Mom' s Freaking Out

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June 6th 2016
Published: September 5th 2017
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Geo: 37.805, -122.273

Today is the day we fly to Copenhagen, Denmark to begin our six week vacation through the Baltic area of Europe followed by a Transatlantic cruise back to Boston. Well, problems have already started. At 10am we get news from Norwegian Air that our 5:30pm flight has been changed to 7:20pm. I call the airline and ask if that will affect our connecting flight from Stockholm to Copenhagen. I already know the answer. This is a test. The agent says "Your connecting flight is not affected." I know it's not affected. I'm affected! That flight now leaves 10 minutes before we even get to Stockholm so I can guarantee that we won't be on it.

Now he gets it and verifies that we're on the next flight leaving 5:15pm, putting us in Copenhagen three hours later than planned. I email the Air BNB host, telling her the story and our new arrival time and she accommodates us, canceling her band practice. So much for walking around town that night. Hopefully we can get groceries for breakfast. Norwegian Air is a new airline for us. Karen doesn't like to fly and this is making her antsy. Me too.

I like everything to
go smoooothly. I've planned it all out so I know when the plane lands, what gate, how to get to terminal 3 where we board the metro which leaves every 15 minutes. I know the metro ticket is 36 Danish kroners and that that there are machines both at baggage claim and in the metro station at the airport, although attendants can also help. We can then take the #2 train to zone 3 and disembark at Norresport station. From the terminal, directly across the street, is Fiolstaede and we can follow that street two blocks, turn right and we are at our apartment. I know all this without ever having been in Copenhagen because I don't like surprises and I can't make Mom nervous by fumbling with maps, asking strangers questions and scratching my bald head. Google also helped. However, changes they are a happening so I will have to roll with it.

I call my brother, Larry and his wife, Louann, to tell them of the delayed departure and our new flight time. They are providing our shuttle service to OAK. Soon after, a text from Norwegian asks that we need to get to the airport as originally scheduled so I call them back to say we need to go now. They never complain but I'm sure they're wondering what we're doing. Regardless, they arrive promptly and, after checking our "don't forget" list one more time, it's off to the airport. The trip is uneventful and we arrive at terminal 1. Goodbyes said, we enter the check-in line. It's long. Then I see the Premium line and it's empty. We back our way out of the line, excusing ourselves to all those that have gathered behind us. Premium allows us to check in painlessly and it's included with our fancy seats and. so far, Mom never catches on.

Catch on to what, you may ask? I've been telling her all we have to do when we get on the plane, a real nightmare story and I juice it up. There are no seat reservations and everyone must run to any available seat. We may not be able to sit together. No food or drink. Truth is, I paid a few bucks more for Premium, which gives us 2x2 seating, more comfortable seats, drinks and dinners, baggage, priority boarding, her window location, etc. She's nervous about the flight now but she'll be happy once we board. Come on, it's my only entertainment.

With 2 1/2 hours before boarding, we stop at Chili's Restaurant for a chicken sandwich. Actually, the prices aren't that bad for an airport location and it's a nice place to visit and kill some time. After our meal, we head to Gate 3, waiting for them to call us to board. It's 6:30pm.

At 7pm, while waiting at the gate right after dinner, I get a call from Chase regarding a possible fraudulent charge just made. "Did you buy flowers on the Internet?", she asks. Mmmmm. Me thinks something went on at Chili's and besides, when have I ever bought flowers?. Oh yes, the "flowers" are from Nigeria. Right. The "flowers" are promptly canceled but, unfortunately, so is my card. They'll send another one to my house but that doesn't help me. I only brought three cards and, although the Visa was my backup since they charge foreign transaction fees, it still would have been nice to have. I'm down to just two now and we haven't left Oakland yet.

Hey, where's everybody going? Oh, great! Now the gate has changed from #3 to #1 so off we all go. We arrive at a much smaller area and, although we find seats, many don't. Now the announcement is made, "Ladies and gentlemen, they are preparing the plane and it will be at least 45 minutes before boarding". That will be 8pm. Our Air BNB host is going to go crazy waiting for us! We could miss our connection again. All my planning is going down in flames! Oh, the humanity!

Well, it's 9pm and we are finally rolling down the runway, heading for Stockholm, Sweden on a flight that was supposed to have left 3 1/2 hours ago. This will definitely cut into our time tomorrow as we will arrive late in the evening instead of the afternoon. There's a nine hour time difference meaning that we are scheduled to arrive in Sweden at 6am, our time, which will be 3pm in Sweden. We still have to catch our connecting flight so we won't get to Copenhagen until 6:30pm and to the apartment by about 8pm, three hours late. That's if this latest plan holds together. Fortunately, it stays light in Copenhagen until around 11pm.

Mom sure does like her seats. These are the best, with plenty of room all around and lots of recline. We had juice served in our area while all the low life's were still boarding at the rear of the plane. I notice lots of kids and young teens on this flight, all yipping and yapping to no end. Tiny tots too. The economic barrier between standard and premium classes shield Karen and I from all that noise and confusion. We can barely make out the muffled cries of some kid in the faint distance whining while we sip our wine. "Would you care for a mint", the stewardess queries. "Why, thank you. They're delicious", Mom replies. The "Dreamliner" is a beautiful airplane indeed. A nice steak dinner for us big shots with wine. It seems odd that on a Norwegian airline, all the staff is Thai. No one says, "Would you like some more herring, ya sure?" The stewardess in our area said, "If you want any drinks just ask and I'll "keep 'em comin'." Sounds perfect for TJ. See. Not everything is bad.

It's time for us to sleep. 11pm and a little over 7 hours to go for Stockholm. Another pillow, please.

Good night.

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