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Baltic Cruise 2019: Copenhagen!

 

Getting there is half the fun?

Just after 2:00 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019 we took an Uber to Dulles Airport.

A friend had given me a trial membership in CLEAR (CLEAR uses your eyes and fingerprints to confirm your identity – helping you breeze through airports, stadiums and more.)  I had registered online and all I had to do was have them scan our eyes and take fingerprints.

Since this was a new thing, at least at Dulles Airport, there were many people in line for the initial scanning.  One party was taken somewhere else during this process.

We got ours done and we were good to “breeze through the airport”.

Um, no.  the scanner didn’t recognize any of my scans, although they tried several times.  We were moved to yet a different line.

All that took longer getting to TSA than if we had not tried the CLEAR.  I’m not sure if we’ll keep this after the trial period or not.  Great idea, needs some work.

I had bought yet another container to help transport my Omnitrope.

I ordered a new travel container for my growth hormone.  The last “system” was kind of clunky.  It worked fine but required too many components.  This one looks like it will fit in the water bottle compartment of my backpack.  I definitely don’t want another failure.

I’ll be posting a review of the Dison Care Insulin Cooler Travel Case Medication Cooling Bag when we get back  I find it amazing that I ordered the black for $59.00 with a 10% coupon.  The same thing in white is $65.00 with no coupon.

 

 

This “bottle” fit perfectly in the water bottle compartment of my backpack.

Going through TSA, I told the woman outside the scanner that I was carrying this and had paperwork.  She handed me the paperwork back and put the Dison in a separate container to scan.

I went through and a TSA agent told me very rudely that I should know that I wasn’t supposed to carry liquids.  I explained again that it was refrigerated, prescription medicine and I had paperwork.  He had me get over to the side while he called in another agent and they started inspecting everything.  The new agent said that they had never seen anything like this.  There was a little thermometer on a longish strand (I wasn’t using it) but apparently, it looked like a way to detonate the whole case.  After a lot of swabbing, discussion and annoyance on my part I was allowed to leave.

I decided that I will never fly with growth hormone again.  It is not worth the time and hassle to me.

This case will be fantastic for train/car/walking/anything but flying.

I had previously found a smallish sharps disposal container, although this was still kind of big for my needs, it was better than taking the whole huge one that’s in my bathroom.

As it turned out, I only needed it in the ho(s)tel in Copenhagen.  The cruise had a sharps container in the bathroom.  I had noticed that on a previous cruise and was so glad to see that they are providing this service.

I carried the actual sharps separately in my checked baggage.

After 12 hours at 8:15am Copenhagen time (2:15 pm at home) I finally removed the growth hormone from the bottle.  The ice pack was still pretty hard and the GH was still cool.  Next time, I’ll try the little thermometer thing (I need to charge the batteries first) and see how accurate that is.

