D- Day (Departure day)
I had no qualms about our intended departure date of Friday the 13th. If the date were to have any bearing on the safety of the trip, surely it would only be positive? I speculated those folks with a fear of such things would stay safely tucked up in their beds and leave the roads, airports and skies emptier for us non-superstitious types.
I had decided a few months before, that it only fair to ask my hubby and 3 sons if they wished to join me on a trip to the US. I know that if Neil had tried to do such a trip and had not asked me, I would have been furious! So it was an early start in the Wallace clan household for 5 sleepy heads that morning. An uneventful drive south to the big city of Glasgow, where we left the car in a long stay car park, which had previously been the pound for the now defunct Chrysler car factory. Do you remember "Linwood, no more" - from "Letter from America" - The Proclaimers?
A short flight took us to London Heathrow and a transfer (a bus and walk along miles of corridors) to International departures at Terminal 4. We were soon on board the Jumbo Jet that was to take us across the 'big pond'. Here we sampled the delights of British Airways "World Traveller" (a euphemism for steerage class) seating arrangements. [Memo to self: blow the cost and travel with space next time]. My boys all seemed quite unperturbed by the lack of legroom, the uncomfortable seats and the indifferent airline food. They lost no time in getting down to the serious business of travelling - 'chilling out' with their CD's, hand-held computers and games machines.
When travelling abroad, I like to make the effort to try to speak to the locals in their language; with this in mind, I spent some of the 9 and a half-hour flight reading "Notes from a Big Country" by Bill Bryson. I learned to call a queue a 'line', a shopping centre a 'mall', a lift an 'elevator', taps are 'faucets', and toilets are 'restrooms'. I also learned the Americans like things to be ordered: you wait to be seated in a restaurant, and will often be asked for ID (note to keep passport with me at all times); they are referring to bags not payment method when they ask "paper or plastic' at the checkout; and they like their junk food - Bill talks about cheese in a spray can and a marshmallow sandwich spread called Fluff ~ tell me he's joking on these, please.