August 5, 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Last morning in Holland. Willem's childhood friend who now lives in Belgium was having a meeting in Amsterdam later today, so he drove up early to take us to the airport. We wanted to be there by 11, so he met us at the hotel at 9:30. That left us time for a coffee together at the airport before we had to start going through the formalities.
This time the agents questioned my passport, which is still in the name Barksdale. My ticket says Offerman. There wasn't a problem with this in Detroit on the way over, but I had to show the Dutch agent's supervisor my driver's license as proof of identity. Apparently, they could have made me buy a new ticket. She was very nice, though, and suggested that next time I should buy a ticket with the name in the passport. I said I thought I would just get a new passport!
Boarding was to begin at 11:30 for the 1:00 flight, so I window shopped on my way to the gate. I got there at 12:00 to find a very long line, because security procedures are done right at each individual gate rather than en masse. That answered our question about why they started boarding so early. Willem had already gotten through the first check-point, so rather than just joining him in line, I had to go to the back and start from the beginning. Slow going, but at least there was no further questioning of my passport.
We left right on time, taking off to the NW, and very quickly making it out to the North Sea. From there we headed in the direction of England and Scotland, and then out over the Big Water towards Iceland and the New World.