travel, ups and downs

August 13: Disembark Southampton and Homeward

True to form, I sleep restless with a trip ahead of me.

S has a later flight – late enough that she can go on an excursion that proves disappointing- but the excursion leaves before mine by 90 minutes or so. She knocks to hug me goodbye before she goes.

My cabin steward has seen her leave when he breaks into my room, having assumed we’d be leaving at the same time, just as I’m heading up to grab breakfast. He’s startled, and apologetic. No worries, Jay, I’m just going to grab a quick breakfast and then I’ll be out of your hair too.

I’m back even faster than expected. The American bacon is not adequately cooked. Someone in the kitchen is unfamiliar with it, but today it’s the entire batch, looking like it was briefly heated then set out. Yuck.

I nibble something, then I head out to go. Jay catches me – S forgot something in her room – and so I have repacking to do quickly.

I walk off since I don’t have bags other than the ones in tow. I’ve already concluded I’ll be checking my carry-on roller bag, so why fight it?

I’m at the airport earlier than they will let me queue up to check my bag. I wait nearly three hours for that. Finally I can, and it’s nearly 2 more hours before my flight gate is posted.

I’m in the last boarding group and my personal item won’t fit under a seat – basically the area is eaten up by the video system. I’m wondering how I’ll even find a space for it on this very full flight.

But they have to bus us to the plane to board. Groups 5-9 are all onboarding together. One of the last on the bus means one of the first on the plane. I get a spot and into my window seat with no issues.

And then after an interminable wait, we take off.

Goodbye UK
Hours later over the Atlantic

Considering we leave UK at 4pm (in daylight) and we are flying west to land in the Eastern US (still in daylight) I expected daylight all the way. Not so, apparently. Though it is daylight at each end.

But by 8:45pm, I’ve made it all the way home, gotten in, handed off souvenir playing cards from all my destinations to my mother (who collects the jokers), and I’m ready for cleanup mode. Shower, laundry, unpack, sort mail. Etc.

It’s official. I’m home.