I have now been on an airplane. Twice. And survived.
On Wednesday evening (the 27th), my parents drove me out to Bethany’s house in Eastern Mass. We had dinner with the Boleses, which was scrumptious as always. Then my parents went home, and Bethany and I played Clue with Natalie (11, Bethany’s sister). My new anally-observant notekeeping strategy payed off and I won. We went to sleep, woke up before the alarm the next morning out of excitement, and were off to the airport around 11.
We arrived at Logan, dragged our gargantuan bags to the check-in, where we dispensed easily of the big ones, Bethany barely squeezing in below the 50 lb. limit with each one. Mine weighed a lot less. We then ate lunch with her family, and waved goodbye to them as we breezed through security. The security people loved Bethany’s tie-dye socks and world-traveling rubber chicken, and we got through so fast that we had barely taken our shoes off when it was time to put them back on. We did miss the opportunity to go through the cool-looking futuristic air-blowy-thingy, as some people did. I dunno what it was for, but it looked…futuristic.
Anyways, we got to our gate, waited a little, got on our itsy-bitsy connector flight to JFK in New York. It was packed, but there couldn’t have been more than 60 seats on it. Very small. We went up, and almost as soon as we reached cruising altitude, we came back down through the clouds to NYC.
We waited in JFK for a few hours for our transatlantic flight. We mistakenly got dinner at Chili’s (it was good, it’s just that they served complimentary dinner on the flight, of which we were unaware), then waited around some more. This flight was more jumbo-sized, at least 5 or 6 times the size of the connector. I’d say about 2/3 of the passengers were themselves British, based on the difference in the lengths of the queues at Manchester Airport. During the flight, I read a little (of Ian Rankin’s second Inspector Rebus novel, “Hide and Seek”), watched Little Miss Sunshine (the edited version), and got most of the way through a difficult and pre-scribbled-upon sudoku puzzle. One thing I did NOT do much of on the flight was sleep. I was trying, but the constant hum of the plane, and the excitement, and all of the various factors made me unable to sleep. During “Scrooged” (the second in flight movie) I dropped off a little. Regardless, it was a short all-nighter (going east across time zones) and before I knew it it was morning and we were flying over Ireland. The decent into Manchester was ridiculously turbulent, but we made it through. The line at passport control lasted about half an hour, but we got through easily (although we got shafted with the one attendant who was a bitter middle-aged lady instead of the young smiling man or the young smiling woman). We found our checked luggage pretty quickly, got through, and found (as expected) my Aunt Christine and Uncle David waiting for us.
In explanation, we flew into Manchester to stay a night with Christine and David as we get over jet lag. Next, a post about our first day in the UK.