written at 10:36 p.m. Texas time, May 17, 2009
So I am using my laptop on the plane right now, and we’re about 2 ½ hours from London. I’m just typing this on Word and will copy and paste this to my travel blog later. I looked out the window a minute ago, and I can see a bit of a sunrise. The sky is blue and orange and yellow and red. Whatever is below the plane is dark, though; it’s either clouds or the ocean!
It’s been a nice flight. The first 2 hours or so, I stayed up to eat and watch a movie - “New in Town” with Renee Zellwegger - on one of the channels. The checking-in process at the airport went really smoothly. I was afraid the weight of my luggage would be over the limit and that I would have to pay something. British Airways allows one free checked bag, as long as it fits their criteria. Well, mine was 57 pounds, and it couldn’t be more than 50. The lady was very nice about it, though, and told me that I could take something out and use one small bag as a “purse” and one as a carry-on. I took out my bag full of toiletries, threw in a pair of shoes, and voila! I didn’t have to pay 45 pounds extra, which, let me think...would have been somewhere around $75.
As all this was going on, Mom was right beside me. I heard her breathe a certain sigh, and I could just tell what I would find when I looked up at her. She was trying not to cry, but ultimately she did shed some tears as I left. I almost started crying, too. When I went through security, I had the new experience of taking out my laptop and putting it into a bin by itself. Someone had said if I had a computer, I needed to take it out, but I wasn’t sure at first what I needed to do with it. So I asked a man who worked there, we got my stuff all situated, and he saw my gum inside one of my bags. He asked me, “Are you trying to smuggle gum out of the country?” The guy behind me in line was even helping me get the bin I needed.
After I walked through security and waited for my stuff to pass on through the machine, a lady (obviously one who worked there!) took one of my bags and said she had to search it. I stood there as she did, and when she pulled out all those toiletries, I thought, “Oh no…” It completely slipped my mind that I could not bring the larger liquid items onto the plane. I mean I knew I couldn’t, and I had put certain little bottles into a quart-size plastic bag. But when I was trying to make my suitcase lighter, I didn’t even think about it. I figured she might confiscate it. Thankfully, she said, “There are a couple of things that are bigger, but it’s ok.” Whew! A few minutes later, I realized that I actually had my little nail scissors and tweezers in my carry-on bag as well, but they somehow didn’t catch that! So that was a blessing. I know 5 years ago when I went to L.A., they were going to confiscate my scissors because I had them in carry-on accidentally.
I found my gate and sat and talked to Mom for a while as she struggled to figure out how to leave the airport. :P I don’t blame her…By the time we actually made it to where we needed to be, I didn’t know how we got there. Eventually we all (all of my fellow passengers, that is) boarded the plane, and naturally, this one is different than any plane I’ve ever been on. It has 3 rows of seats instead of 2. I have a nice window seat with no one sitting next to me. There is an Indian man sitting 2 seats away from me, though.
I was very impressed when I sat down and saw all of the things they had waiting for me! They had a blanket wrapped in plastic, a small pillow, and a pack consisting of headphones, an eye/sleep mask, some socks, a mystery tube…I opened it up, and it was a travel toothbrush with the cutest little tube of toothpaste you’ve ever seen! I really wasn’t sure if this was all complimentary or not, but when I saw my neighbor opening his bags, I figured I might as well.
Dinner was pretty good. Again, I was impressed. We were first served drinks about 45 minutes into the flight I believe. Soon after, they served dinner, and we had 2 choices: cheese tortellini or ginger chicken. I chose the chicken, despite the fact that I hate ginger. He handed me a tray that had a little bottle of water, some sort of roll, a small salad, a slice of pie, an Irish chocolate treat, a small container of milk for coffee, and my entrée. It was quite a bit, and I’m surprised they gave us that much dessert, too!
I attempted to go to the lavatory earlier, but they told me I needed to sit back down, which I think they told a girl before me as well. I’m not sure why, so I’m just waiting til we get to Heathrow. Too much trouble to try again, since my neighbor has to move and everything.
I’m enjoying the t.v. channel that shows a map of where we are and what time we’ll arrive. It even says what temperature it is outside the plane, and how high up we are. Currently, we are a ways south of Iceland, 39,000 feet up in the air, and it is -49 degrees Fahrenheit. We’ll arrive at about 7:00 a.m. London time, and I think I might stay at the airport for a couple of hours in order to avoid rush hour on the “tube”, the underground train of London. People will be busy going to work, and me trying to haul about 80 pounds of luggage around, and trying to squeeze in between people on a bus, doesn’t seem like a good scenario. We’ll see. Until later!
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