Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Journey Home: Part One

Well, it seems like I need to tell you about my journey home in all its crazy detail before I forget all the important details...

I set my alarm for 5.15am, but actually woke up around 4.30 and then dozed for the next half hour before getting up at 5am. I wanted time to have a shower and put the last few things in my case before we left, and we were aiming to leave around 6.30\6.45 to allow time for traffic hold-ups etc. I think I managed to find most of my stuff (and blest is going to kindly post me the couple of things that got forgotten!) and just before we left I went and woke up the boys to say goodbye to them. I'm not sure they quite took it all in, but we didn't have time to wake for them to properly wake up as we had to get on the road.

We listened to Michael Buble in the van, as that CD would probably have to be our theme Cd for the time I was in El Paso - apart from possibly Rockapella, I'm sure good old Michael was our most listened-to artist! We arrived at the airport and parked and heaved my two suitcases out of the trunk (Danny had taken then downstairs and put them in the van for us, so I'm not sure I'd realised just how heavy they were! But, he's a marine, so I'm sure he was fine!) and headed in to the airport. While standing in line we attached extra luggage labels to both suitcases (a fact I was thankful about later) and then finally got to the front of the queue. One of my bags was actually 8lb over the limit, and although the guy offered me the chance to remove some stuff and put in my hand luggage instead, I decided it would just be easier to pay the money and not have the hassle later (I blame the extra weight on blest and Danny's extended families who were so kind in their giving of gifts to me for Christmas, but which unfortunately meant I ended up with a lot of books and journals to take home!)

We didn't have time to stop for a starbucks, but I did take a picture of blest in front of the starbucks sign (it just seemed appropriate!), and my last view of blest was as she headed into starbucks to buy a coffee, and I headed up the escalator and into the line to get through security. The line was pretty long, but kept moving, so I got through and found my gate. The flight I was getting was full, and since they hadn't given me a seat number when I was checked in I had to wait for them to call my name once they'd assigned me one. I ended up sitting inbeteen two middle-aged Mexican men.

Finally everyone was boarded and we headed away from the gate. The pilot was doing all his brake checks and everything, and it sounded kind of odd, so I, for one, wasn't surprised when her announced that we had a mechanical failure and had to go back to the gate to get it checked out. They got that sorted fairly quickly, and then had to refuel because all the taxi-ing we'd done had used too much, and otherwise we wouldn't make it to Dallas. We finally took off around three quarters of an hour later than we were scheduled to.

Before we touched down in Dallas the air-stewars were announcing terminals and gate for connecting flights, and I was pretty sure I hadn't heard anything about Heathrow. So when he walked past me I stopped him to check if I'd just not heard him say it, and he re-checked the list and agreed that he had no information about Heathrow. He told me I ought to be able to look on the departure screens and locate the information easily. By the time we landed, taxied to the gate and were finally able to de-board the plane (it was a full flight, and I was over the wing, so had to wait a long time for people to get out the way in front of me) I only had about an hour before my next flight was due to take off, and I was slightly concerned as I had no idea which termianl I needed to be in, let alone which gate....


blest said...

Can you believe it though...I did NOT actually buy a coffee. I thought about it and realized that I wasn't really in need of more at that moment (shocking!) without the communal aspect of sharing it together. So I saved my money. I got one the next day at the west side though -so my blood levels stayed as Starbucks-saturated as is proper.

Debs said...

Wow, now that is impressive!
I would have like to have had one last starbucks with you, but I guess we just ran out of time. Also, did you read my mesage the other day - I have to totally re-invent my drink because they only have sugar-free hazelnut or vanilla syrup here. Disgraceful!
But I will be saving any gift cards I finish (from any store) and sending them on to you :-)