Day 52 (August 3, 2019 – Los Angeles, California, USA): “Expensive Repellent”
It was about 4am when I awoke to my alarm. Lookout outside the window of the quiet Gamla Stan apartment, it was still a little dark outside.
But with everyone looking forward to going home, Julie and Tahia each had no problem waking up to their respective alarms at 4:30am.
We each had quick pre-cooked breakfast of eggs, some fruit, cod liver oil shots, and trying to drink up the rest of our water and almond milk (which Julie decided not to use to make crepe so it fell on me to finish it).
By about 5:15am, I had already went to retrieve the parked car from Ridderholmen and had parked in front of the apartment so we could load it up.
Shortly thereafter, we then checked out and slowly drove out to Arlanda Airport. The GPS had its own idea about getting out of the city center of Stockholm, but seeing signs clearly marking the route to the E4 and E20, I followed the signs instead.
We eventually got to the freeway and it was all smooth sailing to the airport as it was clearly signposted. Along the way, we made sure to fill up at a Circle K, which were actually quite abundant.
And by around 6:30am, we arrived at the Hertz rental car return, which was quite busy.
By the time we got all the stuff out of the car and left the keys on the dashboard, we then quickly caught a packed shuttle bus where the doors barely closed around me as I was the last one to get on (not easy with two heavy pieces of luggage).
Once we got to the airport at Terminal 5, we then did a lot of histrionics involving self-service checking in. Fortunately, the airport provided scales so we could ensure that none of the checked bags were overweight.
It turned out that we had to do a little rearanging to ensure that each of the big luggages were 23kg or less. The rest would have to go on the carry on.
So far so good as we got our boarding passes, exchanged Swedish kroner back to USD, and then went to security.
The only thing that was a bummer was that the insect repellent that was in our liquid bag was apparently a little too big for carry on. So we had to toss it.
That ended up being some pretty expensive natural bug repellent. I guess we should have packed that repellent in our checked luggage in hindsight.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
By about 7:25am, we were through security, and we pretty much had the next 2.5 hours to dilly dally around in the shops. The gate that we were at only had a single cafe and a toilet. That was not the place to be for that amount of time, especially since there was a passport control right in front of that waiting room.
So we decided to linger out at the bigger duty free area, where I could plug the laptop into a socket and get working.
Meanwhile, Julie and Tahia were out and about shopping. It was about 7:50am when we were on our own. We agreed that by 9am, we would meet up again and then go through passport control.
The rest of the airport formalities pretty much went without incident aside from a slight boarding delay.
Eventually, the long haul direct flight also went fairly smoothly though there was some pretty extensive turbulence as we were flying through most of Canada and then when we were about to land.
During that time, I had been fighting a headache ever since I was busy trying to finish picking photos for the blog from this trip while on the plane.
I then indulged Tahia with some of the airplane games that were on the entertainment system from playing fruit popping games to trying to compete with a chess genius, where we only got up to a 7 1/2 year-old version of him before he was proving to be too good for us.
It was good quality time with Tahia, especially since we had an entire row to ourselves (the plane wasn’t fully populated).
When we got dropped off from LAX to Uber (the Global Entry thing really made things smooth) by 1:35pm, we ultimately made it back home at 3:05pm after a brief lunch since Julie had a craving for brisket.
Aside from having to reset the internet router at home as well as a scary incident where I thought I had lost two external hard drives (something always seems to act up when we get home as well as the expected jetlag), at least the cars started and we were on the road to normalcy…
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