Destination England

Our journey from debt to England…and everything in between!

Our Trip to England – Flights and Travel part 1

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Our trip across the pond started out innocently enough.  To be fair, getting there was no big hardship.  Sunday evening (May 30th), I came home from work and we set to packing and going over our lists to make sure we had everything.  Looking back, I think we could have left a good amount of what we took home, such as the pack n play.  Connor ended up sleeping between us the whole trip at night, and the Pack n Play became a storage unit.  In the end we had one checked bag, a pack n play that was checked, and then two carry on bags, laptop bag, diaper bag, and umbrella stroller.  With our arsenal of bags packed and ready and loaded them in the car for the night, and proceeded to get a very tired and moany baby fed, watered, and put down for the night.  We watched an episode or two of NCIS, and finally tried to get some sleep.

At 3:30am the alarm went off.  After much protesting, we pulled ourselves out of bed, dressed and set to finishing up the last little bits – brushing teeth, packing the last few bits, and getting Connor ready.  We left a bit early, eager to be on our way after months and months of waiting.  Connor was a bit moany at first, but quickly fell back asleep in the car.  We only live about 20 minutes from Columbus International, so we were there in record time.  We decided to stop for McDonald’s at the airport, but it wasn’t open yet so we just waited for the drive thru to open.  at 5am, we received our breakfast and drove to the long term parking lot.  We were fortunate to find a spot right next to the entrance (it made getting to the car when we got back easy. More on that at a later time!).  After finishing our breakfast, we unloaded the car just as a shuttle pulled up.  We were one of about 3 families on the shuttle, so we made it to check quickly.  Check-in and security took hardly any time.  CMH is a small airport, and it was very early.

Arriving at our gate we proceeded to amuse the little one, and grab some water and much needed soda for the flight.  On a side note, I would like to voice my opinion that the prices in an airport are absolutely ridiculous for water and soda.  That being said we boarded our flight to Chicago, where Connor proceeded to sleep through take off and most of the flight.  He did wake up about 15 minutes before landing and was his normal giggly self.  Once in Chicago, we had to make the trek to our connecting gate, which all things considered wasn’t that bad, but it was still a haul.  Especially when you have two carryons, a laptop bag, and a diaper bag to carry.  Connor, loving his umbrella stroller, was wide eyed with interest at all the people, sounds, and surroundings.  Arriving at our gate we gave my mother a call to let her know we’d made it, we then called Sarah’s family (hoorah for vonage!) to let them know where we were.  While doing that, I went and changed Connor.  We returned a clean and happy bubba, and just in time for boarding to begin.  We were one of the last groups called, meaning by the time we made it on the flight, all the bins were full.  It took some maneuvering and creative thinking, but we made all our bags fit.  The flight from Chicago to London was uneventful, filled with dozing, eating, amusing Connor, and reading when we had a spare chance.

Eventually we arrived in London, around 11:10pm GMT (London time).  It took a bit of time getting off the plane as passengers were unwilling to budge for a baby! Now, if you’ve ever flown into Heathrow, you’ll understand and appreciate my next bit of sentiment.  Getting to Arrivals is a process.  You land FAR FAR FAR out from the main airport, and must walk a considerable distance to get to immigration.  We arrived at immigration and went our separate ways.  Sarah was through in a jiff, and I had to wait a bit to go through the non UK side.  At the stand, the officer was lovely, and informed me next time we can just go through the UK side since we’re traveling as a family.  Afterward we made our way to baggage claim and loaded up the trolley.   I still maintain we packed too much!!!  Pushing a towering and teetering trolley, we pushed through and there awaiting up at the end of the walkway was none other than Mum, Dad, Michael, Bob, and Carmen!  Smiles made way of tears, which led to laughs, and cuddles and kisses.  Also, after being without a cigarette for nigh 13 hours, we herded the caravan of people and baggage outside into the crisp (yes that was a welcome change! it was 72 degrees F at 4am when we left Ohio) air.  Afterward, we made our way to the cars and loaded up and made our venture home.

Hammersmith is not far from Heathrow, only about a 20 minute drive or tube ride.  Even at 12:30 in the morning, a sense of homecoming fell over me.  I felt a peace that I can’t begin to explain, but felt the entire time.  Seeing the familiar building and streets.  Seeing the church, now uncovered by scaffold.  It was good to be home.  We arrived home at Sarah’s parent’s flat, and brought the bags in and had more hugs and cuddles.  We proceeded to then pass out, all of us, those who traveled and those who waited on the traveling party.  We had made it home.  After such a long, seemingly endless wait, we made it home.  If only for 3.5 weeks, it was still home.

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Written by Jas

June 29, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Posted in England, Family, Travel, Vacation

Tagged with , , ,

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