First, let me state for the record that I owe the poor ticket agent for the Heathrow Express an apology. Their fares changed between the last time Alex had used their services, so he in fact, did not overcharge me.
Second, I wish I was still in Cornwall. Obviously it’s primarily because I wish I was still with Alex, but there’s also the beauty and charm of the place itself that I miss. It might be easier to overlook those things when it’s your every day, but I think it’s something I’ll never take for granted.
The trip back, though. Oh, let me tell you about the trip back…
Alex saw me off at the St. Erth train station, where I caught the sleeper to Paddington. It was the hardest thing to get on that train and watch Alex waving goodbye from the platform. Thinking about it right now even makes me cry, but I had a face full of tears and snot as the train pulled away. Not a pretty sight, I’m sure, and people who were already on the train gave me such looks. Sympathetic looks, to be sure, but it’s still not particularly fun to be sort of just stared at. The trip to Paddington was largely uneventful, though, aside from my heart breaking into millions of tiny pieces.
I was disappointed to know that I didn’t have to go through customs to exit, as I desperately wanted to encounter the same grumpy early-morning agent and be slightly smug about the fact that I had not been a drain on England’s economy in any way, having not worked a bit and only spending money, and that I was leaving as promised. Of course, it might be a bit of a blessing, though, as I was still crying by that time (you’d think a person would run out of tears) and she’d probably have just asked me what that was all about.
I boarded the plane at Heathrow on time, where we then sat for two hours because the right engine wouldn’t start. Yes, that’s such a reassuring thing to have happen when you get on a giant tube that’s going to shoot you 36,000 feet into the air and carry you over the Atlantic. However, it turned out – after two hours of just sitting – that the engine would in fact start just fine, as long as it was started “manually”, and we were deemed safe to fly, as long as someone filled out some paperwork about it.
My connecting flight at Chicago was meant to be caught after a layover of only nearly three hours, though, so when you factor in the time for everyone to collect their bags, get off the plane, and the time it would take to get to another gate, I knew before take-off that I wasn’t going to catch my connection. I wasn’t a happy camper. I left St. Erth just before 10 pm, arrived at Heathrow just before 6 am, for a flight that was due to take off at just before 9 am (but didn’t). You can imagine by this time I was tired and cranky.
You know what, though? For all the little complaints I have about the travel time, having the back of my seat kicked over and over by small children (on every single flight), and all of it, I had the best three months of my life. All I want now is to turn around and go right back.
… oh, there’s photos. And many more stories. Give me time.