So this post will probably be pretty short, but since you all have followed me through this much of the trip you deserve the .... thrilling conclusion!
So as I have mentioned before, Eric, Todd, and Chris B. are all going to the EUSES meeting, which starts at 9, so they are planning to leave at 8:08 (because it has a lot of symmetry, it can be flipped around or turned sideways and it is still a palindrome!). So they again have to get up early. Markus who stayed with us has to leave at about 9 to go catch his flight.
So Chris B sets his alarm, but it fails to go off. It was set up only to work on weekdays and since it was a Saturday it didn't go off, so we all woke up a little late. Since Chris B. had to get ready I decided to at least start making breakfast for everyone. I don't think that it was nearly as good, but it certainly wasn't bad. Markus says that the potato peel that I left on the potato was poison and that we were all going to get sick.
Soon it was time for everyone to go and then I was alone. I read some and finished my book (well before Eric), and I did a little emailing, which I had been ignoring for quite a while. After a while I headed out to explore Madrid one last time.
As I have mentioned before my day was cut short by an illness. I am not sure what it was, it might have been food poisoning, but whatever it was I was confined to my bed and so that was not very fun. I basically stayed in bed all afternoon and evening and slept rather fitfully and hoped that I would be at least a little better for the travel day the next day.
So the next day, Sunday, was the day that we were to head home. My alarm was set for 530, but I actually woke up without it, and I was feeling a bit better, so that was good. We got ready and we left a little bit late at about 630. On the way to the airport, the metro was packed with people just coming home from partying. The majority of them were very drunk, and it was a little strange to see.
The trip to the airport went well enough, and after figuring out some confusing signs in the airport and some very unhelpful airline desk people we checked in. We were a little concerned since they only gave us tickets as far as Vancouver, which didn't really make much sense to us, but there isn't really much that we could do about it.
The security line was ridiculous, it was just very slow and unorganized and every time someone set off the metal detector, they stopped the whole line and made us wait. If we had been late for our flight then this would have worried me. Eric threw away his water bottle that he has had the whole trip (from Vancouver on the way over). He regretted this throughout the rest of our trip as he always tried to find someplace to get water but they were about 3 euros.
So we had to wait a while for our flight, and I actually was able to eat a nectarine, which was the first thing that I had eaten in... about 15 or 16 hours, so that was good, and I actually felt hungry, so I was hoping that the worst of my illness was past. Eric went and got a little pastry with most of the rest of our euros.
The Spanish airport doesn't actually announce when planes are boarding, so we sort of had to wait and pay attention. We noticed that people started lining up, but then for about 20 minutes and never moved so we just sort of waited, then it finally started to move and we got in line and were the 2nd to last people on the plane. We ran into Alessio on the flight, which was crazy. He was headed to Sweden... I think?
So... I slept for the entire flight to Frankfurt, which was nice. Eric read his book. So that flight was very smooth. We got to Frankfurt and we took a bus to the terminal and walked around trying to find something to eat. We finally settled on a little restaurant. 1 of only 3 places there! pretty poor amount of choices for a major airport. Eric regretted not getting beer. We both got a hot dog and a pretzel. The pretzel was great, the hot dog was ... ok. I took some pepto bismal tablets just in case.
Here is Eric ordering.
We waited for our plane, and right after boarding Eric passed out. Not for very long, but I have photographic evidence!
The flight from Frankfurt to Vancouver was long, I watched a few movies and read and slept a little bit. It actually went faster than I thought it would. It helped that there was no one behind me so I just reclined for most of the flight, which was nice.
We arrived to Vancouver and had to go through customs and then get our bags. And for some reason we had to go out of the security zone and check in again, which seemed so ridiculous to me. And because of this... we missed our flight. It was very annoying. We were there 45 minutes early, but we had to be there an hour early to actually get our bags loaded. If we wanted to we could have gone through security with all of our bags and ran ahead. But I had some liquids that I had purchased, so I didn't really want to do that....since I would have had to dump them out.
This means that we had to talk the 830 flight instead of the 445 flight.... so it was a long wait. It sort of went quickly.... although all we did was sit around. We got some food and then right before the flight Eric got a cup of coffee and took a quick nap. Then on the flight we both slept the whole way. It was only an hour flight, but it was a good nap.
We arrived in Portland and got our car. We got a minivan!
Before we left for Portland, we sent an email saying that we were going to be late, in case any of our fellow OSU travelers were going to be late as well. After getting our car, we went back into the terminal and Viola! an email from Chris B. sent right before Eric opened his computer. He had just arrived. So we waited a little bit and then he got to ride home with us.
That was good, since I was tired and had problems staying awake, so he was able to talk to Eric and then about Salem I was able to stay awake the rest of the way.
So I got home at about 1:30 or so... My bed never looked so good.
It was a great trip, and a pretty successful conference, but it was nice to be back home.