I’ve loads of time this morning. Checkout isn’t until 12. I drag myself out of bed in the twilight between 8 and 9.
Why not have breakfast downstairs? No reason at all. I feel quite peckish. So, I do. I noticed yesterday that they do eggs and bacon. What more do I need?
Two eggs, bacon, potatoes. In case you’re wondering. Eggs over easy, as always. And whole wheat toast. Pretty much what I always get in the US, when there’s a grease option. It’s not bad at all. One fewer slices of bacon than at the diner, though. Have they never heard of the rule of threes?
The remaining time until checkout I waste away watching TV on my laptop and finishing off my hotel bourbon. I wouldn’t want to waste any of it. And packing. That’s pretty important.
It goes really well. The 30-odd cans fit neatly into the book suitcase. I’ve never brought home as much beer form the US.
Paul and Jamie pick me up around 12:15. It’s quite a drive out to Dulles. It’s around 13:00 when they drop me off.
My flight isn’t until 17:45. Too early to check in. I hang around for a while reading Private Eye. I’ve got a seat. What do I care if I have to wait a little? I’m learning patience. Who would have guessed that?
The airport has a real Alphaville vibe. In a sort of good way. Unlike Charles De Gaulle. Which is dark Alphaville. The most poorly-designed airport in the world. And somewhere I dearly wish never to have to visit again. The eight hours I once spent there were some of the worst of my life.
Once the check in eventually opens, all the annoyance is soon behind me and I’m ensconced in the lounge, sipping a whisky. It’s run by Air France. Great news. They have the best food and drink. I get stuck into the ham sandwiches. Simple, but very tasty.
My plan is to fill up before boarding. I’m really sick of airline meals. Just crap. I can’t remember the last time I ate a whole one. I nibble at a few of the tastier looking bits. Which isn’t much.
The gate isn’t far. I roll up at exactly the right time to roll right on board. It looks pretty full, unlike the flight on the way out. That’s a bit of a bummer. It’s nice to be able to stretch out, especially on an overnighter.
I watch Bullet Train. Quite amusing, surprisingly. I expected it to be totally crap. It passes some time in a not unpleasant way.
The meal is, as expected, pretty horrible, The usual choice of chicken or vegetarian. A lump of dry chicken encased in some gloop is what I’m served. I manage a couple of mouthfuls before giving up in disgust. As much at myself for having bothered to try it as at the meal itself.
Flight time is just 6.5 hours. Not a huge amount of time left for sleeping once they’ve fed us. I can’t really get comfortable and do no better than a couple of hours dozing. It’s a relief when the cabin lights come on again.
A fairly bland warm egg sandwich is the breakfast offering. I can’t munch my way through much. Coffee is welcome.
“Do you want creamer or proper milk?” the flight attendant asks.
“What the fuck do you think?” Pops into my head. I actually say “Proper milk, please.”
I’m pretty zombified as I pass through passport control and pick up my bags. Neither of which is leaking beer. There’s a victory. Looks like everything is still intact.
A quick glide down the motorway later I’m opening my front door. Now where’s that cup of tea?