Yesterday was our last day in London. I left for work at 7:30am as I had a breakfast meeting (not sure why I agreed to that after 2 weeks on holiday). It was a typical English summers day – cool with a light drizzle. After the sweltering heat in Italy I found it quite pleasant but everyone else was moaning that it was cold. The family spend the day doing some more shopping and walking around. Michael and his bunch tried to take the tube to Oxford Street but someone had jumped in front of a train at Victoria Station and so that station was totally closed. Everyone seemed to have a good day.
We had a car to pick us up at 5pm to take us to the airport but since there were so many of us we couldn’t all fit. Daniel and Michael decided to take the tube instead and meet us there. There was surprisingly little traffic and so we got to Heathrow T5 in under an hour. While checking in the agent noticed Michael’s booking on the system and said we could not go through until they had seen Michael’s passport, full birth certificate and one of his parents had to be available. I said we would all wait and then the agent said then she couldn’t check any luggage through as you are meant to check in and then go straight through security. Seriously?! I pointed out that there were restaurants this side of security and did she honestly think that people didn’t use them after checking in. She nodded and said but unfortunately those are ‘the rules’. So we agreed Helen would stay and wait for Michael to arrive (and then shh don’t tell anyone), I waited with her and Chloe for them to come. We then all headed through security and went to lounges to get some dinner.
We headed for the plane only to discover when we got there that there was a technical problem with one of the baggage doors and so they wouldn’t let us board until it was resolved. Fortunately they did resolve it and we boarded about 30 minutes late. That issue caused a delay in loading the baggage and so the people were all loaded before the baggage was loaded. And then the pilot announced that we had missed our slot and that air traffic control said it was very busy (10pm at this point) and so we were delayed another 15 minutes. A 15 minute taxi to the runway (yes I did time it) and we finally took off at 10:30pm. By this point some of us (aka Helen) were already asleep and continued to sleep for the next 9.5 hours until they turned the cabin lights on for breakfast. It was quite turbulent most of the night and of course when it was at its worst I needed the toilet. Always happens and I eventually just ignored the seatbelt light and went anyway otherwise the seat would have been damp.
We are all now home and I am sure the girlfriends parents are happy to have their daughters home. I am too – it will be a much cheaper week for me now that we are back to 6.
Until next time (which will be September) …
P, H, S, L, M, O, C & D