We wake early and begin the process of packing. I’m always surprised that eventually it all gets into the bags though at the outset it seems like a tall order. I look over and see John sweating as he forces his kit bag shut, then point to my hiking boots and asks him if he has room. He looks at me incredulous, smartly says nothing and begins the process anew.
Marieke and Nelda have prepared coffee and breakfast for our last morning and will drive us to the airport. We are thankful for all that they have done to create a perfect trip to the Netherlands. We hope that one day we will be able to create a memorable time for them in our country. It was a leap of faith for them to open their home to us, not knowing much about us save for our wedding photo circulated through the family and a few anecdotal stories about John along with memories of his last visit 20 years previous. From the first night our fears and hopefully theirs were put to rest as we were talking and laughing as if we had known one another forever.
We haul our too large bags to the elevator and then into their car. An elderly gentleman rides the elevator with us, then hops on his bike and zips out of the parking lot. John and I look at each other and shake our heads at a sight that we will likely not see for some time.
We arrive at the airport expecting to be dropped at the entrance, instead we are escorted to the correct airline. We are touched at this extra effort to ensure that we will not waste time twirling around. It is time to say good-bye. Thank you at moments like this always seem inadequate, good-byes sad. We will miss them a great deal.
My bag is overweight, though the lovely girl says she does not notice as she slaps a heavy sticker on its side. Security has me standing on a podium as I am searched for nothing. John says its because I look shifty as he clears security without a second look.
Our next stop is Iceland and we are excited about this next experience. We will enjoy the first few days with 6 of our friends. We sit back, relax and smile at the faux northern lights display on Icelandair.