Destination England

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

Our Trip to England – Flights and Travel part 2

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Our flights to England were as smooth as one could ask for.  I think there was only one incident with a rather rude flight attendant, however we were able to shrug her off as we were close to landing in London.  I wish the same could have been said about the trip home.  It had me considering that immediate immigration may not be that bad an option!

Michael, Sarah’s brother had to work the day we left, and wouldn’t be back before we went to the airport.  We decided to wake up at 7am to see him off and say our goodbyes then.  I have grown very close to Michael over the times I’ve met him, and though he is younger than I am, he is someone I admire and look up to.  Saying goodbye to him was exceptionally difficult.  Though, since he had to get to work it was over quickly, and we set ourselves to getting Connor up and ready.  Once Connor was ready, Mum took Connor and had some good quality time with him, while we set to packing.  It was a tedious process, and I still maintain we packed too much stuff! After packing was finished we spent some time with the parents in the front room, trying to prolong the inevitable.  Though that only could happen for so long…

We departed Sarah’s parent’s home around 1:45pm.  Our flight was leaving at 4:35pm, so we decided to give ourselves the full two hours with a baby and navigating Heathrow.  We chose to take the tube rather than drive, as we did want Mum to drive after such a difficult goodbye.  I know I wouldn’t want to!  They live about a five minute walk from Hammersmith station, and getting there was fine.  We jumped on the Piccadilly line toward Heathrow.  The train took an extremely long time.  We kept stopping, starting up again only to roll forward at a snails pace for a few minutes and stop again.  A trip that should have taken about 20 minutes, took closer to 40.

Our troubles were only beginning it would seem.  We arrived at Heathrow and made our way to the ticketing counter.  We arrived to a fairly long line.  Now due to the fact we were traveling with an infant, we had to check in at the counter. We waited in line, and before we got to the counter we were met by someone from either American Airlines or Heathrow Airport – I’m not sure which.  He took our passports and began to ask us questions about our bags.  Now, at first we though this was a checkin station, however the gentleman was clearly in training as he kept deferring to a man standing behind him.  He began asking questions such as “How old are your bags?”, “Where did you obtain your bags?”, “Are these bags your own bags?”, or my personal favorite “Have you used these bags before?”  He never touched the bags, asked to see the contents, just asked these questions and then allowed us to go to the ticketing desk.  The lady at the ticketing counter was nice and apologetic for the bagman.  We checked an extra bag, and they didn’t even charge us (not sure if this was a perk or she simply forgot, but good for us!).  We then proceeded outside to smoke a much deserved cigarette and then made our way upstairs to security.

At this point we were running behind as it was coming close to 3:30 and we still have security to get through as well as finding our gate.  We said our goodbyes in a hasty fashion, which hard as it was, made it a bit easier…at least it gave that illusion.  I don’t think anything could have made it hurt any less, leaving your home and those you love.  Nevertheless, we were forced to and we plowed ahead.  Sarah’s folks did the same, opting to just “rip the plaster off”.  Heading through Security was easy enough, and we were through in a matter of minutes.  We then rushed through Departures, not having time to grab anything to drink or eat.  We made it to our gate and sat down and gave Connor a bit of lunch, as we he was a bit fussy.  They began boarding, and this time asked for passengers traveling with small children to go first.  It was a blessing as this way we got the pick of the bins, and were able to take our time.

The flight from London to Chicago was a beautiful one. Very little turbulence, Connor was pretty much in and out of sleep most of it, and we were able to relax a bit.  We both caught a few cat naps here and there, as we had been up for quite a long time.  Service on the plane was great.  We landed into Chicago about 7:30pm.  We came off the plane and made our way to immigration and customs.  This was Sarah’s first time out of the country since receiving her green card, so we were a bit nervous on how it would go down at immigration.  It went smoothly to say the least.  She was able to enter in on the US Citizen and Permanent Residents side, and the officer scanned her finger prints, took her photo and that was it!  We retrieved our bags and pushed through to customs, where they waived us through.  We were able to grab a quick smoke outside, before heading to our terminal.  Once there we queued up for security, which too a little bit longer, but it always does in Chicago.  Thus our troubles began again…

Checking the boards we saw our flight was delayed by an hour.  Not horrible, but after being up for so long, and ready to be done, it was annoying.  We made our way to our gate which still was waiting for the flight before ours.  This did not bode well.  Sarah took Connor in for a change, and when they returned I ran off to get some form of food (McDonalds).  While walking back I noticed our flight was pushed back now another 45 minutes.  It was scheduled now to depart at 10:55pm.  We sat there eating our food and waiting, when they announced they were still waiting for the plane.  After the plane arrived, it was another 20 minutes of waiting for preflight checks, and whatever else it is they do on the plane before we could board.  Long story short, we left Chicago around 11:30pm – that was about the time we had hoped to be back into Columbus!

We both dozed the flight to Columbus, which only took 45 minutes.  Upon arrival we made our way off the plane, after gathering our bags and went to baggage claim.  Then it hit.  Where were the car keys?  I distinctly remember seeing them on the mini fridge in our room before we left.  Sarah said she had packed them, which I know she would have.  We spent a few minutes digging through every bag trying to find them, to no avail.  Panic beginning to rise, we called Mum and she assured us they were not there.  Rather than unpack all the bags in the middle of Port Columbus, we  called our friend Jeff who was watching our cat.  He was still up and graciously offered to go to the house, pick up the spare keys and bring them to us.  After it was all said and done we made it back to our house at 3:30am.  We had been up for around 26 hours.  We dropped our stuff, and crashed hard.  Though, Connor being rested from all the napping thought that Daddy should be up with him at 6:30am.  I really love that boy…really, I do!

Oh, and we found our keys the next day.  They were buried in the laptop bag.

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Written by Jas

June 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Family, Travel, Vacation

Tagged with , ,

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