Well, if you can call it that – Day 18 – travel day back to the States, by way of Iceland.
On our last night I didn’t sleep so well, unusually for me I had some anxiety dreams and kept waking up. Oh well, maybe that meant I would sleep on the plane.
We had a nice breakfast and visited with our aunt and uncle then the people carrier was there to take us to the airport. There was some traffic but we got to Gatwick with plenty of time. As we got close the driver asked, “Which terminal?” uh… good question. We didn’t know, but between our airline and that we were flying internationally he got us to the right place.
There was no auto kiosk for check-in (funny how you get used to something/assume it’s going to be there) but we got through the line with the regular old school check-in with a person just fine. I’d spread my books out between our luggages, and was prepared to move things into a third bag (I hadn’t thought that my sister and nephew might share one, so just paid for three when I bought the tickets), but even though we were overweight (21.4 kg and 22.7 kg) the agent didn’t say anything or charge us. Well at least they didn’t ask for a credit card, and nothing showed up on a bill to me.
After check-in there was security, which actually went really quickly. Again it was old school – just go through the metal detector, no TSAdoesitreallymakeanydifference scanner.
Then off to … gate … oh there wasn’t a number on our boarding passes. So we found and checked a display board, our flight was listed but the gate had no number there either. It did say the information would be up at 1100. (Which – it did come up then! How about that?!) In the mean time I walked around a bit, it was like a mall (gah) which actually was useful for using up the English currency I had.
Once the number was up we went to the gate, there was bit of a wait to get into the lounge area, then the load up, which went pretty well, then we sat on the plane for a while. Hurry up and wait, we were about 50 minutes past the alleged departure time when we lifted off.
People were worried about connections but the flight attendants reassured them, “it’s not a very big airport.” And at least for us our second leg was on the same airline so one would hope they wouldn’t leave without us!
And it turned out our next gate was right next door to the one we’d arrived at. People were lined up but we weren’t in any rush to get on the plane since we’d be on it plenty long enough as it was, so just waited until the end of the line came by. We were about an hour late leaving from Keflavík, but once we were in the air the flight went smoothly, despite the presence of a group of kids headed to the States for an exchange program/English immersion. The boy next to me had Pepsi and a Nutella + bread sticks snack, then later a coffee. I guess he must have been used to that much caffeine and sugar… When it came time to fill out the customs and immigration forms the teacher chaperone reminded everyone to enter the date with month first.
All my snacks and books made it through, and a friend had offered a ride from the airport – plan A was to take the bus back – and he was there with snacks for the ride home too, which was really nice after a long day of travel. The golden hills of California seemed rather more so after the green of England, but it was good to be home.
July 1, 2017