We were off to Heathrow by 6:45, which was good since I heard Graham mention that rush hour traffic would be starting in 20 minutes. We checked in as a group by 8am, where I was almost the end of our line anyway, but I was very last to finish checking in since my checked bags were fine for weight, but they were insisting my carryon was too heavy, so I had to try repacking twice...argh! Robin also had the same problem and only finished a minute or two before me, so I didn't feel quite so bad, but Nick did quip "Causing trouble again, Britta?" hehe... :-P Since we were all checked in, Nick could finally leave us and go to his office, but not without goodbye & thank you hugs from us of course - We love you Nick! :) Let's hope we really can work out that Choral Project organ concert Daniel insisted we do so we can have Nick come visit us!
Our flight wasn't until 11am, but we had no gate assignment even scheduled to be released until 9:45, so we wandered. Maly & I went to Starbucks for coffee for her & a cranberry juice and cheese pastry for me, then she wanted Burger King. Maly went off to use an internet kiosk while I finished a couple postcards and filled out my customs declaration form. When 9:45 came around and we still had no gate assignment, we decided to go through security after exhausting all the shopping areas there. Still no gate assignment after smoothly getting through security, so since we found Lori and Suzanne, we set up "camp" and wandered around the duty-free shops. I never did find a Harrods shop to get some of the raspberry tea, but I saw others with Harrods bags when we landed - darn! No Archers in the duty-free area anyway, so just as well I bought my bottle at the Welshpool Safeway! ;) We didn't get a gate assignment until 10:40 when it said "final boarding" too! Ack! A massive herd of people all walked the 20 minutes down to our gate and got directly on the plane. It had gotten in late, hence the delay, so we didn't take off until 11:37. I watched the Office Christmas special again, then since I was lucky enough to get the odd window seat where the tail started to taper, I had enough leg room I could doze for a few hours. I wandered a bit getting more wacky "going home" footage while giving my tailbone a break, watched Scooby Doo 2, then we were landing on time per the original schedule, making up time on the way. Customs & immigration were smooth for me at least, then Jeff picked me up around 3pm, and I was home to a very vocal kitty by about 4pm...where now this evening I am already having tour withdrawals *sigh*...I haven't really been all by myself since before the trip, and there is only so much you can talk to your cat...although I was very pleased that I stayed exactly the same weight as before I left, even with all the alcohol I never usually drink! Good thing we were always walking everywhere... :)
Thanks for a fabulous tour everyone, and thanks to those of you who read the goings-on here! It was great to be able to read your comments before I wrote the next update each time...thanks!
Signing off for now...