Thursday Apr. 13th, 2000 Home Again, Home Again

10C/49F Drizzle


Up early to finish last minute things and get to the airport by 0900. Our flight doesn't leave until 1100, but we have to go thru check-in.

Into our set aside clothes, and the toiletries and nightclothes shoved (with great effort) into the laundry bag we decided the time had come. Checked out and waited for the shuttle (or Hoppa). A lot of people were leaving as well, so we had a good line up.

Len boarded the bus with his bags, but someone in a rush cut me off, so I had to get on 4 people behind him. The driver asked for my fare and I explained I was actually with that gentleman ahead. There wasn't any room on the lower luggage shelf so the driver kindly helped me get the bag stowed up on a higher one. (One of the nice things about traveling with Len is he's taller and can reach those racks - when we haven't been separated by rude jerks).

The trip to Heathrow only took about 8 mins. and our driver was just super and got my bag down and carried it off the bus and to the curb for me. We checked the luggage inside and headed for the gate. There was still plenty of time to kill now, so we had a latte and a smoke and a look around before heading thru the security area and exchanging the last of our Stirling back to dollars. We went thru duty-free rather quickly looking for our gate (I think it was a conspiracy to keep me from buying anything else that had to be carried home). When I say "quickly" I refer to the practice of towing me along at a near run to keep me from looking in shop windows.

The boarding area filled rather quickly and it was fun to play "Spot The Brit". We found out we'd done quite well when they handed out Immigration forms. US was one colour, UK another. The flight home was all in daylight so I finally got to see the view. Since we'd taken the QE2 home last trip, this was my first time flying home. Watching the ice break apart in Greenland was really cool.

We watched Galaxy Quest, A Bond Movie, and Being John Malkovich, as well as a really neat short film call "Elimination Dance". Lunch was good and this direction seemed easier as you can get up and stretch more when the whole plane isn't asleep.

We landed a little late (only a few minutes considering we'd been nearly an hour late leaving) and cleared customs fairly quickly. The longest part was trying to get our shuttle home. We saw a van from the company our reservations were with, walked over and asked if this was where to meet the shuttle to Concord. He asked us to wait a minute on the curb and he'd help us. Then he pulled away and that was the last we ever saw of him. About 45 mins. later another East Bay Connection Shuttle pulled up, and we tried asking this driver. He had us on his list so in we climbed with another man, and off we went. I figured we were home free now.

I've never been so scared in my life. He used the braille method of driving, jerking back into the lane when the bumps got too loud or to narrowly avoid collision. No one thought they'd make it home alive. The other passenger decided to get off at a hotel in Lafayette and call for a ride home the rest of the way.

Eventually we made it home, and we could see all the roses in bloom from a block away. Home Sweet Home and our fuzzy darlings there to greet us. (I use the term "greet" loosely as the kittens cowered and hid for an hour before figuring out who it was, and the old cats only yawned in our direction)

The big question now is, will we ever get unpacked?

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