Monday, September 15, 2014

Bike Barge Tour of Holland and Belgium

We chartered a barge and asked our friends to sign up for this bike barge tour!  It took 18 months of planning to get all of the details worked out but it was completely worth the effort!  This was one of the most fun trips I have taken!

The group consisted of friends and friends-of-friends (who are now friends).  Many of the travelers have roots in the airline industry so there would be a lot of us taking the risk of flying stand-by to begin the trip in Amsterdam.

I made my usual spreadsheet of flight availability and we decided to try for the first Amsterdam flight on Thursday. That would get us to Amsterdam on Friday and give us a buffer. If things went wrong, we could still make it to the barge by Saturday. The Amsterdam flights looked great right up until the night before we would travel and then suddenly they appeared to be booked full.  We had nothing to lose, so we stood by anyway. We were offered seats in separate sections but declined and stood by for the flight to Stuttgart instead. We got "good seats" together to Stuttgart and found a good connection to a KLM flight to Amsterdam.

In Stuttgart, we checked in at the KLM desk and made our way to the gate. The flight was actually on KLM City Hopper which is a tiny plane so we had to gate check our carry-on bags.  We HATE letting go of our luggage. Since Tony worked in Baggage Service taking phone calls from people whose luggage has been lost, we know the horrors of checking bags, but there seemed to be no alternative. At least we got to pick up our bags planeside at the other end so there was no possibility of the bags being lost between the plane and baggage claim.

We had a Stroupkoek cookie and a drink on the short flight from STR to AMS. The cookie is sinfully delicious. I don't want to know how many calories it has!

Upon landing in Amsterdam, we found the train station and tried to buy tickets to Amsterdam Centraal at the kiosk but our credit card was declined. We found a desk and were able to make the transaction with no problem. We got the next train & were at the Doubletree Centraal Station before noon. Our Diamond status with Hilton got us upgraded to a King Suite overlooking the canal!  


We nibbled on the wonderful warm Doubletree cookies while we settled into our room and then we made our way to the Executive lounge for some coffee.

We've been to Amsterdam a number of times so we skipped the tourist attractions in favor of wandering around and people-watching. I had a prospective client looking to book a stay in Amsterdam in a few weeks so I thought we would take the opportunity to preview the property.  The Convent Hotel is quite nice and conveniently located near local attractions and restaurants.

We wandered back toward the Doubletree, stopping for a beverage canal-side at de Engel van Amsterdam. We didn't notice the gay flag until we took the picture but it didn't seem to matter, they made us feel welcome. We were surprised it wasn't more crowded on such a pretty day.

By the time we got back to the hotel, our friends Pat and Steve had arrived. We had coffee in the Executive Lounge while we waited for our other friends to arrive. Joyce, Mark, Charlie and Laura arrived hungry so we went out in search of food.  La Gouch Steakhouse had a table out front already set for 8, so we decided it was meant to be. Most of us opted for pizza and it was pretty good.

After dinner, we took a walk around the city. 


We tried to take the newbies to the Anne Frank museum. It was a rather long walk and when we got there, the line was too long so we elected to head back to the hotel. On our way back, we swung through the Red Light district so they could see what the fuss is about.  It was early in the evening so most of the windows were empty but they got the idea of what goes on there.

Half of the group decided to continue the tour on their own while the rest of us headed back to the Doubletree. We had another glass of wine in the Executive Lounge and then went up to check out the Skyline Lounge.  What a great view of the city! 

We enjoyed a couple of drinks and then headed off to bed. We had just laid down when we heard fireworks. We had only to roll over and see them out our bedroom window!

Saturday (Day 1 of the Bike-Barge Adventure)
We woke up in time to shower and get breakfast before the executive lounge closed (at least I did). Tony is not a big breakfast eater so he stayed behind to finish getting ready while I hurried down for coffee, eggs and cold cuts. Unbeknownst to me, while I was out of the room, our friends the Shoemakers called the room to say they were going sight seeing.  Tony told them to be at the barge between 2 and 4. We hooked up with our other friends, the Coles and walked around for a few minutes until noon when we could drop our luggage on the barge. 


We found the barge easily at Oosterdok and met Sietse, the bike guide, who emphatically told us to be back by 2 when the barge would sail.  This is when I learned of Tony's conversation with the Shoemakers. We were worried that they would miss the departure so Tony went back to the hotel while Pat, Steve and I went to the Flower Market in search of the Shoemakers. No luck, but we finally found them at a kebab place across from the hotel. They retrieved their luggage from the hotel and got to the barge with seconds to spare!

