Saturday, July 19, 2014

London: Homeward Bound (Planes, Trains, and Automobiles)1

Oh yeah, where we again? London. Well, every story needs its denouement,2 and ours is the return home. Let's wrap this sucker up.

Up and out: So we got up and did all the last minute flitting and tidying and packing, and down the stairs and out the door;3 onto the bus, the massive heap of luggage piled in the area designated for strollers, earnest hopes that some poor lady with a stroller wouldn't hop on; the tube to Victoria station, the seemingly endless tube to Heathrow, crammed in, again with our heap of luggage, along with everyone else going to Heathrow and their own respective heaps of luggage; myself standing in the middle of our heap, having to skinny-up every time the doors opened and others entered; our neighbors, a pair of stewardesses commuting to work (who later turned out to be our attendants on our plane); and finally, arrival at the airport.

Heathrow: We dropped off the wifi thingamabob; traded in our Oyster Cards (the little public transports scanning doo-dads), a bureaucratic process seemingly designed to make you give up on trying to get your money back; exchanged money; went through security; and made a crisp little groove to the gate (we didn't have oodles of time to spare).

Up, up, and away: The plane ride home simply can't be as cool as the plane ride there. And it was daylight the whole time, so there was none of the initial flight's ambient grooviness. (Though we still got fed, which still excited June.) The little back-of-seat plane-on-the-map wasn't nearly as interesting this time. I watched Goodfellas and Moneyball. And we were state-side.

Dulles: Lots of long walks down lengthy corridors, until we finally had to part with my mom, our little London cadre sadly breaking up; and on we went, again through security (which made us extra-secure since we'd already been securitized once and had never left a secure area); customs, which when we witnessed the lengthy line, convinced us we would miss our connection (we didn't have a lengthy layover); but the giant queue as the (England-landers say), zigged and zagged at a reasonable clip (we repeatedly crossed paths with this hilarious little baby who seemed mesmerized by the girls); the customs dude gave our passports a cursory glance and waved us through; we also did some sort of silliness with our luggage where we retrieved it somewhere along the way and then dropped it back off again;4 and with little time to spare, we did indeed make our connection.

The last leg: After becoming sophisticated worldly jet-setters, as we now are, domestic flights are... well... just so domestic. Really though, I remember essentially nothing about this flight.

And...: Home! A taxi ride (the "Automobiles" part of this post's title), etc., and in our front door. I've said it before, but no matter where we go — even to far yonder London — I'm always happy to come home: the raggedy streets, the funky heat (I sat out in the dark back yard for a while once we were settled in), our own beloved New Orleanians. Ahh.

Epilogue:5

Getting back into the daily grind after a far away adventure is hard. Jet-lag makes it harder. Back at work, I had to warm up with very basic tasks,6 waiting for my brain, which was still somewhere over the Atlantic, to catch up with me. But eventually we got back in the groove, graced with great memories which we'll never forget.

(And of course, I got to have my fun, reliving the whole thing via this bloggy-machine. 'Twas nice. Journey over. Thanks for reading. Catchya on the flip side.)

1 The trip took a week. It's recounting has taken how long? Silly Slimbo...

2 That's one of those big English class words. I hope I'm using it right.a
a And I suppose not every story needs its denouement. This is the post-modern era, right? And we can adopt any experimental narrative structure we want. But for this one I'm going to stick with classic linear. Denouement it is.
3 I say "out the door" like it was a casual thing. It was actually excruciating. Getting the girls — in their full tween-dom — out of the house on regular day is a laborious process, a myriad of last minute (last many minutes) tweaks to attirea and whatnot, during which I'm usually standing at the bottom of the stairs, tapping my foot and trying to find a Zen place (though often uttering rather un-Zen hollers of, "What are you doing?"). Getting out the door for an overseas flight was the same thing, multiplied manyfold.
a As an adherent of the wear-a-personal-unchanging-uniform-every-single-day philosophy, I find last minute attire tweaks entirely alien.
4 I have no doubt that all these procedural shenanigans serve their purpose... but still, it was all kind of silly.

5 Ooh! A denouement and an epilogue. Aren't we fancy?

6 Though I'm a software nerd, and coding, of its nature, is complex. There were definitely some initial moments (minutes... hours...) of staring at the screen, with my brain in another time-zone, thinking, "What the hell does all this gobbledygook mean again?"

1 comment:

  1. All good things sadly end including your interesting blogging about your trip.!!

    ReplyDelete