Date: Friday, August 28, 1998 through Saturday, August 29, 1998
Location: San Diego to Haarlem
Managed to work my way through the entire pre-trip checklist on my Pilot.  Good thing I took the day off.

Sherill gets us to the airport barely in time for flight time minus 2 hours, despite my bad choice of route (NEVER try Mira Mesa Boulevard westbound through Sorrento Mesa at 5-ish on a Friday!).

We get our boarding passes and walk to the gate, only to learn the bad news:  The flight from London is stuck in Phoenix with a hydraulic leak.  No plane?

Back to the British Airways ticket counter:  They will fix the plane in PHX, fly us from SAN to PHX on Southwest, and all will be cool.  (A Saudi man, with a huge extended family, including nanny, berates the ticket agent for not calling him to tell him of the problem.  He exhausts the hierarchy with pointless complaints over this subject.  One wonders whether he ever made a complaint to Queen Elizabeth!)

BA makes good on their promise.  SWA 737 to PHX (peanuts and soft drinks) (we bump into my co-worker Delphine while waiting for this flight); then BA 747-400 to LGW.  Meals: chicken or shrimp, any beverage is free (so we learn that Fetzer Cabernet Sauvignon is atrocious!);  corn flakes & muffin for breakfast. Entertainment:  "The Real Howard Spitz" (Kelsey Grammar is ok, but the script is idiotic.  No wonder this thing never made it to cinematic distribution -- it's awful even by Hollywood standards!); "Star Kid" (a truly stupid "scifi" that is a 10-year-old's fantasy); "Stressed Eric," which is the same animated half hour show that appeared on ABC this week:  It qualifies perfectly for Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted animation festival -- shown complete with Eric's doctor combing and moussing his pube while talking with his patient on the phone; Eric getting stomped and stabbed; Eric's nanny returning from a long night of partying, hung over and puking repeatedly.  Excellent stuff to have slept through.  What a shame I didn't...

At Gatwick, while awaiting our flight to Amsterdam, Brig and I split a ham sandwich on baguette, because the damned fish and chips place doesn't take plastic, and we don't want to exchange money for pounds simply to get one meal.  The baguette place took plastic.

British Airways ATR-72 takes us to AMS (Amsterdam/Schiphol).  We arrive at 2140 (9:40 PM to you Yanks), and are on a train by 2200 (ah, the pleasures of carryon only travel).  The train master explains where to change (2nd stop).  We foolishly listen to 20-something Amsterdamers on the train, and take the 3rd stop instead (Amsterdam Central Station).  Train master sees us there, and shakes his head.  He finds the train for us, but we have lost half an hour in the connection and distance.  We finally catch the train, and arrive in Haarlem at 2255; walk to Hotel Amadeus, arriving at 2315.

The poor hotel manager (the younger brother) is waiting up for us, wondering where the hell we are.  The hotel is full up, except for us.  Shakes his head at our story, and hands us our keys.  We are asleep by midnight.
Grote Kerk (Haarlem's Great Church) from our room at the Hotel Amadeus, around midnight