As we were leaving Amsterdam, Sietse gave a briefing on what to expect for the week.

We figured out the drink situation quickly and enjoyed libations as we sailed out of Amsterdam. Reasonably priced beer, wine and soft drinks could be charged to the room using the honor system.


Titia, the hostess, brought out some cheese and meat. We played cards and visited until we docked for the evening.
Terri, John, Chuck, Dave, Cathy, Martha, Joyce, Mark, Laura, Dave, Ann, Charlie, Jo Ann, Steve, Titia, Pat, Lynn, Tony, Mark

Tony, Sandy, Kirsten, Pat, BJ, Kim

Sietse took us on a short ride around Uithoorn to allow us get familiar with the bikes.

Lou & Martha

Gary, Ann & Chuck

Jo Ann, Mark, Dave & John

Joyce, Kim, Pat & Steve

Joyce & Lynn

Sandy, Kirsten, Cathy & Mark

Cathy & Dave

Terri, Tony & Sietse

Charlie & Laura

Terri, Sandy, BJ & Chuck

Our one hour ride took us 13.7 km (8.5 miles) through the pretty little town of Uithoorn.

We were back on board for our first meal as a group. We were surprised by how elaborate the dinner was. The first course was tuna salad with apples garnished with cucumbers, egg & tomatoes.

Lively conversation accompanied the meal as we discussed the upcoming bike adventures we would have.

BJ, Tony, Sandy, Ann, Terri, Steve & Pat

Dave, Dave, Lou, Martha, Jo Ann & Cathy

Mark, Chuck, Charlie, Laura, Joyce & Kim

Gary, John, Mark, Lynn, Kirsten & Sietse

The main course was delicious and filling spaghetti bolognese with salad.

Dessert was strawberry and chocolate frozen yogurt.

After dinner, we each introduced ourselves and then broke into smaller groups for cards or chatter. The barge provided us with wi-fi for one hour a day so for that hour, we were all glued to our devices.

Most everyone was in bed by midnight to be ready to ride in the morning.

Sunday (Day 2 of the Bike-Barge Adventure)
It seemed a little warm in our cabin during the night. We had brought a fan but it would not work on the European 220 volt power supply.

Breakfast was served at 8AM. Along with the breakfast, bread and cold cuts were on the buffet so we could prepare a sandwich for lunch.  Fruit, juice, candy & crackers were available for our packed lunch as well.


We mounted our bikes and started the ride that would take us to Gouda.

The ride took us through pastures and along canals. The weather was perfect! Each day, one rider was assigned to be the "sweeper". He or she would wear a yellow vest and ride at the back of the group to make sure no one got separated.

When we came to a turn, one of the riders at the front of the group would stop to make sure everyone made the turn. Along the way, we warned each other of potential dangers using terms like, "Rider Up" to indicate a cyclist coming from up ahead, or "Rider Back" if a cyclist was passing from behind. We used the same terminology for walkers & cars. We also warned one another of poles in our paths and shouted "Clear" when we crossed a street if no traffic was coming.


We even passed a marching band practicing in a field.

John, Mark & Chuck, our real bikers, were at the front of the pack. They saw some passing bikers go by at racing speed.  They took off after them. Mark & Chuck turned back after a few minutes but John kept going. He didn't see us make the turn that would take us to our coffee stop at Cafe de "Klinker".  He didn't have a phone, but we thought we would see him later on the route because he had a map.

It was during this coffee stop that I learned one of the travelers had her purse stolen as she was boarding the train in Amsterdam. The cleaning crew found the purse on a train to Paris and was able to return some of the contents including her passport. She lost her phone and about $600 in cash though.

We had lunch in a park in Woerden. We still had not found John. Thankfully there was an art gallery in town with public restrooms that we could use after lunch.


Mark, Lynn, Chuck, Kim, Cathy & Dave

Sandy, Sietse, Terri & Kirsten

Dave, Jo Ann, Ann & Gary
The afternoon ride took us very close to canals and made us nervous about falling in.



Jo Ann took a spill as we were crossing a street riding into Gouda. She got a nasty cut on her wrist. Gouda was very crowded. We had to walk our bikes past the street market.We got to the barge and were surprised John wasn't there. Our GPS reported that we had ridden 51.7 km (32 miles). Our moving average was 9 mph.

