The day finally arrived after an eventful week where Mrs C had been unwell and was off work and I had to had over the UK engineering applications control to my more than capable colleagues in Europe.
The alarm went off at 03:00 for a taxi collection at 04:00. The door bell rang at 03:35 and it was one of Conrad’s drivers advising he was early but would wait outside but by 03:50 we were ready to leave. The drive to Manchester airport was quick but the drop off at T1 was busy. We were first in line at the Aer Lingus desk by 04:30 waiting for it to open at 05:05.
Checked in ok and off through security which was the busiest i’d seen it for a long while. We had a proper jobs-worth on our line who was so rude. We had filled our trays and were making our way through the body scanner when I got called back because the tray was too full, I pointed out that it he had actually been at the tray instead of taking too a colleague he would have been able to explain rather than being as rude as he was! This fell on deaf ears and I was told to just split the items up.
Once through security Mrs C was off shopping in duty free and as soon as she’d got the perfume she wanted and the aftershave for me she was happy.
Mrs C spotted TV chef Simon Rimmer who we know as he’s a friend with a friend of ours. We said hello but he didn’t recognise us – odd. So off we went to the quite lounge. But who should follow us in but Simon, this time he recognised us and we had a quick catch up.
First flight of the day 50 minutes to Dublin quick and simple.
Once in Dublin we went straight through to US immigration and that is where the fun started. Because of last year’s ESTA issue and the need for a full visa I was told I would have to be vetted again back behind the scenes. Mrs C was told she could either go to the gate and wait for me or go with me. She wasn’t letting me out of her sights and came with me. What seemed like ages but no longer than 20 minutes I was told I was ok to proceed. I asked if this would happen on a regular basis and was told maybe!
The extra check meant no Guinness for me so we just waited to board our Chicago flight.
The flight was ok, reasonable food but poor choice of film. I did actually manage to get some sleep which is unusual for me.
Landed in Chicago at 13:50 a little ahead of schedule, grabbed our bags and went to get the hire cars shuttle. Picked the car up ok and drove to Julie’s.
Julie has beaten us back as she had flown in from Canada and landed an hour after us but no bags or car to collect.
Warm and sunny 82 degrees
Pizza and beer and a chilled catch-up with Julie before going to bed at 21:25 a full 24 hours after getting up back in the UK.
We saw Chris briefly but no Elle as she was out but plenty of time for that.
Now let’s see what today has in store.