THE DAY HAD ARRIVED!
It had been years in the making, but it was finally time to board a plane in Memphis and make my way to jolly old England. I’m going to get mushy on ya’ll real quick: I was so sad about leaving my niece that I woke up extra early so I could run over to her house before she left for school. As I was opening the door to my bedroom, my niece was on the other side of the door about to open it herself. She’d told my sister that she wanted to give me a packet of Twizzlers she’d gotten the night before (Halloween.) I was so touched! I hugged her so tight. I thought, “Is it too late to call this whole thing off?? I can’t leave her!”
From Instagram: “I shall eat them when I reach England, with warm thoughts of AM!”
It was a frantic sort of morning, doing last minute errands and picking up items I needed for my journey. And, oh yeah – NEARLY HAVING TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY WITHOUT ALL THE BLACK AND WHITE FILM I’D PURCHASED! The mail carrier didn’t bother trying to deliver my package of film the day before I left the country, so that package was at the post office. I, of course, left our town without procuring said film and didn’t realise (<—-one of those British spellings I warned you about) I’d left it until we were nearly to the airport. Thank heavens my brother-in-law was able to go to the post office for me and meet my dad in Memphis to hand the film over. Murphy’s Law was already in full effect, my friends.
This was such an anxiety-filled situation for me. Thankfully, once my film made it to Memphis, getting through security didn’t take long and some of the TSA employees were “oohing and ahhing” over my peacock luggage. I still felt pretty frazzled by the time I got to the gate while waiting on my plane to Charlotte. But I sat by a nice elderly lady from Philadelphia, who told me how much she loved the South and how she could not believe how friendly everyone was! She loved the hot pink streak in my hair, too. Thanks, lady!
From Instagram: “In case you were wondering, yes I AM completely nuts”
From my seat on the flight from Memphis to Charlotte
The flight to Charlotte was on one of those little regional planes – I’m not claustrophobic, but those planes are TIGHT QUARTERS and make me feel fidgety. My connection time between arriving in Charlotte and departing for Philadelphia was SLIM, so I basically ran from point A to point B – but the Charlotte airport was really nice! I was looking forward to my long layover there on my flight home a couple of weeks later.
I had a few hour layover in Philadelphia before finally departing for London. I used that time to rearrange my luggage, find something to eat, and get in some last minute communication to the folks back home before getting on my overnight flight.
From Instagram: “Not halfway there, but definitely living on a prayer. And granola bars. I have to keep my blood sugar up, after all.”
Confession: I kind of like overpriced airport food. It feels like part of the whole, “I’m travelling!” experience.
Almost time to leave Philadelphia for London – feeling a bit anxious, feeling like things are a bit surreal.
These sorts of international flights are usually filled to capacity, in my experience, and this flight to London was no exception. Happily, I’d learned a lesson from my 2006 flight to England, and I reserved a window seat (rather than being situated in the middle of one of those four-seat rows like I was in ’06 .) I was seated next to a nice Belgian man who didn’t seem too annoyed by any fidgeting I did. I spent the plane ride watching movies and TV on the in-flight entertainment system and having a severe allergy attack.
From Instagram: “Peace out, ‘Merica! See ya later!”
(to be continued, on 2 November, 2012’s blog, since my flight to London started on the 1st and ended on the 2nd…)