The Long Journey Home

Thursday, July 4, 2019

London to Phoenix

Happy Independence Day!

Our six week odyssey is quickly coming to an end.  The alarm goes off early, we caffeinate, throw any stragglers into our bags and step outside to meet our car service at 6:45am.

Check-in at Heathrow is a breeze.  Since we are flying First (Johnny is in Biz) we get to use the dedicated First check-in room.  They graciously allow John to join in.  Our bags are dumped and we walk the 10 steps to their dedicated security section.  After a quick and pleasant check we are emptied directly into the lounge – how convenient.  I am hoping that John will be allowed to enter the Concorde room along with us.  We ask the concierge and are told that is no problem.  Ahhhhh.  This is how it should always be for air travel.  No fuss, no muss.

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A nice, light breakfast is enjoyed by the fireplace.  We are fully aware that we will be served a couple of great meals on the plane, so we choose accordingly.  Some blog, some play games, some read.  Soon enough it is time to head to the gate. Once on board I waste no time in hopping into my pjs and ordering champagne.

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John has chosen a seat on the upper deck – he really enjoyed it last time he flew from Europe.  I tell my flight attendant that I am going to visit him and she asks me if I would like to invite him down for a drink.  You bet!

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John moves up in the world

My plan for fighting jet lag on this flight home (with a big layover in Houston) is to try and stay awake the entire time.  We will land around 8:00pm in Phoenix and I figure I can then just hit the bed and get a full night’s sleep.  So – I enjoy a light lunch, a bit more champagne and watch several movies.

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Don’t forget to ask for the chocolates!

Rich takes a nap for a couple of hours. He wakes in time for Afternoon Tea. (He remembers how awesome the scones with clotted cream are).

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They do offer a regular more formal full-on tea, but I only wanted the scones.

The nine plus hour flight to Houston goes by relatively quickly.  We land, enjoy the new electronic passport check at customs (yay!), collect our bags and then re-check in for our flight home.  I always allow plenty of time between international flights so we have about 31/2 hours to kill at the Amex Centurion Lounge.  We get comfy.

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Before we know it it is time to go to the gate.  The flight is not bad even though we have now been relegated to the “cheap seats.”  We can handle it for a couple of hours.  The only other hurdle is “Baggage Purgatory” at Sky Harbor in Phoenix.  The bags finally come, we take the shuttle to our parking and John drives us home in the truck. We meet a full herd of Javelinas in our driveway…

Wow.  Where are we and where have we been? I think we are all a bit brain dead by this time.  The entire trip has been awesome.  One of the best.  It will take some time to digest it all and come back to reality.

We feel so lucky to have had our kids all with us.  Those occasions are rare and we appreciate every minute with Janel, Isam and John.  Making memories is what it is all about.

Thank you for going on this journey with us – we love our readers!  See you next time (wonder where that will be?)

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