Back in North America

So our stay as temporary Frankfurters actually ended up being extended by about twenty-four hours, thanks to Lufthansa’s policy of overbooking flights and then offering fairly amazing compensation packages in return (though they are apparently required to do this by E.U. law, not the goodness of their hearts).

When we went to our gate on Tuesday afternoon after six hours of trundling around the airport, snacking, napping, and wondering about whether this awkward juxtaposition of magazine covers in the newsstand was intentional or not…

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…we were informed that they were looking for volunteers to spend the night in Frankfurt and be placed on flights tomorrow in exchange for a paid hotel room, vouchers for meals in the airport and at the hotel, and 600 Euros each. Since that translated into about the money each of us spent during our time in Saint Petersburg, it was already a pretty enticing deal. Throw on top of that the fact that we hadn’t slept at all that day and were still facing an eight-hour flight to Montreal at that point, the thought of being able to check into a hotel with a comfy bed and a shower was almost equally as alluring.

We called back to Montréal to check that Steph’s mother could watch the dogs for another day and then accepted the offer. Within about two hours, all the requisite paperwork was done and we had taken the shuttle to the nearby InterCity Hotel, a rather nondescript but perfectly comfortable lodging for the night.

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A shower, a nap, some reading, a dinner (on Lufthansa’s dime), and then a little more reading was the sum total of our adventure. We could have gone into Frankfurt, but between the persistent drizzle…

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…and our pretty advanced state of exhaustion, we just enjoyed the comfort of the bed instead.

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After a solid nine-hour sleep, we got up and enjoyed the breakfast buffet…

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…before packing up and heading back to the airport for our flight to Toronto. Sadly, we did not get the opportunity to avail ourselves of the hotel’s absurdly named snack-bar before we left.

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If you’re wondering what a Frankfurt hotel is doing with a snack-bar named after an iconic Berlin landmark, it could possibly be chalked up to the fact that the memorial to the Berlin Airlift (Die Luftbrücke in German) is just next-door to the hotel, so that might explain it.

We had about ten Euros left on our vouchers from the day before, so we went back to the Goethe café, where our waiter from yesterday — a very sweet fellow named Mayu — did a double-take at seeing us again. Sitting at Goethe’s back this time…

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…we had an apple strudel, a cappuccino, and one last hummingbird-themed German beer…

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…before bidding our farewells to Frankfurt (though not before a brief temptation when it was announced at the gate that this flight was also overbooked and seeking volunteers to spend the night, etc….).

The flight to Toronto was uneventful, if a bit tedious. It seemed as though England was drifting off towards the northeast a bit as we flew over it…

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…though that my only have been a post-Brexit satirical impulse working through my brain. We made our own little festival of quirky films starring Colin Farrell out of the movie selections, watching The Lobster and In Bruges, back to back before napping a bit in the final hour or so before arriving back in Canada. We made a quick transit that involved going through customs and claiming our bags (which, happily, made it back to us with no problems) just long enough to schlep them through the terminal to the connecting flight drop-off area. An hour’s wait and we were aboard our short flight to Montréal. I slept through most of it, while Steph watched Purple Rainor at least the musical performance portion of it, since life and our flight are/were too short to put up with Prince’s acting skills (no offense, man…R.I.P.).

We got picked up at the airport by Steph’s mother, who drove us back to her house for a happy reunion with the dogs, after which we drove back to our house in the city for an equally happy reunion with the cats. By 11 p.m. we were unpacked and exhausted, but surrounded by all our critters again and collapsed into bed, having completed a longer-than-expected but all-in-all fairly easy (and financially rewarding) crossing of the Atlantic.

With that, NYI officially ended for me, though I still have many tales to tell here and many photos to share, so don’t tune out just yet!

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