A good solution except for airport issues.  Did I mention that I will never fly with GH again?

~~~

The plane left 2 hours late, which is never fun. Despite being 2 hours late departing, the flight itself was pretty good.  The seats were 6 across and Tom and I had the 2 by the window on the left side.

They served a nice dinner and breakfast before we landed.  They had bottles of earphones, water, blankets and pillows at every seat when we boarded, which was a nice touch.  I got to see two movies (I didn’t like their headsets, though.  They kept falling out of my ears. Next time I’ll buy some cheap wired earphones for something like this.)

I saw the new live-action Aladdin.

And the new Dumbo.

I watched this because I’m a huge Tim Burton fan. I’m also a huge Michael Keaton fan, ever since Beetlejuice and I didn’t recognize him in this film  I knew he looked familiar but not until the final credits did I know.

 

 

Views from our window:

Sunrise

Sunrise!

We’ll see this wind farm again.

Our cruise ship?

According to the onboard map, this was Poland.  Tom wasn’t sure about that.

Land!

Friday, September 13, we arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Getting our bags and clearing customs was incredibly easy and we were on our way.

I pulled up my Uber app and they first said that there was no service in our location.  We walked a little and the app said that they would find a meeting point.  Then back to no service so we got a taxi.  The driver said that there was no Uber or Lyft in Copenhagen.

I had looked this up before we left and the Uber website says that there IS service.  Hmmmm.

 

We got to the Hotel Copenhagen and checked in.  We chose this hotel due to a kurfuffle with Marriott.  I had booked a room in the Copenhagen Marriot for just Friday night, then realized that we probably needed Thursday so we could rest up when we arrived early Friday morning as check-in would have been at 3:00pm Friday afternoon.  I left a note to that effect on the booking page and Tom called a couple weeks before we left just so they would know what we were trying to do.  The “customer service” person was really rude and told us that we might lose the room because we didn’t check in by some cutoff time on Thursday night.  So I canceled that and got the Hotel Copenhagen instead.

I was moving really fast doing that (and I was teaching a piano lesson at the same time.  OOPS!) and didn’t notice that the reviews mentioned that this was a former hostel.  The fact that some of the rooms should have been a clue!

After checking in, we had to find our apartment.

We went out the front door of the hotel, turned left past the bakery, left again at the Italian restaurant.

Next, find and open the outside door of #32 with one key.  (They left this out of directions:  Climb 8 stairs to landing hauling all luggage) get into a small elevator, take it up to the first floor. Get out, open glass doors, walk across the balcony to #13, and use another key to get in.

We triumphed though!

We unpacked a little and I found that the comb that was “always there” wasn’t so Tom went to store across the street for a comb, snacks and fruit.

I took a nap.

After the naps, we went back to the store for batteries. Toms razor had been on in his suitcase during the flight and died.  The elevator in the ho(s)tel had stopped working.

We took a taxi to Tivoli gardens

What a fantastic place that is.  We were lucky that we went when we did.  They’re currently closed to set up for Halloween. The park opened on August 15, 1843, and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world.

After walking around at Tivoli, we went back to the hotel.

After asking the desk clerk for recommendations, we walked to the Cafe Alma.

These were the best fries I have ever had anywhere. The menu said it came with a salad.  It turned out that it was inside the burger!

I also had a drink called Dark and Stormy made with fever-tree ginger beer.  I was interested in this because it’s the national drink of Bermuda.  We have been there several times but I never tried the Dark and Stormy so this was my big chance.  This was the only alcoholic drink I had for the entire trip.

 

After Cafe Alma, we walked home and I took my GH out of the fridge to warm up a bit.

I fell asleep and woke up a couple hours later.  Then, I decided not to take it because I was too tired and fell back asleep.

We walked 2.1 miles which is amazing given the time changes, flights and so on.

Scotland Travel Day: Days 0 and 1, August 25-26, 2017

Just after 3:00 pm Friday August 25, 2017 we took an Uber to Dulles Airport.

Going through TSA there was no issue with my refrigerated growth hormone injections.

The Omnitrope was in its own case from the manufacturer.

I put that in that new iCool weekender case I’d bought for this trip.  I chose this one for these reasons:

  • For vials or pens (insulin, growth hormones, L-Thyroxin, polyarthritis medication)
  • Keeps your medication between 36°F – 46°F (2°C – 8°C) for 12 hours (I knew this trip would be about 20 hours, start to finish)
  • The iCool bag uses a new generation of chemical gel pack that generates very little condensation and have a slower thawing period than traditional ice packs. This allows patients with diabetes or those using temperature sensitive medications to transport their medications for a longer cooling period. The iCool Weekender keeps insulin or other temperature sensitive medications cool for up to 12 hours at 36°F – 46°F (2 to 8°C). This bag can carry either pens or vials. There is enough space inside to store needles.

