3 October 2023

The long journey home!

Our BBF slept well, but woke early. He dozed and then got up at around 08:30 hrs. Showered, shaved, got dressed and packed the last suitcase. When he took it downstairs he found Brec and Sandy there and so he sat and had the last breakfast in Milford.

He loaded his two large suitcases into the back of Sandy’s car with Brec’s help! 

Then they gave each other a huge bear hug with watery eyes! Promises were made to return Insha’lla!!

It was a beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky as Sandy drove us all to JFK airport. There was much traffic on the road and it was good that we had left early.

When on the bridge over to Long Island we had a view of the New York sky line. 

Sandy dropped us off at Terminal 7 for Condor Airlines and then followed another tearful hug and grateful kisses for the generosity and the wonderful hospitality shown us!

Our BBF found the check in desk and dropped off his two suitcases. Then he had to go and pay for the second one, $118! 

The security took with the long queue about 30 minutes and he had to go through the X-Ray machine twice and be subjected to a body search as his artificial knee showed up on the scan!

Once belt, boots and everything had been gathered we were off to find lunch! Alan had one last Burger! Then it was just a matter of waiting till it was time to board!

The Air Tags seemed to show only one suitcase loaded on the plane! It says Backpack but it is a suitcase. We hope it’s a glitch and nothing more!

We boarded late and we Bears are in the shoulder bag under the seat in front!

The route to be taken we found interesting flying over the sea where we sailed just a few short weeks ago! We are amazed now that we sailed back and forth over that bit of ocean!

Our late take off from JFK we felt did not bode well for our onward journey! During the flight our BBF watched a film called A Wrinkle in Time about two children looking for their father! He then tried to sleep a bit but only rested his eyes. 
Another film was watched Fools Gold, and so the time passed till landing! 

Our BBF did his best to get across the airport to get his connecting flight to Düsseldorf, but failed as they had shut the plane doors a few minutes before! 

The Air Tag showed that one case is still in JFK! 

We were quickly booked onto another flight leaving at 08:35 hrs, so now went directly but slowly to that gate to wait! The family have been informed so now we just have to get to Düsseldorf to report the lost suitcase! 

And then the App told us that both suitcases had arrived in Frankfurt! Good news at least!

And then our BBF had a window seat, but tried to sleep!

We were in Düsseldorf in next to no time! 

And our Bags were there too!

Petra and Vincent were there to collect us and took us to Sigrid‘s for a welcome breakfast! Sigrid had her own surprise, birthday gifts for the sailor home from the sea! 

Back in our own four walls our BBF went to bed and we began telling the other Bears about our adventures! 

Alls well that ends well, now our BBF needs to recover from the adventure in America! 

2 October 2023

The Last Day!

Our BBF slept well and deeply. He woke at around 08:10 hrs and went below to make coffee. Brec was up eating his breakfast. Sandy came down and Alan made himself some breakfast too. It all got into a bit of a rush then, Sandy was helping out at Communion and left first. Brec and our BBF after getting dressed followed thereafter.

When it came to Communion the congregation formed a circle and those serving went round clockwise. Our BBF and Brec got on the side where Sandy was serving. Each human took a piece of bread from one server and dipped it into the wine (Sandy) before eating it. The congregation then held hands for the last prayers.

Our humans returned home, where Brec got changed into work clothes to go and sort out a few things on the boat as the weather was so fine. Sandy and our BBF got in the VW Beatle with the top down as it was so sunny and warm and went shopping.

They stopped for lunch at Five Guys which has the reputation of having the best Burgers in the country.

They were certainly good and came up to the hype they had on the walls.

Alan wanted a simple Luggage Strap for the new suitcase, but it proved a bit difficult  finding one. Eventually they did. He also bought a couple of Air Tags to put in the suitcases which they found in Walmart, and a couple of Luggage Labels too. Then it was back to Milford. He finished packing the one suitcase and then Booked in for his flight online.
That done a certain stress fell from his shoulders.

When Brec returned from work the humans went out for a last meal together in a really nice Italian restaurant down town.

Our BBF ordered a salad for a starter, but it was huge and he just ate enough to make him want more.

He had a Seafood Platter with Linguine and it was indeed good. Sea food here in Connecticut is always fresh and not something he can get as easily in Mönchengladbach.

The humans toasted themselves and the adventure that had shared and enjoyed some more good time together.

Back at home they relaxed and watched a film, the Green Book which is base don a true story,  was funny as well as being a comment on racism in America. One last toast using the Shipfaced Glasses filled with Port ended the perfect day before they retired to bed.

1 October 2023

A Birthday on the Lane.

The weariness in our BBF’s bones is still there for he spent a restless night and got up tired. He stayed in his PJs and just put on a warm top and went downstairs to make some coffee. Brec had returned from taking his brother to the airport. With coffee to revive him he felt better. His thought of getting abluted and dressed died. He made himself some toast for breakfast instead and thereafter went upstairs to have a trial pack. Alan had bought a new suitcase and initially intended to ditch his old one, but not everything he had went into the new one, so he decided he would use it to pack the rest of what he had and have no rucksack as hand luggage as he did on the way out. It will cost, but we remember one year when he sent parcels back by post and he then discovered that an extra suitcase was cheaper. Then there was another year where Sandy gave him an old suitcase for all his stuff!

The weather outside was cold and wet. The men had to go to a birthday party on the Lane. It was John’s party for all his cousins and family who live on the lane. After our BBF had showered and as he was finishing dressing he had a Facetime call with Petra and Vincent. Consequently the men were a bit late getting going.

The weather was not really conducive to having a picnic party on the Lane, but John and Barbara had put up some tents to give protection from the rain which fortunately did not come full force, it just dripped a bit, but it was cold.

Two brothers, Brec and the birthday boy John and  cousin  Mark standing in front of the Pizza trailer John had organised. It had a genuine wood pizza oven and the pizzas served were very tasty.

A huge birthday cake was produced with a picture of John as a baby which we all found cute.

The Pizza Wagon had real difficulty getting out of the Lane.

But after much to-ing and fro-ing managed to back up out of the lane guided by Brec and another cousin.

John made a couple of speeches and was pleased that many of his relatives were able to come and help celebrate his 70th birthday. People sang Happy Birthday and those that knew it also sang Sandy and Brec’s family birthday song. Our BBF and Brec were the last to leave and drove home in the rain and dark.