Great Scotland Yard! That’s a phrase my kids are familiar with around here. I usually say it when a shelf crashes down or my car has rolled out of the driveway. But it resonated off the walls in May of 2107 when my parents invited me to “help” them on their journey with 2 grandchildren on a “Kilts and Castles” tour of the United Kingdom. Uh, what? In .25 seconds I was in line at the passport office.
Have you ever heard heaven chuckle? I have. The summer of 2017 was supposed to be vacation-less. I had given up on trying to corral my young adults, teenagers, and devoted businessman into the same location at the same time on a trip they all would feel enthusiastic about. You would need the intelligence and ferocity of a border collie for that job and I only have a cockapoo.
So irony of ironies, this summer I would travel farther and longer from home than I ever had before.
I did a little research, ordered pre-loaded Oyster cards, downloaded CityMapper, and watched a YouTube video on packing a suitcase. (Yes, I did.) Ok. I did a little more prep than that. But I’ll sprinkle all the things I discovered about what worked and what didn’t throughout this little travelogue. On July 31st, I packed my suitcase for real and headed to my parents’ home.
For a girl whose biggest drive is usually up and down the 99, navigating the trip to San Fransisco was an adventure in itself. But we made it. Dad opted to pay for long-term parking at Anzac. They are cheerful and helpful folks. We were shuttled over to the airport with fabulous efficiency.
Everything worked smoothly…until security. The instant we were in the line, tensions ratcheted up. Maybe it is part of the plan. After all, if personnel look angry and serious, a terrorist might just change their minds. Right? Anyhow, the homeland security dog was amusing. Nothing seemed to arouse suspicion although I felt sorry for the poor man whose derriere the dog decided he must investigate.
At the scanning stations, I was surprised that my nieces and I passed right through. We had to wait a little while my parents were patted down, scanned, and wanded. Eventually, we were all reunited. Come to think of it, airport security is probably the only time you will ever see a line of ladies waiting for their men to finish dressing. I should have snapped a picture.
When we were all through, we could relax again. We found our gate and then the nearest spot to grab a late lunch. My food was delicious. Mom got more greens than she bargained for with a kale-infused Caesar salad. But it was good for her.
The next adventure would be the flight.