Logan to Heathrow - London England TravelogueToday was the beginning of my delightful ten day trip to London and Bordeaux! My bags were all packed, my checklists were all checked and re-checked, and I was ready to go. Bob drove me in to Logan Airport. We were going in just pre-morning-rush-hour. Some people like to take red-eyes into London but I prefer going on a day trip. That way I land and can sleep all night to restore my energy :) This was the very first day of construction at Logan, so everything was a bit of a turmoil. They had the cars all park in a parking garage instead of pulling alongside the gate area. We found our way to a spot, Bob gave me my kiss good-bye, and I was off!
I get to the airport 2 hours ahead of an international flight, so I had plenty of time to check in. There was little line and soon I was at my check-in computer. The girl before me seemed to be having luggage issues. She was trying to lighten her load to make it within the 50 pound limit. Unfortunately she couldn't manage to do it and was forced to pay a $100 penalty for her too heavy bag. When I packed my own bag I paid close attention to the weight of the bag, re-weighing it often, to make sure it stayed at about 45 pounds. I left behind my yoga mat and several other items to make sure I fit within the limit. I wanted to avoid that huge fine!
The girl was being sort of grumpy with the travel agent who was then being sort of grumpy in return. I thought that was a shame, to start a trip like that.
The kiosk wouldn't let my passport swipe automatically, so I had to manually type in a number of values from it - its ID number, issue date, and so on. I could hear the woman behind me - a middle aged blonde from Atlanta judging by her accent - being fairly grumpy about the delay. I guess she was late for her flight. So instead of choosing my seat, which I really wanted to do, I was kind and just zipped through the remaining screens to get my ticket. I turned the kiosk to her, which made her happy, and then went up to the bag check area. I made several friendly comments to the travel agent who seemed to perk up from her previous grumpy mood. So that was nice. The bag was checked on fine, and I headed off towards the security check.
When I got to the guard who verified my passport and boarding pass, he asked how I was doing. I said "fine" in a fairly lackluster voice. He smiled and said I didn't *seem* fine :) So I laughed and said this was very early for me. Normally I wake up mid-day with my night owl schedule. He joked that he'd been at work for several hours already. So that was a nice start to the day.
Took off my shoes, took out my laptop, and headed through the fairly quick security xray machine. I wore sweats, not my flowy dress, so they didn't do the full body pat down but they did send me through the full body xray machine. Raise your hands over your head. Put your feet in the spots on the floor. Wait. I was all set, and headed over towards the gate.
When I got there I called Bob to let him know I was OK, then went to a gate person to ask about my seat. Apparently the flight was mostly empty! Hurrah! :) So I got a nice window seat in an empty row. It was very quick and the plane was boarding already. They relocated a woman into my row on the aisle which was fine.
We got a lunch plus a sandwich during our flight, and I slept during most of it. I did take some intriguing photos of clouds and landscapes, which are linked to below!
Soon we landed. I was the very last person on the plane to get off of it. I called Peter from the walk over to immigration and he said he'd pick me up right as I came out of customs. The immigration line was interesting. It was fairly short, and there were two agents that alternated in taking our line's group. The woman before me went to the agent on the right. He asked her where she was going and she said she was staying with a friend. Suddenly she was getting the third degree. How did she know this friend. What would she do if this friend didn't show up to get her? What if the friend abandoned her? It made me curious what I was going to be asked. However, when I went up to my agent on the left, he was very quick. He asked where I was going, and I said with a friend first to London and then to Bordeaux. He asked if I'd met this friend before and I said yes, several times. The last time was when he came to Boston last year. And that was it, I was sent along.
I went down to get my baggage, which was also quick. My bag is bright blue with a big red tag, so it's easy to spot. I like easy. Then I walked straight through the customs area - nobody was even there - and I was out in the main exit area! This is a large hall with lots of shopping opportunities, lots of people waiting for friends and family, and all sorts of arrows pointing to trains and car parks and other things.
I moved to the side as I didn't see Peter. Interestingly, in terms of how close people are willing to get to each other, I had at least 10 different men walk past me nearly touching me. Men (or women) don't seem to get that close to each other in Logan. Only 1 woman came anywhere near that close to me. So I was intrigued by that.
Peter showed up, and we headed back to his home in St. Albans. I sat up with him, his wife Joan, and his son for a while talking and relaxing, and then it was time for bed!
Cloud Photos from the flight
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