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Amanda Goes to England, Vol. 4: Getting There

It begins!

I departed for London on the 25th of August, which is where we’ll begin this blog. Honestly, I’m not sure if my day of travel is interesting enough to blog about, but here we go…

(I promise the next post will be a proper photo blog, because it actually takes place in London!)

One of my two chauffeurs to the airport. I bought her a frappuccino in appreciation of her service.

As I mentioned in the prologue, I was nervous about this trip to London, simply because it felt like a sudden thing. I wish I could pretend I’m super cool and nonchalant about traveling over 4,000 miles from home, but well, I’m only human.

This time, my mom and niece were the ones who took me to the airport. I enjoyed the ride to Memphis International Airport, because my niece was asking me questions about traveling by plane since she’s never flown before. She wanted to know if it’s awkward sitting next to someone you don’t know, because you might not want to have to make conversation with that person. I told her she shouldn’t worry about that, because she’d probably be listening to music anyway and her seatmate would know that meant she wasn’t interested in conversation! (Okay. We all know people who ignore the universal sign of “I don’t want to converse, thank you!” when you have earphones/earbuds!) I also talked to her about the meals on international flights (always some soggy pasta dish for me because I choose the vegetarian option, and even though the food’s hot, the bread roll is basically frozen. EVERY TIME!)

And this is the part when I admit that, for the first time ever, I cried when my family dropped me off at the airport. I think my nervousness coupled with the fact that it was my niece and mom taking me to the airport resulted in my feeling a little sad. Not that I didn’t want to go, but I’m just being honest with how I felt that day!

Elvis mosaic at the airport, for my photo project

Nervously awaiting my flight out of Memphis to Atlanta

Pouring rain delayed my flight a bit – not to worry though, everything turned out okay

When I boarded my flight in Memphis, I had a little snafu because the flight attendants said I’d have to check my bag instead of being able to stow it in an overhead compartment. It really would not have been a big deal, because it wouldn’t be CHECKED checked, but because I was already nervous to begin with, any deviation from the plan felt like a big deal. Our flight was already twenty minutes late, so it all just felt like A LOT. I had a suitcase full of film that would be ruined if it were x-rayed by the scanners they use for checked baggage, and in my state of nervousness, I wasn’t putting two and two together that my film wouldn’t be scanned by strong x-rays on the plane. Not to mention the fact that the flight attendant made me stand in DIRECTLY front of the passengers seating in the emergency exit row while the rest of the passengers found their seats, which felt pretty embarrassing. At the last minute, they found a spot for my suitcase, and I’d been upset for no reason.

My layover in Atlanta wasn’t very long. Just basically long enough for me to find something to eat in the food court. When I reached the gate to board my flight to London, there were no passengers there. Usually these flights are PACKED, so there are hundreds of people at the gate. I asked the airline employee where all the people were, and he said “They’re on the plane already!” I guess boarding started earlier than I knew…

Overnight flight = it was the 26th of August when I arrived in London.

Obligatory airplane window shot

The flight was good. I didn’t sleep (as if!) so I just tried to relax and watch a few movies. My seatmate was a nice elderly lady who was with her husband, on their way to meet up with friends of theirs with whom they’re in some sort of equestrian club. This led me to talk to her about this TV channel called RFD-TV that my mother likes to watch and which has a lot of shows about horses, and the lady said she watches RFD-TV too! Okay, that might not be a detail of any interest to anyone else, but I thought it was random and cool and it made me feel a little connection with home. Oh, and my statement to my niece about mushy pasta and ice cold bread on the flight was totally accurate this time too!

 

Since this post would be light on photos with only a few film photos I was able to take while at airports and on planes, I’ll supplement this one with camera phone shots:

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport

Runway lights bokeh, Atlanta

Funny snack box for breakfast – I said it was as if they just threw random items into a box. Cheese? Biscoff? Yogurt? The kicker: a Mentos! 

That “frozen bread” I told my niece about? Here’s the breakfast incarnation of that. TEENY CROISSANT! (and half-frozen)

No sleep chic 

The disconcerting way the flight tracker depicted our final descent 

That’d be England down there, mates

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