The flight out….

Well I woke up at 3am this morning and I didn’t really try to get back to sleep as the alarm clock was set for 4.15 this morning to get ready for the drive to the airport. It was a quick check of email to make sure we hadn’t had any important emails come in and then it was time to shut the computer network down, pack it in the hand luggage and let the cats out for their last roam around the house. They all seemed to be very suspicious that I was letting them out of their room AND they were hungry as we were not allowed to feed them last night so needless to say they were making their feelings heard.
(seeing as though this post is pretty long, the rest of it is in the more section)

Our friend Bjorn came to pick the cats up and we quickly loaded the car with the bags and drove off to Skymaster to load the cats. After checking the paperwork we then drove the 50 yards to the cargo terminal where we had to wait in the car whilst a forklift was used to carry the two empty cat carriers into a room to be xrayed and then brought back out again (although I think the forklift was an overkill it might have been useful AFTER the cats had been loaded in.)
We then persuaded the cats to leave the carriers we had brought them in and put them in the new containers. They didn’t seem to mind this too much as the new ones smelt interesting and were a lot bigger than the ones we had used. It was then a drive around to the main terminal where we had to check in.

Unfortunately 3 out of the 4 bags were overweight by 2kilo’s (our scales at home must be wrong) and we therefore had to take a little bit out of each suitcase and then work out what we were going to do with it. Fortunately Kristen had packed a spare carrier bag in one of the bags so we were able to put the stuff in that carrier bag so we now had 4 carryon bags – 2 of the trolleys, one “purse” rucksack and the carrier bag. Amazingly enough all the bags passed through security with no problems and we had a couple of hours to spare in manchester airport until our plane took off.

The plane was very full, I don’t think there was an empty seat on it but they forecasted some good weather so we made good time. There was an ignorant bloke who had put his coat in the luggage space over our seat and then had the cheek to complain and whinge after Kristen moved it to another compartment.

As predicted the films on the plane were pretty rubbish. We watched Bride and Prejudice which had some funny bits in it but I certainlyu wouldn’t recommend it to anyone to watch (unless you LOVE bollywood films). The other film was Spanglish which was rubbish so I watched Joey and about 4 other sitcoms which were ok to pass the flight time.
I was pretty pleased to hear an interview with Switchfoot on the rock and pop channel on the radio and also to hear 3 of their songs.

We landed at Newark early and managed to avoid the huge queue due to my Permanent Resident card but I think we had Mr Misery at immigration as I think he just barely grunted any responses to us. Customs was a brief pause and then we had to recheck our luggage and go through security. The rechecking of the luggage was a fairly long queue, probably about 30 minutes wait but at least they had the sense to prioritise flights that were going out soon so those passengers didn’t have to wait very long. Then it was through security. They seem to be a lot tighter than at Manchester as we had to remove our shoes and then they stopped my carryon. I wasn’t really suprised as it was packed full. I got told off for carrying that much stuff in the case and when he opened it up said “yep – looked just like that in the xray”. A wand for magic pixie dust/explosives and I was declared clean and then it was off to wait for our last flight (and a very nice cheeseburger and coke to keep us going).

Our last flight out was delayed whilst we waited for our crew to arrive who were delayed on their incoming flight so we spent a rather boring 40-50 minutes in the plane at the stand waiting and then we were off. The flight to Columbus was pretty uneventful and only half full so there were plenty of spare seats which meant I could stretch out and not feel as cramped as I did on the transatlantic flight.

Kristen’s dad met us at the airport and suprisingly enough, our bags were one of the first off the carousel AND they had all made it too. A drive home in 80 degree weather,some tea and stuff and then it was off to get the cats. Their flight was also delayed a little bit so it wasn’t until 11.20 that they arrived. The place we had to pick them up from was like a lockup in a deserted back alley, or at least that is what it felt like at 11pm on a dark (and by this time very rainy) night. There was no-one around, the lighted signs flickered and it felt just like a set from an old black and white film.

Eventually the cats arrived in their boxes, we picked them up and then had to listen to Basil cry for most of the way home – he was not impressed with having to stay in a box for 24 hours with little food, water or space to run around with.

When we got home we let them out in the basement. Frankie and Winston proceeded to explore around, sniffing everything. They were very jumpy and there are a lot of strange noises in a basement! Then it was time for bed so after being up for 24 hours straight, Kristen and I went upstairs and left Winston to begin his houdini inspired tour of the house……