My Italy tour is over and I am on my way home,sort of. My firefighting tour was supposed to be two weeks long ,but the day I was supposed to go home the Chief Pilot called and confirmed what I already expected. I would stay for another 3 davs. Ok, well make it an even week I said. No sense having somebody relieve for 4 days so that two of us get extended stays.
I would like to write a bit about my next tour but the fact is I do not know and what little I do know, falls under the heading of propietery info, not to be shared. Frankly, there is nothing to share so no beans spilled here.
So, as I said in my opening sentence,I am heading home. Eventually. I checked into my Hotel at The Genoa Sheraton last night. The International Boat Show is in town and Genoa Hotels have jacked their prices. My usual 90e room was now 280e but like the smiling desk clerk said,”we have a free wine sampling tonight”.
I looked over at the yacht crowd sipping their vino,wearing their “Armani suits and Valentino gowns ” and tried to visualize my uniform shirt and Khaki pants mingling in that crowd. Not happening.
Earlier in the week I did start thinking about staying over an extra day in Genoa and checking out our next potential bad investment at the Genoa Boat Show. Paying the ticket change fee,coupled with the slightly higher room rate was not an option so Ì will just have to wait till we get down to Fort Lauderdale to look at Catamarans.
My flight was delayed this morning and left 45 minutes late from Genoa. Turns out I could have gone back to my Hotel and had breakfast for no extra charge. Breakfast included for only about 400 U.S. a night! The thought of hauling my bag past the friggin imbeciles at security would have had me projectile vomiting my expensive breakfast so I decided to pass. Security, again questioned me at length about my flight helmet that I carried on board,or wanted to?
They had a problem with me carrying a flight helmet. Yes, I am a professional pilot and no, your baggage handlers will not be testing its structural integrity and breaking the visor. Not happening.
You could use the helmet to fly the plane the security guard suggested. Well, I countered, I suspect the Captain and First Officer would have some objection to that I responded. Besides if I was somehow in control of the flight would I not simply use the Captains headset? Its probably lighter than my brain bucket and fancier too!
My sarcasm was bordering on risky and the result was that I handed the helmet to the ground handlers personally and asked them to please be careful.
I got the helmet back in one piece in Stuttgart,which was a surprise to me because we were going to Munich.
Fog at Munich forced a reroute to somewhere else and fog at that place forced a divert to Stuttgart. so, here I am in Stuttgart some 4 hours later and I finally have an new itinerary. Instead of Munich to Montreal where I would; at this moment be over the financially strapped Iceland ,I will be boarding my new flight shortly.
My route today and today is already been going for ten hours will be Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Dulles (Washington D.C.) and then Montreal .It looks like about 9.5 hours of flying and with the stops I will be enjoying another twelve to thirteen hours of travel. All in all about a 26 hour trip that ends with a nice leisurely drive from Montreal to Gananoque after midnight.
I could have over nighted in Stuttgart for another 100e and done a much shorter trip in the a.m. but fog covers most of Germany and it may have been worse tomorrow.Not a pretty picture and besides I would have lost out on all the extra airline miles I am going to accrue.
See you later,much later.