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July 27, 2013 / Jim Fenton

Iceland Day 13: Homeward Bound

July 13, 2013

Last night was Friday night, and Friday nights in Reykjavík are somewhat notorious for late-night partying, so we were wondering how much we would be woken up.  Fortunately not all that much.  I woke up about 3:20 and could hear a faint thump-thump of some music somewhere, looked out and saw some people out walking on the square across from the hotel (it was light, of course). But I easily got back to sleep.  About 5, some people seemed to be arguing outside, but this wasn’t too much of a concern because we had to get up at 5:30 anyway to catch the shuttle to the airport.

Celeste checking out the souvenirs at the duty-free shop

Celeste checking out the souvenirs at the duty-free shop

Along the way, I learned via Twitter that the runway at SFO that had been closed due to the Asiana Airlines crash a week ago had been reopened. This was very good news. There had been reports of two-hour ground holds due to congestion caused by SFO having one fewer runway than usual.

We got to Keflavík airport and received our boarding passes, and I noticed that Celeste’s had the “SSSS” designation for random “enhanced” security inspection. But we got through security with no trouble, grabbed some breakfast, and cruised the duty-free shopping.

While waiting at the gate to board, Celeste was paged.  This was the time for her additional screening. I accompanied her; after they checked with me, a female security person gave her a quick pat-down and then looked through her backpack. The security person then swabbed her gloves for the mass spectrometer test, looking for explosive residue.  No problems, of course, so we were brought back to the gate and expedited onto the plane.

On the jetway, Celeste told me that she was missing her boarding pass for the connecting flight to SFO, which I told her not to worry about. But she looked at her seat assignment and it was for the wrong seat (not with Kenna and me) and then noticed that it had the wrong name as well. Most seriously, the passport she was given after the pat-down wasn’t hers either! We found the passenger whose passport it was, and traded his passport for Celeste’s.  All of us were very relieved; it would have been a big problem later.

The flight to New York was unremarkable, but New York felt unlike Reykjavík in many ways. Being in crowds was a bit of an adjustment. While we waited for the next flight, Celeste took advantage of the opportunity to call one of her friends on the phone. Although she enjoyed the trip greatly, she missed her friends.

The flight to San Francisco was routine but turbulent, and we arrived home to find things in good order. Could it have been possible that we woke up in Reykjavík this morning?

This article is the last in a series about our recent vacation in Iceland. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.

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