Day 8 – Wednesday – I’m coming Home! I’m coming home!
Its the day we return home. I will miss the view but I’m not sure I’ll miss the traffic or the horns or the loudness. As per most days we’d slowly rise while watching the news. I was fascinated by how ‘Anti-Trump’ the local news appeared. It looks like people of New York have had enough of the Trump rubbish just like everyone else!
Back to Andrew’s Coffee Shop for breakfast and the old favourite of Eggs, bacon, toast and french fries. One thing I will find different when I get back to the UK is that in most food places we’ve gone to in the US, they’ve had loads of screens everywhere, often covering multiple channels rather than just one. This meant that depending where you sat it would depend what you could see and watch.
After breakfast it was back to the hotel room to pack our suitcases. This is always the worst part of any holiday as it means you will be back at work before you know it. Whether it is a good or bad thing, we had a long journey back which I’m choosing to consider more of a delay in returning to normality.
We managed to get everything packed away in our suitcases. It suggests that we had quite empty suitcases when we arrived and I can neither confirm nor deny that was the case!
While we were packing it started to snow outside. I took a few photos of the snow and the room. I should have taken more photos just after the room had been cleaned but I kept forgetting when I got in. Sorry if the room looks messy in any pics!
Both of the suitcases now packed we gave the room a quick sweep and when we were happy nothing was left out, we shut the door for the last time. We were suddenly faced with a number of ‘last times’ – lift down to reception/chatting to the reception team/smell of chai/leave the weird air-lock entrance.
The concierge desk had a helpful person at it who arranged our car to the airport. They quoted $70 and an uber was going to be $65 so I decided to go with the hotel car. When we got outside there was a massive american car like you see the cops driving on CSI or something like that. We sat in the back, or more correctly the middle, while our bags were loaded in the cavernous boot. The driver got in the front and I wondered who would close the boot and stop our bags from being stolen. Really, I’d not have been worried as with a press of a button by the driver, the boot automatically closed. There I was living in 2018 when this guy was living in 2038!
Our journey to the airport was a long one, about an hour, but was in much comfort – go to love stupidly large cars! We were dropped off by the Air Canada departure area and checked in without much of an ado. By now it was 2pm so we grabbed food within the foodcourt. I treated myself to some dirty dirty chicken tenders with fries. Although it cost about $15 (£12ish) I wasn’t prepared for the huge amount and size of the chicken strips.
In front of me were two employees of a company I used to work for. Its a world wide company so they’d not know me, but they had some VERY interesting conversations out loud. It made me think about whether there is a business I could start for companies to pay me to monitor their data loss by human resources. All I’d need to do is set up a website and then contact the Info-sec officers when I hear/record people discussing business out in public. Everyone knows you don’t forward emails out to strangers but for some reason people still discuss very important (and I’m sure confidential) out in the open.
Getting through security took a bit longer than usual. We were in a queue with lots of people and the security people explained there had been a change in policy and now we needed to make sure all FOOD was not in bags and separated into its own tray. We had to remove jackets, shoes and belts. And all electronics larger than a mobile phone. With the chocolate I was bringing back to the office, I think I was spread over about 5 trays going through the x-ray machine! No wonder it was taking so long!
Out the other side and we were able to sit down with the free wifi and enjoy a cup of (weak – again!) tea. We had about 30 minutes until boarding however 25 minutes later I noticed there was no plane at the gate. Almost like they read my mind, they then announced that the plane had JUST landed and would be at the gate shortly. I remember landing and the runway was quite some distance from the gates. Based on this I didn’t expect to be on the plane within half an hour. My calculations were roughly correct and within an hour we were up in the air!
The flight was really short. Roughly 45 minutes cruising and the pilot said that we shoudn’t be arriving too late. The plane was tiny but with rows of just two and such a short flight time, it was like being on a crowded train. I managed to finish watching one episode of Murder in Successville and all of the last episode. We were quickly landed and then it was waiting at the departure gate for our plane to leave to London.
Food wise we decided to go to the bagel shop next to the gate. They offered some vegetables (which had been lacking during this trip for me!) and also a tasty chicken option. I must say this was the most disappointing meal I had during the entire trip. The chicken, the cheese, the veg, and the bagel, were all tasteless. Still, it was a little bit of sustenance to keep me going. The flight was boarded and we were in zone 3 – the middle of the 5 boarding groups. We got on the plane and I took the aisle seat.
This was the long leg of the journey and its time for you to get some important information. The plane is landing at 7am UK time and I’m due to be working at 9am. It was going to be vitally important for me mental health PLUS my work that I did actually do a full day’s work. For this to happen I really needed to get some sleep on the 7 hour flight. There weren’t any additional movies on the in-flight entertainment system so there was nothing I felt I *had* to watch. After an hour or so in flight I managed to grab some sleep and apart for being woken for food – which I turned down – I must have had between 4 and 5 hours of sleep! Excellent!
We landed and departed quickly. Thanks to the ePassport system we got through passport control quickly and were soon waiting for our bags. Mine came out fairly quickly but the 2nd bag did have me panicking for a bit that we’d see a repeat of what happened in Newark! Luckily history was not repeating itself and with both bags we headed out the airport.
Although we could have taken the tube back home, we felt hitting commuter rush hour in the centre of London would have been not only painful for us but frustrating for the commuters. We checked Uber and it was going to be £30 more expensive than the tube but take about the same time and it would deliver us straight to our front door. We booked the Uber and headed to the carpark level 4 section H and within minutes a Prius arrived to whisk us home.
I got home, opened my work laptop and started my working day….today was going to be long but I knew one thing, I’d sleep like a baby in my own bed this evening!