European Replay – Day One

September 30, 2019

The day starts very early, and my mother-in-law drives us to the airport. The kids did not come, as they didn’t want to say goodbye there. They are worried something will happen to us, they are an anxious bunch. Our new swivel wheeled suitcases, a personal bag, and jackets not suitable for the still-warm Atlanta air are with us. We head for the Southwest terminal.

For financial reasons, I did not book a direct flight. We will be getting on a Southwest flight to Orlando first. We walk under the terminals at Hartsfield-Jackson to our plane, and see a fantastic art display as we go. A picture is the header image above. Thankfully Chick-fil-A is open earlier than anticipated and we could get a couple of chicken biscuits to survive the short hop.

I’m not a particular fan of the Southwest boarding process but it is fine. Our flight arrives in Orlando without issue and we make our way to the Delta Skyclub to wait the next several hours. I was nervous about us missing a flight at some point so I scheduled entirely too much time between the SW flight and our Delta flight later in the afternoon. Thankfully the Delta Club is fairly nice and comfortable, and getting there so early we were assured seats. We paid $29 each for access, as my Gold card didn’t automatically come with it free (they’ve since taken away the ability, unfortunately). The seats are comfortable, the food is basic but good. The money we spent on access would have been spent on lunch at one of the airport restaurants anyway, so there was value.

We read digital books, listened to music, watched videos, played mobile games, and texted with our kids. I tried to take a nap, but I don’t really take naps. After over six hours of hanging out, our Delta flight to Boston was ready. There we’d change planes and arrive in London the next morning. I did upgrade to slightly better seats for these two legs, and I must stress the “slightly” portion of that. We supposedly got a bit more leg room, but I don’t know if I would spring for it again. I think I paid a $50 premium or so for each seat. It was no first class, that’s for sure.

Our Orlando-Boston flight was delayed slightly, which put some stress on trying to make the important flight. We had to traverse a portion of Logan International to get to the Boston-London flight, but thankfully that flight was also slightly delayed due to a catering issue. It didn’t alleviate the stress any, but it assured we wouldn’t get left behind.

I would have to say the Boston-London flight was the worst part of the entire trip. There isn’t much room to recline, you can’t really lean either way, and there’s entirely too much commotion going on even at night even with noise cancelling headphones. I had purchased a pair of Sony XM3 headphones, and I was thankful for them. They aren’t the most comfortable thing to wear while trying to get some rest, though. I do have to say the evening meal was pretty good. The entertainment was pretty good as well, I got to watch the second and third parts of John Wick and they were good movies.

We got to see the skyline of Boston as we flew in, and I could make out a couple of landmarks like Fenway Park. I got a couple of pictures in as we were landing. Otherwise, I’ve not actually visited Boston and this doesn’t count.

Since I never actually got to sleep for more than a few minutes, I can’t count midnight over the Atlantic as the demarcation between day one and day two. At some point night turned into morning and we started coming up to the Irish coast. Breakfast was being served and I started to get the sensation that this was different than all the dreams that had come before, this time it was actually real. I was about to knock the biggest item from my bucket list shortly after I turned 40.

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