Our last morning involved packing – good thing we bought that new bag, a final breakfast at Pläj, a bit of final computer work, then a taxi to the airport.
Before we left, I just had to take a picture of the room key, made of birch, not plastic.
Our flight back to Midway was uneventful and our pilot didn’t tell us what we were flying over, so I watched a movie (The Producers) instead of trying to see the scenery.
At Midway, Tom got some salads to eat but I wasn’t hungry since I consumed a whole bag of almonds on the first flight. I was just waiting when I looked up and saw Sandi, a woman from my church choir back home, walking my way. She was coming in from a business meeting in Denver, and on our next flight!
We spent quite a bit of time talking before the flight and she offered us a ride home from Dulles. No looking for a taxi at midnight. YEA!
Flight 2 was uneventful, too, so I watched Airplane. Big differences from the services that they offered in 1980 and now. At least we didn’t have to be worried about eating the fish…
At the airport, we waited for those checked bags, then they changed the carrousel so we moved to another part of Dulles. Sandi’s daughter arrived and drove us home, exhausted, but knowing we had a very successful, if whirlwind, trip.
We got up fairly early this morning so we could take our dog, Mimi, to her sister’s for their visit. It’s so nice that neither of them has ever seen a kennel! When we got to Penny’s, we found out that she had taken in another foster dog, a German Shepherd/Australian Shepherd mix who was very shy and quiet. He won’t be much longer after the 2 rambunctious sisters spend some time with him!
Our taxi came and I noticed that it was a hybrid. I innocently asked the driver how he liked it – and he spend most of the time telling us how much was wrong with it. Then he branched off into how bad American drivers are (he’s from Russia), how he’s teaching his daughter to drive using mirrors only – all while we nearly sideswiped a car carrier truck. He also thought it was fine to drive in the fast lane until a few seconds before taking a right exit. Fortunately, we made it to the airport in plenty of time.
Our first flight to Chicago/Midway went smoothly enough except I couldn’t sleep due to a screaming child behind me.
I took these photos of all the other Southwest tails from the plane window.
One of the pins had fallen out of Tom’s watch while we were still at Dulles and I was *sure* that there would be a watch kiosk in Midway where he could get another pin. WRONG! We walked all over and went into every store. I also looked, unsuccessfully, for noise-canceling headphones. I have some at home which I didn’t think to bring. Fortunately, I didn’t need them on the next flight.
We finally gave up on our shopping and went to Manny’s Express – I had a craving for potato pancakes (latkes)
I hadn’t had those for at least 3 years and they were so good. I also got a salad which I saved for the plane.
Manny’s Potato Pancake Recipe
2 c. finely grated raw baking potatoes
¼ c. grated onion
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. salt
1/8 t. ground black pepper
1 T. Flour
1 T. Butter
2 T. vegetable oil
Combine potatoes and onions.
Squeeze out excess liquid.
Add all other ingredients except butter and vegetable oil.
Let rest for 5 minutes
Heat butter and vegetable oil on a griddle over medium heat
Drop batter onto griddle by tablespoonful, flatten with back of spoon.
Fry on both sides until a dark golden brown
Our next plane was about 20 minutes late – no problem – there was no deadline for us!
I took these pictures of the Rocky Mountains out of the plane window – not the best!
“The Rocky Mountains, commonly known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles (4,830 km) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States. Within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges and the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada which all lie farther to the west.
The Rocky Mountains were formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago…”
Our pilot told us later that the area below us that we couldn’t see, and didn’t exist, was Area 51.
More from Wikipedia:
According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the correct names for the Area 51 facility are the Nevada Test and Training Range and Groom Lake, though the name Area 51 has been used in official CIA documentation. Other names used for the facility include Dreamland, Paradise Ranch, Home Base, Watertown Strip, and most recently Homey Airport. The area around the field is referred to as (R-4808N),
It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles (133 km) north-northwest of Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield. The base’s current primary purpose is officially undetermined; however, based on historical evidence, it most likely supports development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems. The intense secrecy surrounding the base has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object (UFO) folklore. Everything that happens at Area 51 is classified Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI).
After that, the pilot said we flew over the Sierra Nevada mountains. I couldn’t get a very good picture, though 😦
We landed and got a shuttle to our hotel, the Inn at the Opera. We got checked in – very nice – and went out to find something to eat. I was surprised how cold it was. When I’d looked at the weather reports before coming, it always said 61-65. I guess I should have known that those were the highs. I’ll be shopping for a hoodie or jacket or something while we’re here!
We walked the couple blocks to Caffe Delle Stelle. Very nice Italian food!
Back to the Inn where we put down a deposit on two days of hop on/hop off bus then up for bed. It was about 1:00am home time or 11 here. I fell asleep almost immediately.
In a dream, I heard a loud noise, then Tom waking me up telling me that we had to get outside. It was the fire alarm and I would have slept right through it.
Quickly dressed, down 5 flights of stairs, false alarm – thank goodness!
Back to sleep – finally!