The Airport that (nearly) Stole Christmas: part three

Welcome to the third entry in my story about getting home last Christmas with the mass closures at Heathrow.  If you’re new to this series, check out parts one and two to get caught up!

19th December 2010

I finally arrived at the hotel and made my way through the mobbed lobby to the front desk.  My room was ready, they just had to confirm my reservation.  Great.  After waiting for a couple hours, I was given the key and found the largest hotel room I have stayed in to date.  A queen bed, a couch and a bath?  I’ll take it.

Resisting the urge to fall right back onto the downy bed, I pretended to make myself look presentable.  And failed miserably.

See, when I was packing on Friday I had expected to be home on Sunday.  Thus, I didn’t do laundry.  The only clean clothes I had were the clothes I was wearing.  A white t-shirt, black jeans, grey socks, ugg boots and my university hoodie.  Hardly ideal.

Yet, the promise of seeing one of your favorite cities awash in holiday lights is a powerful motivator and I jumped off of the bed and went out to explore, wearing clothes fit only for a plane.

And, oh, how I enjoyed seeing London at Christmas!  I went to Paul and got a lovely goat’s cheese crepe, I went to Jack Wills purely to look around and I went to Southbank to see the lovely Christmas decorations.  Simply put, I pretended that I didn’t have anything to do other than explore London.

During all of this, my parents were calling me with updates on flights they had found.  Would I mind going to Manchester for a nine am flight?  What about Iceland air?  I could fly to Germany first.  Finally, walking along Carnaby street, I got a call from my mother, they had booked me on an Aer Lingus flight for six fourty five am tomorrow morning from Heathrow Terminal One.  I would fly to Dublin and from there would go on to JFK.  My flight to JFK would be business class.

My mother said to me, “There is business class a lounge at the airport in Dublin you should go to.  Enjoy it!  Take advantage of flying business class.  Use the express lane!”  Okay mom, I could do that.  Images of Seinfeld sipping on white wine from Tuscany popped into my head.

I continued to journey on.  Walking around Topshop, I discovered a grey bag that would perfectly replace the tattered Cath Kidston shopper I was using to carry some stuff in.  It would all work out, it had to.

With nothing else to do but think about how early I would need to get up the next morning, I ate dinner at Wagamama and headed back to my hotel room.  I didn’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be home the next day.

My parents called me at 3 am GMT the next morning to wake me up.  It was dark, but I had to get to the airport.   My taxi was booked for four am.  Coughing and getting sick, I went down to the deserted hotel lobby to check out.

to be continued

Where’s your favorite place to see Christmas decorations?  Do you prefer to travel or stay home during the holidays?


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