Sunday, 28 June 2015
We got up extra early and were at the restaurant for breakfast early—6am—and then caught the shuttle at 7am. I was checking a second piece of luggage, so we had to wait in line for that. (They didn’t charge me! Three years ago I had to pay extra to bring a second piece of luggage, but now the American Airlines website proclaims that the second piece is free. When did that change?)
Gerry walked me right up through the security gate and watched me pass through. (sigh) Watched me, in fact, until I rounded the next corner and couldn’t be seen.
It was very, very busy. The lines were long to check in, to go through security, to pass through U.S. Customs. Tourist season, remember. I don’t usually travel during the height of the tourist rush, so I know now I should have allowed more than the recommended two hours (and I was there two and a half hours early). I didn’t have time to do my VAT forms or get anything in the duty-free.
There are no electric plugs in the Dublin Airport, except in one little room that had two plugs (what’s up with that?)—and I’d forgotten to charge up the Kindle the night before (partly because I was using my adapter for other things: CPAP, for example). But all the lines I stood in took so long that they’d started boarding by the time I arrived at my gate.
Honestly, flying is a miserable experience. It used to be exciting and fun, back in the day. Today it felt like the seats had gotten smaller since my arrival—in the last eleven days.
And then I got to Chicago. My Kindle and phone were both dead. I needed electricity, stat. JFK was so civilized: every hundred feet or so there was a huge column with a dozen or more outlets. Electricity was easy to find in New York. But Chicago had only one electricity supply area per concourse: little desks with four chairs and four measley outlets, and at first I was just glad to get a seat. Until I realized that the guy next to me was having an argument with his girlfriend while his phone charged. He absolutely did not care that there were three of us sitting there, unable to escape from his verbal posturing and strutting. Oh my goodness, it was painful. He was an idiot.
And then … Nashville. Home.
My friends Jenny and Kevin were waiting to pick me up in mid-afternoon; they’d been visiting Middle Tennessee friends and house-sitting for me.
• • •
That wasn’t the end of the excitement, though. My son and his girlfriend were in the process of moving to Tennessee from Phoenix. The next day, they crossed the state line.
It was definitely very good to be home.