We arrived uneventfully back in New England on June 30th. British Airways' service was excellent, as always, and went a long way toward making up for our having to change planes at Heathrow.
When we arrived at Stuttgart Airport at 6:00 AM (can it have been only yesterday?), and went to check our bags, the British Airways agent looked me in the eye and asked, Mr. McDougall, have you lost anything here at Stuttgart? Having just walked in from the taxi, I said, "I do not believe so," patting my pockets and looking at our bags. Then he said, "Not today, but perhaps some chocolates or duty-free merchandise?" "Like a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream?" I asked. "We have it for you!" he said, and immediately left his station and walked rapidly across the floor to another British Airways office. He returned with the 50 Euros worth of gifts we had meant to give to Dietmar and Sabine in Fellbach, but had overlooked in the overhead bin, and had left on the airplane upon our arrival from London, six weeks earlier. (Da, da, da, da... .)
I had planned to argue for a waiver of BA's extra bag charge on the grounds that we had paid for Alex's seat, and as he was not flying with us, they should at least grant us his baggage allowance. Now, I saw the exchange as fair, accepted the long-written-off gifts, and shelled out the 48 Euros without complaint.
I am not a frequent flyer on British Airways, as I find the long walks and queues at Heathrow to be painful both physically and psychologically. But I may sign up today.
I will close this post by thanking our European friends for a fine holiday. It was wonderful to see you all, and we are grateful for your hospitality. As always, you will be welcome in Campton, New Hampshire. If you decide to visit here, you will not need a hotel.