I have always wanted to go to Iceland. But the only time that John has been there it was a rather bumpy trip on a military aircraft so he has been loathe to return. On our way to Paris we would be routing through Reykjavik. Even though it was only going to be a brief turn around that would not see us even leaving the airport, I was still pretty darn excited to even be touching down in the country. And I hoped that a smooth landing by the pilot might change John's mind about returning to the country. In my wildest imaginings, I even hoped for a layover that would leave time for me to go visit the Blue Lagoon. I packed my swimsuit on the off chance this might transpire. We did have that smooth landing and everything went as planned with our flight to Paris taking off as scheduled from Reykjavik. John was starting to entertain a trip to Iceland in the future...it was all going as planned. Until our return trip from Paris that is.
Our flight was delayed significantly out of Paris and in the end, it turned out that our plane from Paris would be landing right when our plane to Edmonton was supposed to be taking off. We asked the flight attendant about our chances of making that connecting flight. She seemed to think it might happen...politely yet doubtfully. And suddenly all thoughts of the swimsuit packed for the Blue Lagoon went out of my mind because I love a challenge. Instead I focused on making that connecting flight that seemed all but impossible.
The plane landed and I burst from its doors running up the ramp full tilt with my backpack on and swinging my purse like a Viking with a battle axe. I tore into that terminal to check the gate for our departing plane and even the realization that our plane had docked at the furthest possible point from the plane loading for Edmonton did not dull my enthusiasm for this challenge. Off I went through the terminal thundering along like I was going into battle and then I began to slow and slow some more...and then my husband (with his bad knee) passed me...and then my daughter who does yoga once a month and calls that a workout passed me...and I came to a stop winded and wore out and I called ahead to them to keep going and that I would just stay in Iceland. "It seems like a nice place", I said. "C'mon" John said, "get going. I will run ahead to the gate and see if I can hold the plane." We knew it was still here because each screen we passed indicated that the status was 'Last Call for Boarding'. He and Harriet carried on through the terminal while I lumbered on well behind them no longer swinging my purse in the air but rather dragging it on the ground behind me. I finally got to Passport Control. I was never so happy to see Passport Control! You always have to wait at Passport Control. This was a chance to stop and catch my breath. But no...the customs agent waved me forward and hurriedly stamped my passport with speed I have never witnessed from a customs agent ever. It would seem she had linked me to the man and teenage daughter who had gone through before in a great rush to make a flight. She was even laughing. I do not even want to know what I must have looked like to her. At this terminal when you come out of Passport Control you end up in the Duty Free Shop. It is like a china shop and full of breakables. Ohhh, I thought. I must slow down (even more) as you should never run through a china shop. But no, the shop lady hastened me on. 'Hurry', she waved. 'Run!'. Are you friggin' kidding me?!? I could not believe this. I wanted to tell her that I was this was not the Amazing Race and that I was merely attempting to catch a connecting flight to Edmonton...No chance of that communication happening as she hustled me through that shop. Around a corner I went and down another long corridor heaving and gasping as I went. At the end of the corridor was the check in agent for our flight and just beyond her I could see my husband and daughter already checked in and waiting for me. The agent scanned my ticket and I staggered past her and bent over and started coughing up a lung. Over that din, I faintly heard my daughter observe, 'You are just like the chubby bear from The Lorax...'
It would seem that Icelandic people enjoy a challenge as much as I do because they somehow managed to get our luggage onto that connecting flight. I think John may end up back in Iceland sooner than he imagines because this chubby bear could really use a Blue Lagoon....