We walked back into Gouda to see the town. We sat outside in the sunshine at Tante Tee while we enjoyed some french fries the way the locals eat them (with mayonnaise).

Since we hadn't found John yet we decided to see if Siri (the iPhone assistant) could help. When we asked Siri where to find John, she gave us information about a Gay Porn Star of the same name.  We got a big laugh about that!

We got tickled when we saw one of our riders pass the third time as she tried to find her way back to the barge. We finally got up and walked back with her.

When we got back to the barge we found a very sheepish John!  We learned that he had ridden 100 km (62 miles) looking for us.

Dinner was thick rich tomato soup followed by traditional Dutch food.

Titia explained how to fix our plates and Sietse demonstrated.

Dessert was chocolate & vanilla pudding.

After dinner, Sietse took some of the group on a walking tour and took Jo Ann to the hospital to have the cut on her wrist properly bandaged.

We played cards and talked until after midnight.

Monday (Day 3 of the Bike-Barge Adventure)
I woke up with a bit of a sore throat but not enough to deter me from taking the bike ride! The skies over Gouda were cloudy as we got ready for our ride.

Before we started our ride, we toured the Saint John church with its beautiful stained glass windows.

It was interesting to see the excavation that is taking place beneath the church.

By the time we left the church, the skies had cleared and it was a beautiful day for a ride! John, Mark and Chuck purposefully split from the group this time so they could do some more aggressive riding.

We saw lots of cows and swans along our route from Gouda to Ablasserdam.


Lou had a flat tire just before we got to our coffee stop. Tony was the sweeper so he stayed with Lou, Charlie and Kim while Sietse led the rest of us to the coffee stop and then went back to help change the tire.


Lunch was in Lekkerkerk. With my sore throat I had not felt like making a lunch so we sat in the courtyard at Eetcafe De Nar and ate fries (with mayonnaise, as is the custom in Holland).

Just around the corner from the restaurant, we found the ferry dock for the ferry that would take us from Lekkerkerk to Nieuw Lekkerland. We didn't have to wait long for the ferry.


It was a beautiful sunny day for the short ride across the Lek.

As we approached the dock on the other side of the river, who should we spot but our three wayward boys, John, Chuck & Mark!

Our afternoon route took us to Kinderdijk where lots of windmills dot the horizon.

We couldn't have asked for a prettier day for the beautiful scenery!

We left Kinderdijk and started for Dordrecht.

Our route involved another ferry ride to get to Dordrecht.

We discovered that Noah's Ark is docked at Dordrecht. We had toured the Ark on a previous trip.

We found our barge in Ablasserdam. It was a short ride today, only 38.4 km (24 miles). We averaged about 9 mph again today.

Dinner was delicious again!  We started with Caprese salad.

A delicious piece of salmon was accompanied by green beans, salad and risotto.


Dessert was Tiramisu. We began to realize that despite all of the exercise, we were not going to lose any weight on this trip!

We had a little birthday celebration for Lou and after dinner, Titia played some Abba and got a few of us (including Captain Jan) to dance!

We got most of the passengers to play Left Right Center, a dice game in which each participant starts with 3 coins (Euros in this case). The coins are passed to the player on the left or right or placed in the center depending on the dice roll. The last player to have a coin wins the coins in the center.  Joyce won tonight.

Tuesday (Day 4 of the Bike-Barge Adventure)
Four of the girls decided to stay on the barge today since there was an option to meet the group halfway through the route. We waved goodbye to Lynn, Kirsten, Sandy & Terri as we started our ride.

It was a cool morning so we donned our jackets for the ride.

We caught our "real" riders plotting their escape already!

Sietse took us on a quick tour of Ablasserdam showing us how high the water got during the flood.

Our next stop was in Willemstad near where we expected our barge to pass through a lock.

We timed it perfectly. As we approached the bridge over the lock, we saw the Wending waiting in line to pass through the lock.

We stood on the bridge and waved to our friends Sandy, Terri, Lynn & Kirsten as they entered the lock.

Some of our group is interested in geocaching so they had pinpointed caches along our route. When we passed an area where a cache should be, they split off in search of it.

Lunch was in the cute little town of Oude-Tonge. The Restaurant "Lely" graciously allowed us to sit on their patio and eat our lunch.

We cycled through the fishing village of Bruinisee where we saw this sculpture of a giant mussel.

