Sometime during the evening prior to our European departure, Hubs discovered that our flight did not depart at 11:15pm as we’d previously believed, but instead at 6:45pm.
I’d like to say we adjusted gracefully to this significant loss of packing and preparation time, but we didn’t, so I won’t. That Thursday evening was a frenzy of laundry, folding and re-folding, and quart-size Ziplocs. I mentally kissed that last-chance workout goodbye, finally resigning myself to not losing those thirty pounds. #OHWELL.
After a busy Friday morning at work, I arrived at home and attempted a nap. I about twenty minutes in bed, but kept getting distracted by my diligently packing husband. He was carefully arranging practical things like phone chargers and adapters, while I reclined in bed, wondering aloud if I’d be able to use my flat iron over there, and did he think I’d need a hair dryer? He won at wife-selection, clearly.
We arrived at the airport and boarded our flight without incident. Unfortunately, about halfway through the nine-hour flight, our seat mate was struck with a) airsickness, b) food poisoning, or c) Ebola, and began violently vomiting. As a self-professed emetophobe (it’s a thing- there is an actual diagnosis for those who fear puking) I was utterly horrified and had to leave my seat, while a flight attendant fanned the poor sick man. I stood at the back of the plane, wracking my brain to determine if I’d come into contact with the patient. I also marveled at the fortitude of that flight attendant, standing by while this man repeatedly and loudly tossed his cookies. After several minutes of my back-of-plane pacing, they apparently determine that the passenger was too ill to remain in our row, so they moved him to the back of the plane and I was able to return to my seat. Once there (and for the following three or four days) I continued asking Ryan to confirm that he had not, in fact, had any direct contact with his neighbor.
“I licked his seat” was his consistent response.
(I recognize, by the way, that this is way, WAY too much information and is wholly irrelevant to the trip, but it must be said that this incident haunted me for the first 72 hours of our journey, which I concluded to be the incubation period for the virus our fellow passenger was carrying. Still, regardless of my discomfort at witnessing it, he was living one of my biggest fears/nightmares, and I sincerely hope he felt better very soon thereafter.)
Anyway, all that to say, our flight was fine. Except for the puking. The time passed rather quickly (thanks to the plethora of digital entertainment found in the seat back in front of me) and we landed in Heathrow for a brief layover.
A note here about me on airplanes: I do not, CAN not, sleep. So I was a bit of a zombie upon arrival in the London. My better half is usually able to buckle his seatbelt and pass out, but even he remained (mostly) awake on our all-nighter. On account of our lack of sleep, we weren’t what I would characterize as “functional”. Things like finding the correct terminal and connecting to the airport Wi-Fi proved much more difficult than necessary. I was really struggling for a minute there, most noticeably when I walked through a bakery and could not find a single item that looked appealing. Thankfully, a 20-minute power nap on Ryan’s shoulder left me feeling somewhat restored, just in time to board our connection.