I was actually having a nice sleep when Karen’s alarm went off at 5.50am some 10 minutes before she told me she was setting it for. Still, it meant we were up and away exactly on time at 7am.
Our first trip of 2023 and the old pre travel anxiety feelings had returned to me with vengeance. Still no idea why. I knew they were brewing the day before but as usual I knew if I didn’t let them totally overwhelm me then it would be fine. With dark clouds swirling around my head, we made our way down the A11. By the time we reached the Elveden roundabout I felt fine again and was looking forward again to the whole trip.
I don’t know if it the fear of the unknown or the guilt of leaving everyone at home that does it for me. I love the planning and booking of trips. I don’t mind the packing, it’s just the actual departing. I am love it when we get underway and arrive. All a bit strange really and but I expect a Psychoanalyst would be able to unpick it for me. Anyhow I do know that all be well if you I push myself through it each time.
The traffic was surprisingly light and we made good time to the airport. Our man ‘Sunny’ was waiting for us as we pulled up outside Heathrow T3. After the customary greeting and football chat we were soon in the terminal as he took our car away for us.
The queue for check in was small and getting through security was no hassle for a change. We made our way to the Club Aspire Lounge which although had a sign saying it was full, we managed to get into. It was busy but we found some seats and helped ourselves to the Hot English Breakfast which was surprisingly good. After washing it down with 2 mugs of tea we availed ourselves of the free bar with a couple of Gin & Tonics each.
The time went quite quickly as we occupied ourselves with trying to catch up with Karen’s Mum in the Care Home who was suffering with another water infection and also trying to arrange for Barry for his car to be looked at for a water leak (I don’t think the two were connected).
Boarding was quick and easy. Karen was pleased with our assigned seats in Premium Economy. This section of the plane was less than half full. Karen was convinced she saw Bob Geldorf in the Upper-Class section but I cannot confirm that.
The Virgin staff were excellent. All of them very happy and very efficient. The seats were comfortable and the service not bad. Even the food was almost on the level of acceptable although still to weird and controversial for me.
I passed the time by first of all watching ‘Fisherman’s Friends 2’ which was really good. I was disappointed to learn afterwards that most of the storyline was fictionalised. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it. I then watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation which I had never seen all the way through before. It was just about OK. After spending sometime writing the blog I ended up watching some episodes of the last series of Superstore, which is so cleverly written.
Upon arrival we disembarked down some steps onto the tarmac and walked across to what seemed to be a series of sheds masquerading as the terminal building. Immigration would have been simple if I had filled in forms for both of us rather than for just me. The form did say that you only the ‘Head of Household’ needed to complete but obviously it was wrong. We quickly filled in another form for Karen which was not easy as I did not have my glasses on.
Our cases were soon off and we made our way outside. Although the resort where we are staying for the first part of the trip was less than 2 miles away I had prebooked a taxi. However, they hadn’t sent me details of where to meet them as they had promised before the flight had departed. The airport did not seem to have free Wifi so I couldn’t access emails to see if it had come through. However, waiting outside there was a representative from our resort who quickly organised a complimentary taxi for us instead. It was all very quick and smooth. Within a few minutes we were unloading our bags and checking in at Reception in the resort.
After quickly downing our complimentary Rum Punches we went to our room, which was exactly as we expected and felt very Caribbean.
We did contemplate getting showered and changed and heading back down to get some food and drinks but, in the end, as we were tired and our body clocks told us it was way past midnight at home we settled on having a cuppa and collapsing into bed. Exploring the resort will just have to wait until tomorrow.