The alarm went off at7am so that we could have breakfast and get ourselves sorted for our planned 9am check out. Everything went smoothly and we had our last morning tea on the balcony watching the world wake up.
The man next door had his shower at the same time as me again today and I very nearly joined in with his singing which was quite loud in our bathroom window through his opposite window.
Karen prepared the rolls for our flight and then it was time to for me to carry our bags down the stairs. I went and checked out and paid the bill. I ordered a taxi for the airport at the same time and was told it would be with us in under 5 minutes. 20 minutes later I was sent back to Reception to enquire where it was. Although they didn't admit it I could tell by the looks on their faces that they had forgotten to order it. I waited this time until I heard them actually make the call. This time it did arrive in under 5 minutes.
The journey to airport took about 15 minutes and there was no queue at the Ryanair check in which was a pleasant surprise. We were through security in about 10 minutes and then wandered to find somewhere to sit and wait.
As we had checked in a bag for Karen it gave us priority boarding as well which pleased Karen enormously. We were third in the queue to get on board. I know this removes the stress for Karen of securing overhead locker space but it does mean that we seem to sit on the plane ages waiting for everyone else to board before we eventually start moving.
The plane was full and there were a surprising number of pre school age kids. What is it about children of that sort of age that makes them want to scream quite so much. I put my headphones in and blocked them out in my own world of Desert Island Disks and podcasts. The journey passed slowly and I was slightly annoyed that although Karen had the window seat (it was my turn for the dreaded middle seat) that she was not looking out of the window enough to plot where we were at any given point. I do think that towns and cities should have easily identifiable markers so that you can recognise them from above.
Back at Stansted, there was no queue at Passport Control although my passport was not read by the machines so I had to wander over to have it manually checked. When I found Karen again we walked to the baggage claim where our bag was already waiting for us which is another first for Stansted.
We then walked to the Hotel and went inside to collect our car keys. I was slightly annoyed that they had moved it from where we had parked it. I don't understand why they needed to do that and it gives me some concerns about leaving the car there again.
It was a straightforward drive home via Starbucks on the A11 and then for Fish & Chips on Drayton High Road. The house was freezing when we got in and we could not get the heating to turn on. Naturally this was apparently my fault. The next day we found it was a motorised valve in the airing cupboard that needed replacing.
So another holiday over. This was one that I wasn't especially looking forward to. Perhaps because my expectations were so low that I am so happy that the reality far far exceeded it. We will be booking to go again next February very soon.