Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Home for the Holidays

Term finally ended and I got to pack everything up and jet off to the States to see the family for Christmas. Before I left I got to catch up with Fairy Princess Mummy for a coffee, I had an early Christmas with Middle B, and I had coffee and a gorgeous stroll around Ramsgate Marina with M. Then I jumped on a plane and here I am! 

Well, not quite: I left the house at 6.15am to get on the fast train to London and tubed it to Heathrow.  I got to the check in for my flight and there was man with a very strangely shaped suitcase, so naturally I asked him what was in it.  He said, "Guess!" so I said, "An instrument?'" and he leaned over to a guy the other side of me and said, "She guessed an instrument!".  It turns out that it was a hat box carrying cowboy hats, though people usually guess instruments or various other things, including a turtle.  The gentlemen were from a dance troupe called the DC Cowboys and the first thing they did was apologise for their airport. "Dullis is horrible, I can't believe that we welcome people into our nations capital with an airport that is so badly designed." They had come into London for the weekend to film a show with Dale Winton and were flying back to DC in time to go back to work.

I got through check-in and security and I ran into Santa and one of his elves.  They were distributing chocolate.  The elf was dressed in a green tunic, a purple hat and stripey tights, and had a very mischievous smile. Santa stopped me and told me to have a good day, which I reciprocated of course, and then he exclaimed "You're fabulous, you are!" and as the walked off I heard him say to the elf, "what a lovely lady!".  He then went onto assure me that I would have a white Christmas and I believed him because who wouldn't believe Santa?! I ran into them again later and they gave me more chocolate and waved me off as I headed towards the gate.

The flight was lovely, I got to watch Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and the Maltese Falcon and read the Fellowship of the Ring and ate lentil tikka masala for lunch. It was all very relaxing until I arrived in Washington. I went through customs which took about 20 mins and then picked up my luggage and then put it down again 100 yards later and then got into another queue for security.  I managed to get my belt and shoes back on and then sprinted down the hallway.  It turned out my gate was in a different terminal and I just made it onto the train before the doors closed.  I got out with about 5 mins to spare and I dashed up the escalator and down another escalator then down the concourse, then down another set of stairs and along again and then up another set of stairs and then down another escalator and arrived at A1B in a crumpled sweaty heap and had just enough breath to ask "Detroit?".  It turned out that there were 4 flights going from that gate, none of which were my flight, I narrowly avoided getting onto the Miami or the Jonesboro flights.  In the event, my flight was about 40 mins late so I had plenty of time to catch my breath and overhear nearly everyone exclaiming about how confusing this airport is. The moral of this story: I'll make sure I have over 2 hours for my layover in Washington next time.


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