Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The long way home...

It seemed like I was traveling for days, instead of hours. Today started at 6:15, London time, and by the time I got to the airport, through check-in and two security checks, I was already tired.  I was surprised that I wasn’t subjected to a strip search.  The flight to Atlanta was 9 long hours, but at least I had a nice Aussie gentleman in the seat next to me. I alternated reading my book, doing crossword puzzles, and napping. 

Delta food is palatable enough and I had Cajun chicken and yellow rice with veggies for breakfast. About an hour before we landed we had a snack of pizza and ice cream.  Some screaming children created some disturbance, and I managed to develop an excruciating headache by the time we landed. I would have had a strong adult beverage if I hadn’t left my free drink coupons at home.

After a rough landing, the “cattle drive” began in earnest.  We were herded off the plane, then through passport control, then baggage reclaim, then customs, then baggage check-in, then security (again), and finally emerged from the depths of Hartsfield to determine our gate assignments. Up escalators, on trains, up more escalators, down concourses, until finally I spotted the place I’d been looking for: a bar. No, I am not a lush, but after the trip I had just made and the screaming migraine that was developing, I deserved some adult refreshment.  Craving a Guinness, but not wanting to be disappointed, I settled for a Samuel Adams Cream Stout (in a bottle). I must say, it is pretty darn close to a Guinness on tap.  Feeling homesick for the real Guinness, I had two. That, and an Excedrin Migraine, and the headache started to ease up.

As I type this, while waiting for the final leg of my journey, I hear the loudspeaker announce that my flight has been delayed.  The crowd of people around me groans in disappointment, but I am not upset.  The bar is two doors down from my gate. 

I do love to travel, but in all honesty, I prefer “being there” to “getting there”.  All in all, though, the last two weeks have been an incredible experience.  I’ve learned so much about international travel, met some amazing people, and been to some fantastic places.  Not to mention spending two weeks with my Aunt Anne, who is one of my favorite people.

I’m already thinking ahead to my next trip, maybe in two years…and my next grand adventure.