I've arrived! Wooh hoo! After quite a long flight half-way across the world (ok, not quite an accurate judgment, but close enough for government work!) I've finally arrived in the USA. Actually, all of the flights were remarkably smooth for being the middle of winter. Especially the middle of winter over the North Atlantic. There have been times I've flown to the States where I wasn't able to get up for the whole 8 or 10 hours because of bad turbulence. Not this time, though. It was only mildly bumpy once or twice. And, miracle of miracles, I was able to sleep on the plane!
. . . Of course, that might have had something to do with the insane hours that I was keeping up till I flew out.
My friend kindly offered his flat in London as a jump-off point for the airport Monday morning. He said we (I was traveling with Sara, the American student at Essex) could come in and stay the night on his sofa, and he'd help us get on the train/coach to our respective airports. So we said yes. Of course, the real reason he wanted us (well, me) to come in was because there's a monthly Blues night in London that happened to be the night before we flew off. So we said yes, and had an absolute ball dancing the Blues. Blues is a type of Swing Dance, really slow. It's all about smooth, careful movements, punctuated by quick, sharp steps. Really fun. Got 5 months worth of dancing with my friends done in one night! But it meant we didn't get to bed til sometime after 3 in the morning. And that was after 20 minutes of sleep the night before. I must seriously be insane. Fortunately, I didn't have to be up til 8.30. Yeay. "Sleeping in". But it was such a fabulous night of dancing. I'm really glad I didn't miss it.
Of course, nothing ever goes completely according to plan. I had to dash through the Detroit, Michigan airport. Customs took absolute ages. And the baggage didn't come for yonks. I was exhausted and had a headache, and was literally running through the airport in my socks! And then, when I got to the Minneapolis, Minnesota airport, I had time to get food, but I didn't have any money! I had absolutely 0 USDolars! So, that meant by the time I got to Billings, Montana (10.30 pm) I was starving. And still had a headache. And it was freezing. And as far as my body knew, it was 6.30 in the morning! Yeah, the 3rd all nighter in one week! Glutton for punishment, I guess. Oh, and Mom and Dad got confused. They thought my flight didn't come in till 11.30. So I got to the airport, collected my bags... and still no one there. I waited around a while, and no one showed. Now, I don't have any money (remember?), and my UK mobile phone was not able to get a signal, so I didn't have any way of calling. I tried calling collect, but the phone was doing something weird. Mom'd answer and then it would disconnect. So I finally went around to the car rental desks and talked to the staff at Hertz, and begged to be allowed to use their phone. Since it was local, they said fine. So I called, and Mom's like . . . What are you doing here? I'm like, umm... Waiting? So they came and collected me, and I finally got to go home. But it was COLD waiting for them! -18 F! Yep. That's cold. I walked outside and nearly coughed up a lung. The poor lungs said, 'Aaaah! What is this?!? Get it out!' It's cold.
Anyway, I'm at my folks. My suitcase arrived with me, for a change. And I'm doing a bit of recovery from the term. It's nice. Really nice.