As we cycled down the hill into Bruinisee, we spotted our friends sitting at Bru 17 waiting for us.  They had ordered mussels and oysters so we could try the local specialties.

The girls joined us for the rest of the ride. It was chilly riding on the dam and we were surprised to see some ladies re-dressing next to the path after a swim in the cold water.

We made a stop at the Watersnood museum. A few people toured the museum while the rest of us had a beverage in the restaurant.

We reached the cute little town of Zierikzee after 53 km (33 miles) of riding for the day.  Our moving average improved a bit to 10 mph. We weren't breaking any speed records but it was an enjoyable pace.

We had another delicious dinner, starting with soup, followed by a Holland version of tacos.

During dessert we had another birthday celebration. This one included both Kim and Lou. They were given serving attire and asked to serve the beautiful dessert tart to the rest of the passengers.

We played Left Right Center again and Joyce won AGAIN!

Wednesday (Day 5 of the Bike-Barge Adventure)
In addition to the usual breakfast fare, we had adorable tiny pancakes!

We were docked next to another Cycletours Barge at most of our stops and I could see how one could accidentally follow the wrong group if you didn't know your fellow passengers! There were yellow panniers as far as the eye could see!

I had not taken the evening tour of Zierikzee with Sietse the previous night so I was pleased that we made a brief trip through town to see some of the highlights.

 Our Geo-cachers were triumphant once again on the route from Zierikzee to Middleburg! This one was tucked away under a picnic table.

We visited the Plompe Tower in Koudekerke which depicts the legend of the mermaid that was taken by fishermen.

We climbed the spiral staircase to the top where we had a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding nature reserve.

Our morning coffee stop was at Snackbar Klapwijk.

Back on the route, we found ourselves amid windmills again but these were the more modern kind.

Our lunch stop was at the beach in Vrouwenpolder. We ordered drinks at the Restaurant Beachclub Meer but discovered that we were not as welcome to eat our packed lunch here as we had been at other restaurants. We ordered some food to appease the waitstaff.

The beach was a nice sandy beach with a playground and fishing opportunities. Sietse said we could go swimming but we opted not to.

We made a stop in the cute little town of Veere where there were lots of shops and restaurants.

Our cachers reported that there was a cache in our destination of Middleburg and Sietse who had become very interested in geo-caching suggested that we search for the cache as a group.  The cache was supposed to be somewhere on a chair next to a statue. When we got there, the statue was gone but the chair was still there.  

We took a group picture and then found the cache attached to the bottom of the chair.

Our distance for the day was 59.9km (37 miles). Our moving average speed was 10 mph again.

The internet on the boat didn't work very well so we walked into town to find a place with wi-fi. We found the Wooncafe and hung around until they closed at 6PM.

Dinner was great once again!  We started with smoked chicken salad.

The main course was pork accompanied by tiny brussel sprouts, red cabbage and scalloped potatoes.

Dessert was a brownie with ice cream!  Yum!

I was feeling so full that I decided to take the evening walking tour with Sietse through Middleburg.

When we got back to the barge, Titia served us an evening snack which we ate while we played Left Right Center.
This time I won all the Euros! Tony had already gone to bed so, of course, I had to shower him with Euros when I went to the cabin!

Thursday (Day 6 of the Bike-Barge Adventure)
The barge departed Middleburg at 7:30AM. We had breakfast as we sailed to Vlissingen where we would start our bike ride.

We rode into Vlissingen to see the sights.

We hurried to get our tickets for the ferry to Breskens. The entire lower floor of the ferry boat was covered with bicycles. Upstairs, there was theater seating.

We landed in Breskens and rode a few kilometers before Terri realized that she had left her backpack with her purse and passport on the ferry. We rode partway back to the ferry dock. Sietse had the group wait at the Grand café Ons Dagelijks Kost while he rode back to the dock.

Sietse returned quickly to say that the backpack had been found but it was in the lost and found office on the Vlissingen side. We would have to wait for the ferry to bring it back.  This gave us time for a card game or two while we waited.

Sietse returned with the backpack and Terri was thrilled to find everything intact!

Then Sietse realized that he had left his cap at the ferry dock so he made one more trip to get it then we were ready to ride!

We had a beautiful ride on a tree-lined path.

We rode beside a pasture with some huge horses that were quite happy to relieve Ann & Kim of their apples!

Lunch was at Café Uitspanning "Cadsandria" in IJzendijke. There was a nice little garden where we could eat our packed lunch and enjoy beverages purchased from the café.

