Here we go that promised three for one. Been dragging my feet about writing this thing, maybe due to the length that it’s grown two or is it possible to have post trip depression? Either way, here it is; the events from leaving Oxford on good Friday to leaving my family for school on Easter Sunday. Enough dallying, let’s go already.
The morning of Good Friday found both Aimee and I anxious to be going home. Most of the Bemidji group had already left when we went down to breakfast at 7 am. The Moorhead group would be leaving Wycliffe at 8. I think the choice was eggs for breakfast, I had my last two pieces of Cadbery toast, applesauce and OJ. The girls that I had been going to London with were traveling on to Paris, but we did find two people who were going to be on our flight back to the states. There was another person who traveled with us to the airport but he was going to tour on the continent instead of coming home.
There was a delay with our flight, bumping us from 2:25 to 3:40. Oh well, it was just another hour waiting in the airport. Better there and bored than running late, be stressed and miss the flight. Even with this, the five of us still went to the airport at our original time. Dragging our suitcases the 3/4 miles from Wycliffe to the Bus station was the hardest, longest trek I’ve had to make. Knowing that would be my last time to walk those roads made it hard in the heart to leave. Tugging a suitcase the weighed 22.7 kg (50.0449 lbs, Can we say cutting it close?), a carry on which felt just as heavy and a backpack bursting at the seams made the physical journey hard. To wards the end I looked pretty funny lugging the stuff. I had one handle crooked in my arm and the other was pushed before me, I was hunched over and a little crooked. The little putsy trailer at the end of the train. Can’t tell you how bad I felt when one of the girls walking with us came back to help me the last couple of feet to the station. If she hadn’t, I would have missed the bus…
Not much to say about the airport itself, guess if you’ve seen one you seen them all. We dropped our one member off at terminal 5 so he could catch his flight, then waited in terminal 3 for ours. I read my book, Aimee worked on her journal, one member walked around the airport while our final member watched something on his tablet. Next thing we knew we were boarding the plane and in the air.
The flight lasted for 8 hours. We were given one full meal, a optional snack and a snack/ breakfast. I watched Frozen, read from my book, took a short nap, played solitaire and got the planes’ new high score (580 not to brag), watched Mary Poppins and tried to watch the Little Mermaid but got interrupted and didn’t want to start over from the beginning.
Landing and disembarking was the easy part. Not the customs was all the difficult, but let this be a warning to everyone, Stick to your custom card. At the beginning of international flights you are given a customs card to fill out. I filled mine out, disembarked and then gave it to the first checker. He looked at my passport and then my card. I swear he only gave my passport back to me. So after I grab my luggage and wait in another faster moving line to get out of the customs area, I get halted because I didn’t have my card and they weren’t going to let me pass until I found it.
Thankfully Aimee had just gotten her luggage so she was able to watch mine as I tried to get things figured out. In the long run I ended up filling out a second one, because they insisted I lost my card while I still believer the first guy didn’t give it back to me. After this little bump it was smooth sailing. A hint from one weary traveler to others, when you have the option to use a trolley, take it.
I saw my brother first, then my mom standing next to him. Tyler is a red head bean pole who usually has his arms crossed. Mom come to shoulders in height. I waved to then and pushed my cart a little faster. Not to say that I cried when I say them, but I did get a little teary eyed. I got a hug from both of them and then mom pointed to where my dad was with my sister. My whole family had come to pick me up. An added bonus: they even had a sign with my name on it.
Before the two hour drive back home we stopped for a very late dinner at Perkins. Seeing how I had been few on the plane I split a quesadilla with mom. Oddly enough another Eurospring family had the same idea before going home. the guy who had watched something on his tablet in the airport was there with his mom and dad at the booth right behind us. I think it was either a sister and boyfriend or older brother joined them a little later. The traveler asked if I was ready to share the “British plague” now that we were home. I just laughed.
Good Friday ended with me having been awake for over 24 hours and finally falling asleep in my own bed that felt like heaven compared to the rock I had been on for the past month.
Let me start talking about Saturday by saying that sleeping in ’till 11ish was wondrous! Dad had left for worship team practice before I woke up. I didn’t get to see him until later in the afternoon. The living room was a mess with my bags which we had unceremoniously dumped there the night before. After a little breakfast I insisted that it was “Christmas” and that I had to give everyone the gifts I had bought them. I put dad’s Mr. Perfect mug and London coaster next to his coffee pot so he wouldn’t miss them. Alicia looked at the shirt and dancing flower I gave her then handed them back to mom. Before she ran back to her movies I got the girls to pose win their apparel. I’m so happy I got the sizes right. British sizing is weird, sometimes its not big enough, others you are drowning in a size small. Later when dad saw the poster I had gotten Tyler he said it was perfect for him.
Once the gift giving was over, mom took me to the doctor to see about the “British plague.” The only thing was I couldn’t call it a plague in front of the doctor. That could have been bad. The lady checked who checked me in thought I was 15-16. I’m 22 and you won’t find me complaining. Although, I’m sure my friends are going to hate me when I’m still getting carded and they’re not. The doctor gave me something for the congestion but nothing for the cough… what’s up with that? Mom and I wondered around Walmart as we waited for my medicine.
After all that fun, I started fully unpacking. Easier said then done. I also managed to lock my phone to the point of needing to connect it to my computer, but I tinkered with that after church on Sunday. Mainly Saturday was a day of rest, unpacking and time with family. My bed still felt like heaven on the second night.
The plan had been to go to the 7:30 service and despite waking up at 6:55 we made it! In our hour that is a feat worth being proud of. This was the second time that I heard the new preacher talk. Very energetic and passionate speaker who doesn’t stand behind a podium.
Dad played for three services and got home after noon. By that time the four of us had devoured a monkey bread and I had gotten my phone unlocked, with no lack of frustration and cursing. Mom kept telling me to take a break from that and finish packing to go back to Bemidji. kinda glad i didn’t listen.
Well Dad got home, we had a homemade Easter lunch, the five of us, I finished packing and made ready to go back to school. With my things in the car, dad filled up the tires as Tyler threw a snowball at me. His parting gift. Hugs all around and then I was gone.
When I got back to school I didn’t want to unpack all the way. I ended up crashing around 9pm. Justifiable when you’ve been on the go for the past three days.
In case you missed the Links:
London Heathrow Airport: http://www.heathrowairport.com/
Luggage restrictions: http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/travel/planning/carry-on-luggage-restrictions-00100000070337/
Mary Poppins: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058331/
Little Mermaid: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097757/
Gandalf GIF provided by: http://gif-central.blogspot.com/2012/12/you-shall-not-pass.html
Perkins Restaurant: http://www.perkinsrestaurants.com/
Mr. Perfect Mug: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Men-Little-Miss-AMRM020/dp/B005RVUQS8