New York & New England Trip 2005                 Main

Thu 16th June - The Flight Home

We were up early and packed up what we had and went downstairs to check out and wait in the lobby for the courtesy bus to take us to JFK. The bus was late, and we were glad we'd gotten down early, since the sofas in the tiny foyer were soon all taken. The bus turned out to be a people carrier, driven by a polite asian gentleman who didn't seem very sure where he was going or which other hotels he was due to stop off at. The journey to our terminal took about half an hour, once all the other stops were counted.

We went into the terminal, and walked straight up to the American Airlines desk, there wasn't even any queue whatsoever. We checked into the flight, and were surprised to learn that they didn't take the cases off us there - we had to walk down to a special security check in, where they took them off us. Free of the cases we wandered through to the restaurant area where we'd eaten the night before. We all had McD's big breakfasts, which were strangely different to the ones in the UK.

We went through security and settled down in the departures lounge, waiting for the flight to be called. Some people had sat themselves down in the massage chairs, there's always someone selfish. After a long wait, the flight was called and we made our way onto the 777 and settled into our seats, which were all in a line this time, no split rows. We separated the kids, which didn't please them, especially when a strange oriental guy sat beside Connor and started acting weird. The stewardesses tried politely to tell him to put his shoes back on and and keep his feet on the floor. It turned out he was just a nervous flyer.

On the flight, the kids played around with the screens and I watched a couple of movies, 'Hitch' with Will Smith, which was ok, and 'The Pacifier' with Vin Diesel which was also OK, and Connor quite liked it. They helped pass the time, anyway. The meal was good, and there was a small snack as we got nearer the UK. There were some US soldiers in the seats in front of us and we had the usual tussle when they tried to put their seats back. One of then was playing with a PSP games console, and it was the first time I'd seen one in the flesh.

The flight got into London airspace in good time, but because of congestion, it had to circle a few times before making final approach, which made a bit of a mess of their little map navigation thing with all the circles and squiggles. Eventually we touched down, and went through all the rigmarole of immigration and fetching the cases, which had all gotten separated of course. I stopped off to phone Purple Parking, who told us to make our way to the Terminal 2 pick up point. We grabbed a trolly and put all the cases on it, and just as well, because it was miles of walking through tunnels to get to the Terminal 2 pick up point. We waited at the Purple Parking stop until there were a dozen other people. It was cold back in Blighty!

When the bus came, I loaded the cases into the back and came inside the bus to sit with everybody. The trip to the parking lot took about 15 minutes through the streets of west London. And we watched as everybody got taken to their cars, until there was just us left in the bus. We pointed out our car, but the driver said we hadn't given him our ticket so he didn't have our keys yet, so he had to go back to the entrance to fetch it and then take us to the car and helped us out with our cases. He gave us a ticket to get out of the car park with. We got into the car, and started up first time, feeling odd to be at opposite sides again from the US car. The mirror had fallen off again, so it had obviously been warm weather while we were away.

The 2 hour drive home was uneventful, if a little tiring after the long flight. Everything was fine back home, and we had a bucketful of letters to get through behind the door. We'd pick up the pets from boarding the next day, so there was nothing to do. We were jetlagged the opposite way, it was midnight yet we were on NY early evening time. We went out to the supermarket and got in some milk and break for tea, and people must have thought we were mad, dragging kids around the supermarket in the middle of the night. But we were all happy to be home. The holiday was over, and it had been a great one.