather seat in his new Lincoln. His wife and he packed it up every February and left for Rome, then Paris and next year Spain. We exchanged information but he wasn’t allowed to accept mine. I could call his home number and he would get full fare if I or anyone used his service. I can email him with info for his vacations. I have to change his name and info on my blog to protect his job. He delivered me to Delta terminal at LaGuardia in time to have breakfast/lunch and make the flight.

MORE SECURITY THAN MEXICO CITY??

LOOKING FOR A BATHROOM…I FOUND ONE FOR ANIMALS SO I ENTERED….

DIDN’T WANT TO URINATE WHERE SOME DOG HAD BEEN.SO BOARDED THE PLANE


But The flight never left the ground for an hour and a half making me miss my Phoenix connection by 15 minutes.  I did miss the Atlanta connection so…..

       I went to reschedule again but this time I was told I could fly first class and board in an hour and a half. So I had dinner then boarded the plane with complimentary everything and first class seating. I should have waited for a Steak dinner instead of Chicken Caesar salad for $32 and a glass of $4 wine for $15

Nice view in First Class as we approach Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.


            I am landing and it is 8:15…ready to call Uber and glad to be home.

​ It was 104% when Uber arrived and I was glad to get home…next day 114% 127% and all time record in Death Valley.​ My first day was busy checking mail, etc.  That evening I was anxious to continue my Audio Book with David McCullough: Americans in Europe in the 20’s.  I put on my headphone, snuggled into bed but couldn’t hear though the volume was on Max so I went to Hearing disabilities in settings to adjust it higher when I noticed a setting for Visual voice which sounded like it would improve the quality.  Turning it on, I discovered differently.  My Kindle Fire was talking to me…hello David and I lost control of the computer.  When I clicked on something it highlighted it and told me I clicked it but it didn’t 
do anything.  One hour later I gave up and went to sleep.  The next morning the same so I decided to go on my Desktop to Amazon for tech help…but my computer that was running fine the night before wouldn’t display on the monitor so I couldn’t enter the Internet or even sign in to my account.  This was a curse from the airlines…I knew it.     

  I cleaned the house a bit, showered , and went to get a haircut.  Alex is now my new barber/stylist and she is good.   I hadn’t had my haircut for 2 months and she was the one that did it last but she had just started on another and I wanted to get a new pair of sandals and be home to fix my computer so opted for the other barber who butchered me. Nothing I could do but wait a month and have Alex fix it for me.  
       I left and got my new Teva sandals then on the way back, my ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON  TO CHECK MY VSC WITH A SWERVING CAR NEXT TO IT.  I called the dealer and service asked me to come in to check my Vehicle Stability Control.  I took a loaner and the next day the worksheet was sent out with a total of $2700 to fix it.  Well I cut it to $1300 and called Discount Times to replace the tires the dealer wanted $1300 for with new Michelin tires for $600.  So next week I will take care of that then still have a major list of repairs for the future when I hit the lottery.  Should have just told them to stick it and trade it in but I do like it and after 110k miles it needs some work.  It was the airline curse. 

 I did get my Kindle Fire back on track but giving up on everything else until I get back on track.

HOME SWEET HOME…GOODBYE UNTIL NEW YORK IN SEPTEMBER

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