EuroAdventure Day 30: Homeward Bound

(posted by Emily)

Friday 25 July

We woke up early on our last morning in Roydon. The boat needed to be pumped out, and filled with diesel, so we headed over to the clubhouse area of the marina to take care of business. 

After last minute packing adjustments, washing of dishes, and cleaning, we were ready to go! We said goodbye to our boat neighbors (and Dobby) and Malcolm drove us to Heathrow. 

We had planned ahead for the trip and packed an extra suitcase. It took a little finagling, but we got all of our bags checked in for free (lesson learned--always bring the credit cards of the airlines you are flying while on a vacation, to prove you really do have the frequent flyer status you claim to have).  Security was an easy affair, with almost all steps automated. There were security workers there to help direct you, and we only had to pass through a metal detector (I hate full body scanners). 

I attempted to take a photo of the security area, but got flagged down by an employee who asked me to delete it. She did let me keep this photo, however: 

We had an easy time going through security, so we chose the darker green, extra happy face :) 

Our departure was through the new Terminal 2 again, and it was fun to see all of the amenities before the gates. In addition to an abundance of restaurants, there was a Harrods store, duty free, and a number of designer boutiques. 

overlooking the main terminal area
We love our United Airlines credit card, and actually upgraded to the Club Card last fall when we knew we would be going on this trip. Dad had told us how nice the United Club is at Heathrow and it definitely lived up to and surpassed expectations.

the main area of the United Club
In addition to showers, restrooms, a business center, and a full bar, the club offers great food options. Usually the United Club has bananas and apples, pretzel mix, and carrot sticks along with coffee and some juice. This United Club had a full lunch menu, including veg options we could eat. Everything from fruit to salad, to roasted veggies and chicken curry were on the menu that day. They even had flavored salts as a part of the condiment selection! 

salad with couscous
One of the best parts of the United Club was the full bar, with complimentary drinks. We definitely took advantage of that perk! Disclaimer: we were early for our flight and the flight ended up being delayed--we aren't alcoholics :) 

this was called a Rhapsody in Blue
A spritz!
one more Pimms cup for the road!
There were thunderstorms in London as we leaving, so we ended up being delayed even further while waiting to take off. 

Luckily, our entertainment systems were working without issue on this flight. Rick and I watched "together" by choosing the same shows and movies, and pressing play at the same time. We watched two episodes of Frasier (a new-found favorite on this trip), 12 Years a Slave (true confessions--I wasn't that impressed), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Muppets Most Wanted. We stayed awake the whole flight, and were served two meals. 

a wrap we got for our snack 
thank goodness for working tvs

Some highlights (and lowlights) from the remainder of our trip: 
+ We went through US Customs in Canada, which saved time once we got back to LA
- Our flight from Montreal to LA ended up being delayed 2 hours because the plane "groomers" did not show up to clean the plane
- Rick and I were denied access to the Star Alliance lounge by a very rude employee, despite our status with United
+ We both slept almost the whole way from Montreal to LA
- Rick's suitcase was lost by Air Canada and didn't arrive with us in LA
+ We got Rick's suitcase back about 36 hours later, without issue
+ Due to jet lag, we were able to harvest all of our ripe tomatoes at 1:30am 
+ It was great to see the pups after being gone from them for so long!

It is hard to put into words how amazing our trip was. We had the opportunity to see so many amazing things and eat amazing food. I know we were ready to come home, but will miss this trip as our summer comes to a close. It has been so much fun to share the journey with you, and I hope you have enjoyed reading our posts! 



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