My European Adventure Day 1 – Goodbye USA

Friday 19 September 2014

I woke up this morning at 5:30 in order to meet up with my trainer for a work out at 6:45 before doing last-minute shopping for kitty litter (so Tank would have a clean box while I was gone for 3 weeks), nuts and beef jerky (like I was going to eat healthy while in Europe), and get my hair did.

I anticipated lots of travel anxiety (which I’ve been plagued with for some reason since my last business trip to Las Vegas in December 2011), but was lucky to not have much.  I finished packing my bags (taking entirely too much with me) before heading to Kansas City International Airport at 4pm.  In my rush to leave, I completely forgot to say goodbye to my furry babies, Harley and Tank.  I think I was more upset about that than I was about leaving Sparky for 3 weeks.

IMAG0804

Harley

Tank

Tank

I went to the Delta counter and checked my bag which qualified for a “heavy” tag – I’m really not a good packer  – before Sparky walked me over to security.  We said our goodbyes and I went through.

Kansas City International Airport is made up of 3 separate terminals (and for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the airport concept, but then it’s also been 10+ years since I took Airport Planning and Design), and each terminal has its own security area.  For that reason (along with the fact that KCI doesn’t have quite the traffic that O’Hare or Atlanta’s Hartsfeld – Jackson have) getting through security doesn’t take too long at all.

I went through security, taking off my shoes, and making the seemingly obligatory trip through what I call the “See Me Naked Machine”, before sitting for about 2 hours waiting for the first leg of my trip.  My first flight was from Kansas City (MCI) to Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and left at 7:25pm for a whopping hour and 2o minutes.

I arrived at MSP around 9pm and made my way to my gate in the international terminal.  I’d never been in this part of the MSP terminal and it was a big surprise!  There was a large hip bar that took up the wall to the left, and it was hopping!   People stood EVERYWHERE.  There had to be twice as many people as there were seats.  I made a quick trip to the bathroom and then tried to stand out of the way as I awaited boarding.

Boarding began a bit after 9pm and the Boeing 767-400 embarked at about 10 after 10 pm.  Thus began my 8 hour flight to London Heathrow (LHR) – the longest flight I had ever been on up until this moment.  I was nervous, but not horribly so, which surprised me.  Dinner was served close to 11pm and I was STARVING even at that late hour.

Dinner consisted of a pesto pasta, a salad, a roll, cheese, a cookie of some sort (I can’t remember it at this point) – all in all I was rather impressed with the airline food.  But then I was impressed with the food in the hospital after my appendectomy as well, so maybe I’m not a very good judge when it comes to this sort of thing.

I dozed on and off during the flight, tried to listen to some of the audiobook version of “Outlander” (which wasn’t very successful), and eventually attempted to watch one of the movies available.  The only ones even remotely interesting (to me at least) were Only Lovers Left Alive and X-Men Days of Future Past. X-Men was the chosen film as I was going to see OLLA at the British Film Institute while I was in London.

I flew Delta and had opted for an Economy Comfort seat, because I sadly can’t afford Business or First Class (one day I will…one day). My seat was in the front row of economy and had extra leg room, but no seat ahead of me under which to stow my carry on – it had to go in the overhead compartment (my only complaint).   While we flew along at cruising altitude, and all that was visible out of my window were clouds, stars and the red light on the port wingtip, I settled in next to my snoozing neighbor for a fitful rest on the way to my European Adventure

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