Saturday, July 23, 2011

Travelogue: Australia – Departure

Goodbye Lakewood ~ Hello London

My car called to collect me a bit early this morning, but that was alright… I was ready and waiting anyway. You see, I have been going to bed/getting up progressively earlier for the past few nights so that I would be closer to being on the right time period as my arrival into Australia draws closer.

It may be a completely rubbish theory and may not work at all, but it is the theory that I am going with and hopefully, it will help me get over the jetlag faster when I finally make it to Canberra. Of course, that does not mean that I will have remembered everything or been completely prepared when I do get there.

For instance, I had emptied the coffee pot, and set all the dishes in the dishwasher, I had started the dishwasher and made sure that all the lights were out. All the doors and windows were closed, the house was in a general state of tidiness… it would have been nice if I had remembered before we were at the end of the driveway that I had left the air conditioner running. (It being as hot as it was, I needed it big time to get to sleep last night. It hit 102° yesterday and was still in the 90s when I went to bed.

So, with everything turned off and the house buttoned-up, I set-off for the airport. The driver took what I think is possibly the longest way to the airport without actually going by way of another state, but it worked. There were no traffic delays and the route actually took less time than the one that I am used to taking myself. I am going to have to remember the route. It certainly worked well. It avoided the malfunction junctions: I-70 at I-25 and I-25 at US-6.

The check-in desk at Denver International was an absolute mob-scene. From what I could gather from the United Airlines personnel at the front desk, there had been some big software convention in town that ended yesterday and all these people had been at it. The queue was long, but it moved relatively quickly and before too long I was sitting waiting from my group number to be called.

The flight to Chicago was uneventful, but we apparently just missed the thunderstorm that caused the scene of havoc that I encountered when trying to locate the correct gate for my flight. For reasons unknown there was no mention of the 16:17 flight to Heathrow (or any of the other three daily flights for that matter) on the boards. What I failed to notice (because I was reading the left column) was all the "delayed" and "cancelled" flights that were being shown. I went to one of the two gates that I am used to flying from when I head over to London and was told the reason for the lack of info was that so many flights were delayed because of the storm.

"Storm?" I asked.

"You just landed, didn't you?" The agent asked. "The airport has been practically shut down all morning as the thunderstorm went through."

Ah! That explains the queues at the service desk, the number of people that seem to be grumpy, and the couple buckets catching drips that I had seen. I strolled the length of the concourse a few times to kill time, and then took a seat. It was less than an hour before my flight.

According to my watch, it is now just before midnight (at my origin) and I am still sitting sleepless in my seat. I have been reading and have watched a movie on my tablet. I suppose that I could read some more. I wish I could sleep on planes!

Wherever you are, I hope you're sleeping soundly in your bed tonight.

Don Bergquist – July 23, 2011 – Somewhere Over The North Atlantic, UA0958 Bound For London

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