And a good morning to you from...Lancaster, SC! That's right, Team Taylor has made it home safe and sound after a LONG day of travel. But hey, as Dorothy said (or Elphaba, for that matter) - there's no place like home.
So JT popped up at 6:10 AM GMT yesterday, and I was up at 6:30. All the bags packed, we hopped into a "people mover" (also known as a VAN) at 7 am to find negative 2 degree temperatures but clear roads. Given that they had been calling for snow reminiscent to "The Day After Tomorrow," Jenny and I were quite relieved. Oh, so naive...
Two minutes into the trip, the driver gets a phone call. Bearing in mind that we can only hear his half of the conversation, here are his four sentences:
1. "Yep, I'm with the clients now."
2. "Nope, I'm pretty sure they have to fly out today."
3. "No problem - I can wait around there."
4. "Yeah, I'll let them know. Cheers."
This is the point where muffin puffin looks over at me and says, "That didn't sound good." And sure enough...ALL AIRPORTS IN LONDON WERE CLOSED DUE TO SNOW. Odd, I thought, SINCE I COULDN'T SEE A FLAKE OF SNOW ANYWHERE IN A 10 MILE RADIUS. However, I wasn't too stunned. After all, this is a country that suspense rail travel across the nation for such terrifying occurrences as "rain" and "leaves on the rails."
However, as we got closer to the airport, we realized that the reports were true. Whilst most of England was dry, four counties got pounded, one of which was Surrey, where Gatwick airport sits. However, with no options, we rolled on and arrived at Gatwick at 8:30 (fortune did smile, as we were on the ONLY motorway - read "interstate" - that wasn't gridlocked).
As we were checking in, we found out that they had re-opened. However, our flight was delayed 3.5 hours. Given that, we did the only respectable thing - went to the pub in the airport and had a Full English Breakfast (I went with the Large version, even adding black pudding, for the record - yup....HEAAAAAAAALTHY).
We sat in the "Flying Horse Bar" for 3 hours before milling around the airport shops. At 12:30, we got the nod to go to our gate. Boarding, however, didn't start until 1:30, and we didn't leave until 3. All in all, NOT ideal, but hey - we were off.
The flight was easy - I finished "Twilight Watch," the 3rd in the Night Watch series (Russian horror) before settling down to catch 3 films: "The Taking of Pelham 123" (entertaining), "State of Play" (also well done), and "Australia" (which I enjoyed because I'm obsessed with it even if they ended in-flight entertainment WITH ABOUT 10 MINUTES LEFT IN THAT BLOODY 3 HOUR FILM). I'll just have to assume it ends the way I wanted. Details....
We landed at 6:45 and cleared customs quickly. Only then did we get into baggage claim and wait 50 MINUTES for our "priority" bags to come off the line. US Air strikes again...quality.
But it was all worth it when we rounded the corner after customs and SAW JENNY'S FAMILY!!!!! Check out the happy reunion of the Tacy family!
45 minutes later, we were in the Palmetto State, eating some food and relaxing. MAN, does it feel good to be back in the good ole' US of A. And whilst I know that Jenny is excited about today because she's on the hunt for a coat to keep her warm (meaning ALIVE) in Ottawa, I'm just looking forward to a cup of drip coffee and a Mountain Dew.
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
(A well rested) Sam and Jenny