As we left IJzendijke we stopped to pose with a statue of a man playing chess.

We found a neat 3D painting on the side of a building on Schuttersstraat in IJzendijke.

Sietse had been riding with the Holland flag on the back of his bicycle but when we crossed the border into Belgium he changed to the Belgium flag.


We stopped to look at a church before continuing our ride to Gent.

We logged 50.4 km (31 miles) at a little over 10 mph today. We were happy to be back on the barge for another delicious dinner. Titia described what we would be having.

Some of the group took the train into Gent for the tour with Sietse while the rest of us visited and played cards on the barge.

Friday (Day 7 of the Bike-Barge Adventure)
Three options were offered for the ride to Bruges. Most of us (including me) chose to take the long ride. The rest (including Tony) would stay on the barge and either meet us later for a medium length ride or take a shorter ride along a canal into Bruges.

We passed lots of beautiful old buildings as we were leaving Gent.

We got a little turned around as we were leaving town due to some road closures and detours. At one point, we rode the wrong way up a narrow path next to a highway and a few minutes later rode back down the same way. We passed the same point 3 times and finally found our way out of town. Sietse was glad this happened on the last day instead of the first or we might not have trusted him to lead us for the rest of the week.

 After going around in circles for a short time, we found our way to the right path!

We made it to our coffee stop in Nevele. There was a street market with vendors selling meat, cheese, fruit and other products.

We stopped into De Vischmyn for a beverage and were greeted by an elderly gentleman who spoke animatedly to us in a dialect that even Sietse could not understand.

Our ride took us through farmland with fields of canola and corn. At one point, we passed a field that smelled like celery although the plant did not look like celery.

We passed bunnies and deer and one of our riders almost ran over a cat!

We stopped at this beautiful old abandoned mansion on our way. We explored the grounds and the walkways leading to the mansion.

Our lunch stop was at Den Zoeten Inval in Poeke. The friendly bartender served us drinks and let us eat our sandwiches in the garden behind the building.

Our afternoon ride took us by the Buxuskwekerij Tuinen DeniePlant garden with amazing topiaries. 

Ann stopped to admire the shrubs and was invited on a private tour of the grounds. 

The owner was very proud of his garden. The rest of us went back to see the beautiful plants too.

While we were admiring the gardens, part of the other group joined us.  Tony and his group had stopped for some afternoon refreshments at De Brug in Ravels before taking the easier canal route to Bruges.

After viewing the gardens, we took a path along fields and trees to Oostkamp where we stopped for a beverage at Cafe Oud Stuivenberge.

From there, it was about 10 km to Bruges bringing us to a total of 64.22 km (40 miles) for the day, our longest day yet. I didn't have custody of the GPS so I don't know what our average speed was, but I bet it was around 10 mph based on our previous days performances.

The total distance ridden during this trip was 331.32 km (206 miles).  It was easy riding on flat terrain.

We found an ATM at the bus station so we could get some cash to settle our bar tab and give tips to the crew. We had asked the barge company for guidelines on tipping but they wouldn't provide any so we decided to tip about 10% of the cruise fare. We pooled our tips and divided the total between the crew giving 20% to the chef, hostess & captain and 40% to Sietse, the bike guide.

The captain sat with us for the final meal which started with a delicious bowl of onion soup followed by a buffet of hearty food that was described to be what the Lords would provide when they wanted to treat the serfs.

Dessert was creme-filled pastries drizzled with chocolate syrup.


After dinner, the crew put out a basket with tip envelopes so it would have been possible for each person to handle their own tips.

After Titia collected payment for our bar tabs, Seitse took some of the group on a tour of Bruges.

Since Tony, Sandy and Terri were leaving before dawn the next morning to take the train to the Brussels airport, we decided to take our group picture the last night we would all be together.  What an amazing group this was! Ranging in age (20's to 70's) and ability (athletic to not-so-athletic), we rode well together and enjoyed each others' company the whole week!

We had incredibly good weather on the trip (which the Peachtree City people took credit for, saying they travel surrounded by a bubble where good things happen).  Maybe they do!  Except for a couple of spills and near-spills, there were no major accidents and even the lost backpack and purse had a pretty good ending.

Saturday (Day 8 of the Bike-Barge Adventure)
After breakfast, it was time to say goodbye to the crew. If we have the opportunity to travel with this company again, we will request this crew. They were wonderfully accommodating and fun.

