Friday, July 29, 2011

FLYING FUN


One post only. One bitch and moan post about my flights to England and back, and I'll lay the subject to rest. I promise. My flight from New Orleans to Newark, NJ, was to leave at 3:15PM. In Newark, it was a dark and stormy afternoon. All flights to the airport were delayed because of the weather. At one point, our plane was backing away from the gate, and we were ordered back. Thank heavens the crew let us off the plane, because we stayed in the airport for hours, until I can't remember what time, but so late that I was going to miss my flight to England at 10:10PM, the last overseas flight of the day.

But wait! If all flights were delayed, perhaps my plane to England was delayed. It was! Until 1:30AM! Then it was delayed until 2:30AM because of the weather and because of "issues". Now, I wouldn't want to fly on a plane with "issues". Would you? We finally departed at 4:30AM, which meant that I spent the night at the Newark airport. The fun begins!

Cathy was to meet me at Euston Station in London, where I should have arrived early in the afternoon, but she had to go to work at 4:30PM. I had to get word to her not to meet me, that I would be late, and I'd take a taxi to my hotel. By then, it was past bedtime in my zone, Central Standard Time, and on the East Coast. I had no computer with me, and my phone worked only in the US and Canada. I thought of friends further west in the US and called Ann Fontaine and received no answer, so I left a message, but Ann's husband thought I said "Jewel" instead of "June", so that didn't work. Then I called cher Paul in ABQ, and he answered his phone! I asked him to email Cathy to forget about meeting me, as I would be late, very late. My flight arrived in Manchester, England around 2:00PM, and I took the train to London and rode a taxi to my hotel, arriving there around 5:00PM.

My holiday in the Green and Pleasant Land was lovely, immensely enjoyable, about which more later, after my vent about flying.

On the day of my return home, I woke up at 5:30AM. Nothing went really wrong on the flights home, except me. I was patted down and watched the agents paw through my undies when I left England, all the while chuckling to myself as the workers spoke in soothing tones, because they didn't want the old lady to freak out. There were no long flight delays, but when I reached the airport in Newark, the lines at Passport Control were long, very long. After waiting my turn, not so patiently, I got through. Then, I picked up my checked suitcase and went through Customs, then passed through the security check once again, shoes off, jacket off, all the crap associated with keeping us safe in the skies. Next I took a train to another terminal to catch the plane to Houston for the next leg of the journey.

By the time I reached the huge Bush airport in Houston, I was ready to drop. My one small carry-on felt as though it weighed a ton, and the walk to my gate in another terminal seemed miles away. I tried to commandeer a cart, but the driver could not take me, however she was kind enough to call on another driver who agreed to deliver me to my gate. TBTG! One more plane to New Orleans, the 45 minute ride to Thibodaux, and I reached home just after midnight. After adding 6 hours to account for the time change, from 5:30AM in England to after 12:00AM in Louisiana makes for a long travel day. I won't do it again.

Forgive me for this indulgence in whining, but I had to vent, and I want to have a record of the journey so I won't ever think of doing it again. It's like having a baby. You forget the pain, and go on to have more babies. I realize that I suffered no permanent damage, but while I was in the middle of it, I was miserable. I'm too old for this sort of thing, even if the rewards in the middle of the two periods of misery were great. I love England. I've loved England since I was a teenager, and I traveled there more times than I can count, but I've made my farewell tour of the lovely country. Good-bye, my English sweets; I'll see you online, or you visit me here in the US.