California here we come. Maybe.
There’s something about 1) getting up at silly o’clock to ride your bike and 2) getting up at silly o’clock to go on holiday. It’s like your inner excited time clock kicks in and launches you out of your bed. At 5:30am. I’m in!
We had packed up our stuff and hoovered the flat already, so all we had to do was have a cuppa, swallow a couple of mouthfuls of yoghurt and get in the car. It wasn’t that cold at the flat, however, when we got to the parking at the airport, all the cars were white with frost. Brrrrr. Glad I’d opted against putting on my cut off trousers and fit flops. I shouldn’t have been worried about losing my way either, I had some *cough* temperature gauges that were pointing me in the right direction. Cheers.
On the run to the airport, we hit every damn traffic light on the way. Just like falling out the ugly tree and hitting every branch on the way down. Ed wasn’t impressed and did share how he would ‘sort it out’ and generally ‘show the useless gits’ how to plan roads properly. He also had a bit of a rant about the daily costs for parking the car, not quite understanding that pre-paying means cheap. I tried to explain. He wasn’t listening. He probably still thinks we are paying £267.54 in parking fees.
Anyway, in to check in our bags. I kind of suspected that one of our bags was going to be overweight. It was. All ok though, we used one of our pre-packed bike bags. Ed scampered off to look at whisky, I chatted up some armed police. It’s a uniform thing. I asked them to look out for Ed: long hair and pony tail….. I had better not write what I asked them to do. I wandered upstairs, wandered into WH Smith, sniffed some books, bought one and wandered out. I couldn’t decide what to do first: poo or Costa Coffee? My mind was made up for me. Ed was there, semi-jogging along looking slightly stressed, obviously looking for me. “Ed,” I shouted. “COME ON! (Said Ed) Look at the time!” He shouted as he sprinted towards gate 10, meanwhile I was doing a shoogly jog trying not to give myself two black eyes . “ED!! Where are you going?” Wondering where the last 3 hours had disappeared.
Apparently, he was going to the departure gate. The wrong departure gate. I will apologise now to anyone quietly waiting for a plane who watched me ‘jog’ one way, shout at my husband and then jog back. That must have been as equally traumatic for you as it was for me. And for Ed getting it wrong. Alternatively, exceptionally entertaining for you in a wide-eyed sick sort of way.
The description ‘jog’ should be read in its simplest form. Vigorous, eye-blackening’ walk? Maybe.
By this time, the thought of black eyes was the least of my worries. I had to take off my Fit flops. They were holding me back, I howked them off my feet. I arrived at gate 6 (not gate 10) in my bare feet having a slight wheeze and probably looking like I had a caffeine deficiency.
Where did the time go between 5:30am and 8:30am? I blame being distracted by the policemen with their shiny batons.
Upon entering the plane and complaining that I didn’t get my caffeine hit, and Ed actually agreeing that I needed a shot of something, the steward (probably looking at my flushed face and footwear in my hand) felt sorry for me and handed me a cup of tea which I had gubbed by the time I found my seat. Ahhhhh.
Hell, Heathrow already? Oh, how I wish I’d got out of my seat for pee. Nah, couldn’t be arsed. I regretted that ever so much later on.
Upon leaving the plane, we were given the option of terminal 5 and all the others. Yep. Terminal 3. Bus. Then a grilling at the American Airways desk.
“Business or pleasure?”
“Where are you going?”
“What are you doing when you are there?”
My outside ‘devil voice’ that sits on my left shoulder, wanted to drag him over the counter by his lanyard and poke his eyes out, followed by, “Pleasure. CA. Bikes. Wine. Can we go now?”
Then we had to suffer security AGAIN. Oh. For. Feck. Sakes. By the time we went through all of that, we had (checks time on screens) NO TIME LEFT AT ALL. ‘Gate closing’ was displayed in bright red. Flashing. OH. MY. GOD.
You, my reader, can appreciate the heart felt lurch when I read the sign, telling you that there was a 20 minute walk to our gate. WHAT? The gate’s closed already. More jogging…. I know we must have covered the 20 minutes in about 5. How on earth we got to the gate before our luggage was extracted from the belly of the plane was beyond me.
By this time, the inside of my mouth was like Ghandi’s flip flop. I was about to expire due to lack of water, caffeine, a quality morning empty and most essentially, food. I still apparently had my charming button switched on though. Two paces onto the big plane, I convinced a steward I was about to pass out, I had a filled water jug which was swallowed down in a couple of mouthfuls.
It was only 11:30, FFS. We hadn’t even left the UK. All this excitement was just too much. Little did I realise that Toby the cat was going to sum it up so beautifully!