Friday, Oct. 9, 2009 – Istanbul to Myrtle Beach

     We were up by 3 AM, put the last few things in our carry-on bags and went upstairs for a quick breakfast.  When we got down to the terminal, Stanley already had our bags on the trolley with a porter.  We had to meet our cab just outside the port gates.  We were there around 4 for our 4:15 pick-up time.   We saw a lot of the crew just coming back to the ship after a night on the town.  Our driver showed up shortly with 4 name cards.  I showed him ours and we were the third cab to leave.  The ride to the airport was so much shorter than arrival day.  The airport had screenings as you entered the building and then again at the gate.  When we checked in, we asked if it was possible to have 3 seats so Ray could stretch and they did.  Istanbul is 7 hours ahead of the East Coast and Madrid is 6 hours ahead.  It was about a 4 hour flight from Istanbul to Madrid.  We had 3 hours and 45 minutes on the ground and then an eight hour flight from Madrid to JFK.  We got in a little late, but there were only about 6 Americans on the plane so Immigration was easy.  There was a bit of a wait for the luggage and I was getting nervous about making the 6 PM flight. We got in a cab and hit some traffic but he got us to La Guardia airport on time.  When we got to the gate they were boarding and said we would have to check our carry-on bags as there was no more room in the overhead compartments.  I removed my laptop and let the rest go.  They checked it through to Myrtle Beach.  Otherwise we would have had to go through security and screening in Atlanta.  After 2 hours in the air we got off the plane in Atlanta and we were right next to Nathan’s Hot Dogs.  Ray was so happy he didn’t have to walk any further.  We ate a hot dog and then got on the train to the next concourse.  They were boarding when we got there so we went right on.  Another 50 minutes or so in the air and we touched down in Myrtle Beach.  We were in the house shortly before midnight.  It was about 28 hours since we woke up, a long, long day.  We love to travel, but it is always nice to get home.


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