Some folks were staying in Bruges while others were heading for Paris and still others were extending their stay to other parts of the continent.  The Shoemakers, the Coles and I planned to spend the day in Bruges and then take the train to Brussels for the night so we could catch a Sunday flight home.

The Bruges train station has huge lockers where we could leave our luggage while we explored the city. 

We did a little shopping for yarn and chocolate.

We decided to get off of the main square for lunch and found a delightful little place called "Soup" just steps away where we were able to get soup and a sandwich for a very reasonable price.

During lunch, we learned that Tony and Sandy had not been able to get on a flight home so they would be joining us in Brussels and we would all try to fly out the next day. There had been enough seats for them but Delta wouldn't board them due to excess cargo.

After some confusion, we got our train tickets, retrieved our luggage and got on the train to Brussels. When we arrived, we had a 2.5 km walk to the hotel. This wouldn't have been bad except for the crowded streets. People were shoulder to shoulder and shuffling along. We tried to weave our way through them but it was almost impossible to get through and stay together. Laura said it was like walking through a zombie apocalypse.

When we got to the hotel, we found Tony & Sandy waiting for us. Nobody felt like getting out to explore the town so we just relaxed in the hotel bar until time for dinner. We tried the Belgian treat of bitterballen. It tasted sort of like fried mashed potatoes with pot roast mixed in.

We were joined by John and Kirsten mid-afternoon. We left the Hilton in search of dinner and stopped at the first place we came to that had room for a party of 11. We had to split into 3 tables at Brussels Grill Rogier. The food was okay but the service was terrible. Charlie and Laura split an appetizer but their entree never came.

Sunday morning, the walk back to the train station was much easier without the crowds. We got to the airport in plenty of time for either the Brussels to Atlanta or the Brussels to New York flight. Sandy decided to try the New York flight but Tony and I stuck with the Atlanta flight. Everyone else had a confirmed ticket on the Atlanta flight.  As it turned out, Sandy got on the New York flight but the Atlanta flight went out full without Tony and I. We hurried back to the train station and bought tickets to Amsterdam airport. We had to make 3 train connections (Bruxelles-Nat. Aeroport to Mechelen, Mechelen to Roosendaal, Roosendaal to Breda and finally Breda to Schiphol Airport) but we made it to Amsterdam in time to take the 5PM flight to Minneapolis. We even had time for a glass of champagne in the KLM lounge.

We got to the gate an hour before departure and were told to wait outside the secure area. There was a huge line of people going through security which is at the gate in Amsterdam. We finally got our boarding cards and were allowed to get in the security line. What we did not know was that in Amsterdam you are required to remove every wired and battery operated device from your luggage. Thinking it was like every other airport, I took out my laptop and my liquids and sent my bag through. First my purse was sent back asking about an MP3 player.  I dug that out & then my suitcase came back and they asked me to take out my extension cord and my hair dryer. The bag was sent back a third time for me to find my camera which was buried in the bottom of the bag. By the time the security folks were satisfied, my entire suitcase was unpacked and we were the only people left in the gatehouse. I was frantic. Tony was trying to calm me down but I was convinced the plane would leave without us. I had an extra backpack in my bag so I crammed what I could into it and we thundered down the jetway. My heart sank when I saw that the jetway had already been pulled back and the plane door was closed.

The agent looked very surprised to see us. She said she had asked her colleagues and they said everyone was on the plane. She said not to worry that we were going, but then she noticed the plane pushing back from the gate.  She spoke into her radio in Dutch. After a moment we noticed that the plane had stopped. I asked if that was good and she said it was good for us, but not for her. She would have to write up the delay. They pulled the plane back to the gate and then we had to wait for someone to come from downstairs to connect the jetway back to the plane.

Our seats were at the back of business class so we had to pass by everyone in the cabin who was wondering who we were that we were so important they would stop the plane for us.

We had an enjoyable flight to Minneapolis but there was not a connection to Atlanta that night so we spent the night at the Hampton Inn Eagan.

Monday morning, we tried for two non-stop flights to Atlanta and never even got close so we found a connection through St. Louis that had some seats and got home around noon on Monday, just in time for me to unpack, do some laundry and then repack for my trip to the Delta Women's Golf Tournament!

Conclusion?  This is one of the best trips we have ever taken!  Let me know if you are interested in booking a vacation like this!  I can hook you up! 

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