I had the gel pack from the iCool frozen solid and put that in a small Rubbermaid lunch bag with 2 thin ice packs,  1 on top and 1 on the bottom.  If you don’t want to read all the way to the end, this system kept the growth hormone cold for the 20 hours going and returning but the 2 thin blocks had completely thawed.  The inner iCool was mostly frozen and the growth hormone was still cool.

Hooray!

I had the sharps separately in a little square container with just enough for the week.I used the side pocket of the lunch bag to store my doctor’s note and clipped the whole thing with a carabiner to my backpack.

I also found a smallish sharps disposal container, although this was still kind of big for my needs, it was better than taking the whole huge one that’s in my bathroom.  This worked well and I have enough for 5 more trips 🙂

And that’s about it for medical information, at least until we get to Heathrow 🙂

Our first flight out of Dulles there was a lot of turbulence over the ocean.  Possibly due to Hurricane Harvey.  Apparently, they flew faster to get out of the turbulence and we landed early in London Saturday morning.

We walked for what seemed like forever to get to Customs.  Then, since we were coming from outside the UK we had to leave security area and go through TSA again.

I told the agent I was carrying refrigerated medications and she read the doctor’s letter.  Everything seemed like it was going well until I was flagged for more screening 😦  I had to take all the stuff out of my carefully packed Growth Hormone bag and everything else was taken out of my backpack to be swabbed down.

Not fun.

The next plane to Inverness was announced at 9:00 am (Saturday morning) so we moved to that gate.  Tom went to the restroom.  Turns out that gate was actually down an elevator.  I texted Tom that we had to move along.  Then they said the flight was closing.  Another text to Tom.

He arrived and we hustled down 2 escalators and onto a bus that said “Final Passengers”.  We were among the last people on the small plane.

We had to walk up stairs to get on the plane, then back down when we arrived.  I could already feel my knee hurting.  There was no turbulence on the short flight, though.

We arrived in cold/rain.  Of course.

Scotland 2017, Day 0

The luggage arrived and we got our rental car and headed off.

 

We saw lots of sheep, of course.

We arrived in Aviemore and saw lots of bikers.  This is their answer to Sturgis, I guess.

Untitled

 

Thunder in the Glens

Aviemore

Thunder in the Glens has become one of the major events in the UK for Harley-Davidson fans, with people traveling from all over the world to enjoy the event. It is now officially the largest Harley Davidson rally in the UK with an ever growing number of loyal fans.

Enjoy over 60 trade stands supporting local charities and groups, H-D demo bike rides, Jeep demo drives, Custom bike show, Outside entertainment, Scottish Knights battle scenes, Off road motorbike riding.

Saturday Mass ride out to Grantown on Spey starts at 12.00 noon. Sunday 2.00pm to 4.00pm – charity rides on the back of a Harley-Davidson in Rally Village.

From Harleys 2017 Thunder in the Glen aviemore

We arrived at our place.  Luckily, we knew where it was because we’d been here before.  According to RCI (the timeshare company that got us this place, it’s called Macdonald Craigellachie Chalets.  According to the place, it’s called Macdonald Spey Valley Golf and Country Club, or Dalfaber Golf and Country Club or Dalfaber Village or…???

We couldn’t check in until 4:00 pm so we had a bite to eat while we waited.  UntitledI had Scotch broth.  I haven’t had that for years and years – yummy!

Scotch broth is a filling soup, originating in Scotland (DUH!). The principal ingredients are usually barley, stewing or braising cuts of lamb or mutton (hopefully not relatives of those sheep we saw earlier), root vegetables (such as carrots, swedes [rutabaga], or sometimes turnips [aka neeps]), and dried pulses (legumes, most often split peas and red lentils).

Cabbage and leeks are often added shortly before serving to preserve their texture, color and flavors.

Tom had a club sandwich – and lost a crown 😦

The club room had a Snooker table.  I didn’t know what snooker was, although the table looks like a pool table.  It sounds quite complicated according to Wikipedia.

We finally got the key and started driving around trying to find our chalet. Then we went back to main desk for better directions and finally found it.

After 20 hours at 4:15pm  (11:15 am at home) I finally removed the growth hormone from the cases.  The 2 ice packs had melted but the GH in its weekender case was still cool and that gel pack mostly frozen.  A good solution except for issues at Heathrow.

Then, the usual unpacking, charging electronics, short naps.

Then off to Tesco for some grocery shopping.  The streets were crowded with bikers, drinks in hand, oblivious to traffic.  There was a long queue in the grocery near their customer toilets.  Lots of folks wandering around the store, not necessarily with any items in their carts.

We spent 52.60 pounds (67.88 US Dollar in Sunday’s exchange)

Coconut rum and tropical juice (orange, apple, pineapple, pomegranate, banana, and mango) makes an interestingly passable drink.

We watched a show on BBC about royal life, divorces, Diana and Captain Phillips, a movie we saw on a cruise

I didn’t read my Kindle at all first night. Instant sleep!

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