“Gradventures” in London: Departure

On the day that I was ticketed to leave for London, I had planned numerous last-minute errands such as closing a bank account, returning a few unused items to Wal-Mart, going to the barber shop, and getting a refund on a Big Mac I had ordered a few weeks before that was missing its meat patties.

Of all these, I was only able to obtain the refund on the burger, which I wish I had done before because the manager gave my two vouchers for free meals. I had totally overestimated the amount of time that existed between 8am (the time I naturally wake up) and 2 pm (the time I had decided I would head to the airport for my 5pm flight).

So, what held me back from completing, better yet, starting, the tasks I had once thought so able to easily completed? Well, around 11:00, in a feverish effort to create more confusion and anxiety than I had already been able to muster, I decided to re-pack my bags. The alleged motive was, of course, to properly classify the items I would be most willing to part with should need to lessen my luggage load at the counter. Instead, I just created so much stress that I was unable to eat breakfast or lunch AND basically left my apartment in a messy whirl of packaging and once-cherished knickknacks.

I had also decided that taking the clothes I had worn to work the day before was essential and that they needed to be clean as well. So, I loaded up my washer and then my dryer, knowing full well their egregious track record on timeliness! I also spent a half an hour participating in a wholly inaccurate alteration of my usually accurate way of obtaining the weight of my luggage. What I usually do is weigh myself with the small body weight scale that lives beneath my bathroom sink and then weigh myself while holding my luggage in my arms and then dividing the difference between the two. I knew this wouldn’t work this time because, in addition to my total exhaustion from stress and lack of food from the evening before, the bags were simply too oddly shaped and cumbersome for me to hold while balanced on the scale. I decided some home that a scale designed precisely to absorb and measure the impact of two human feet on its surface could somehow measure a suitcase that could only balance by laying it long-ways (and subsequently, touching the floor).

Well, it’s good I made preparations contrary to the false hope I created by my dreadful unreliable assessment. If you recall the stress filled rearrangement I mentioned earlier, I’d like to say now that the stress was perhaps worth it. With my vacuum-sealed effects sorted into tier-two essential and I-will-have-a-panic-attack-without-these categories. Why? Well, at the ticket counter, after heaving my larger bag* onto the scale and making it balance long enough not to fall over, I was horrified to see it read 98 pounds! The smaller bag provided no assuagement either, with a reading of 70 pounds!

I had my ride to the airport waiting outside in case of this very possibility and was luckily able to offload some of the items back into the car. I was also able to put some of the items in my Rick Steve’s convertible carry-on backpack that you might remember me describing for my European backpacking trip.

After leaving Orlando, I had one layover in Philadelphia with scheduled arrival in London at 5am EST/ 10am GMT.

Here’s a bunch of airport photos for my readers that love airplanes and airports!

*(when I say larger, I mean large in an absolute sense as in, I could fit in this bag)

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