Day 103 - Chicago - July 22 - 0 miles by bike, but the whole Atlantic Ocean by plane
Had our Hotel continental breakfast before heading back to yesterday's most excellent museum to enjoy some fine Dutch Masters (the paintings, not the cigars).
At noon it was off to the airport to stand in line for a 1:30 flight. No deal - all booked up, so no standbys. Bought some beer and water to wash down our sandwiches and some paperbacks to occupy our time while waiting to try our luck on the 3:30 flight.
Success at last - all 14 standby passengers were accepted for the 3:30 Icelandic flight to Chicago!
We retrieved our luggage from storage, and submitted ourselves to the scrutiny of a grim faced security guard. As he examined my clean-shaven face, then the bearded image on my Passport, I could tell he was not happy. I covered my lower face with my hand to help him visualize the resemblance, but this somehow caused offense, and he proceeded to assure me in a nasty tone that I would not be allowed back into the USA unless HE said so. Lighten up you humorless Nazi.
When we arrived in Chicago the local clocks said 7 PM, but our exhausted bodies were stuck on Luxembourg time - 3:00 AM. It was 90 degrees hot and very humid, and great bolts of lightning were forking across the evening sky.
Our bus rolled out of the Trailways station at 6 minutes past midnight - but 8 AM Luxembourg time; we had now been awake for 24 hours. Tired as we were, it was hard to sleep on the bus.
Just after sunrise we pulled into St. Louis for a two-hour layover and to change buses for the final leg home. The Trailways driver advised us the food was better across the street at the Greyhound station where we got breakfast at a Burger King. Some things, unfortunately, never change, and the American fast food chain breakfast is one of those things.
Something, however, had changed; being back in America was like putting on an old pair of shoes you haven't worn in a long time and they don't quite fit anymore.
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