belated 50th Anniversary Cruise vacation
We arrived at Edinburgh about 11:30 PM (May 5th) and picked up our two bags. Unfortunately when I got off the plane, I forgot to take my novel with me - Carre's new novel "A legacy of Spies". We couldn't check in at American Airlines because their desk was closed. I asked the security guard where we could "camp" for the night until the desk opened - she informed us that the airport would be closing at midnight, we could not stay in the building, and the building would not re-open until 5:00 AM. The train was done for the night. The airport bus was done for the night. The cabs were all gone. I asked for suggestion and she told us that there was a Hilton (Double Tree Inn) a "little ways" down the main road. So here we go, at midnight, schleping two large suitcases and a carry-on suitcase down the main road (no, there were no sidewalks). It may not have been quite a half mile, but it was a LONG trek. The Hilton had a room available for 145 British pounds (about $200) - we'll take it! It came with breakfast and free transport back to the airport. And having all our luggage meant we had a change of clothes. And a shower in the morning - yeah.
Sunday morning, the wakeup call works. We shower, have breakfast, re-pack, and go to the front door, just as the airport free bus arrives. We're on our way back to the airport by 7:30 AM for our 10:10 AM flight. At the airport, the check-in line for American is backed up into the hallway. Our flight to JFK has been cancelled - hydraulic problems. The ticket agents are doing their best to re-route people, and some people are on their smart phones doing their own re-routing. Some of the first folks get to transfer to Dublin and get a flight from there, but there weren't many seats available. The family of four (two little kids) took a long time to reroute. By the time our portion of the line got to the counter, there were no more options available for that day. They were able to book us on the Tuesday flight to JFK, and luckily onto our same Tuesday flight from JFK to Las Vegas. Its now eleven-ish and we're in the "wait over there, we'll call you" area - no high expectations here. I turned on my phone, but as expected there was no compatible service.
Our name and one other was called - we are being provided a taxi ride to the Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, our room, lunch with limits (most things on the menu were covered), Dinner (with reasonable limits), a ride back to the airport in the morning, and a voucher for an airport breakfast in the morning. The Dalmahoy is a spectacular old castle golf resort with modernized rooms (including WiFi). I tried to email Diane (who was to pick us up at the Las Vegas airport) but the address I had bounced. We, of course, did'n't play golf but were allowed to walk all over the extensive facility. And the weather cooperated with, what we were told, was the nicest spring day they've had yet this year. There was a little lake where we watched the ducks and a swan. There were benches along the "Nature Trail" pathway - I just sat for a while enjoying being in the midst of all that lush green.
In an example of the Dalmahoy being a top managed facility, all the staff was apparently briefed about our situation - they knew who we were - no explanation needed, just sign your room number. When we entered our room, the TV showed the usual menu of hotel stuff, but also showed the room number and my name. The food was comped, but alcohol was not. So at lunch, I paid for two beers (their own brand of ale), but when checking out, the lady didn't allow me to pay for the three glasses of Malbec we had with dinner.