05 August 2008

In six pieces

We made it home. In six pieces. The two of us, two checked bags, two carry ons.

The hotel/airport bus was on time this morning, depositing us at Gatwick's south terminal just before 7:30. And there we walked into an unbelievable, breathtaking sight. I don't think I've ever seen so many people in one place in my almost 55 years! It took several minutes simply to get our bearings and to begin moving toward US Airway's serpentine check-in queue. BUT, I have to say we were treated very well, assisted several times by people who were clear and polite, even in the chaotic coffee shop where we had breakfast. In other words, at no time were we made to feel stupid for not knowing -- by some magic happenstance -- our way around. I'm so grateful. (I cannot say the same for our reception in Charlotte. But, that's for another time.)

Of course, the flight was long, longer by almost an hour than the flight east nine days ago. We were fed well, twice. And, I managed to read nearly half the almost 600 page novel I bought in Canterbury on Sunday -- In the Woods by Tana French. It helped that the story is riveting ... It's going to be hard to get into the mail, laundry, bill-paying, house-cleaning with the second half whispering to me at every turn!

We left Great Britian in heavy rain and in temperatures that made the raincoat welcome, even though we didn't step out from under cover even once between the hotel and the terminal. Walking through the doors into the Charlotte afternoon was nothing short of shocking, the temperature hovering just over 100 degrees. Whew.

The car was right where we'd left it in long-term parking and we were home in under three hours. And, Whitby and Belle and the couple who cared for them while we were away were an energetic welcoming party when we pulled into the garage. Having been on the move for just over 19 hours, we are already headed to bed and dark's not even fallen on Edgefield County yet.

The suitcases are unpacked, but the laundry will have to wait until morning.

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