|Coupeville Wharf in springtime|
After six months of living in the U.K., we are back in Washington! This was a bittersweet journey for us to make. It was super hard to leave our sweet grandsons behind and say goodbye to our daughter in-law, knowing that they will have another 6 or 7 weeks before our son returns from his deployment. But, we had reached our 6 month limit and had to leave. We also had to leave our newly refurbished apartment and a way of life we had come to accept. The good news, we hope to be back in August.
This is the second blog about traveling during Covid. If you read our early blog post about traveling to England, we wrote about how surreal it felt. How it felt like traveling in a Sci-Fi novel, empty airports, closed shops and restaurants. There was a certain thrill of seeing a historical time of our lives up close and personal. It also seemed like people working at the airport were happy to see us. We were travelers and maybe we were a sign that things were going to get better soon. This time traveling, it was so much the same and so much different.
|Flight Cancelled! |
|Twitter for the save! |
After 2 hours, no one had called back and David was still on hold but he was having a conversation with someone from Delta, via Twitter. Long story, Twitter came through and whoever was on the other end got our flight reinstated. It was about another half an hour before I finally got a call back. Thanks but too late. What we think happened, but we are not sure, there was an equipment change, that caused a flight number change that somehow cancelled our reservation. It was now coming on midnight and we had an Uber picking us up early the next morning. We had scheduled an Uber since our normal train and bus method of getting to the airport was not running costing us an extra $100.
|Uber ride to the airport|
Next cause for concern, nobody gets on an international flight without a negative Covid test. I knew I wasn't sick, I knew that David wasn't sick but we still had to take tests at the airport. The reason I was concerned? I have heard that there are a fair amount of false positives. What if this happens? Do they retest? Do we have to head home again and wait 14 days to travel again? Luckily, our test were negative and that was another extra $95.00 each.
|Covid Testing Center at London Heathrow|
|Empty security scanning area|
Sadly, the airport was just about the same as 6 months ago. Most of the seats were blocked from using, stores and restaurants were still closed and everyone who was traveling seemed to be sad and exhausted. There is a sadness to traveling when there are no families on holiday, there is no laughter or excitement. Our airplane only had 47 passengers. During normal times you would be happy and excited if your airplane only had 15% capacity but now it just another reminder at how far we away we are from feeling or acting normal.
|Airport waiting area at London Heathrow|
I am sorry if this blog post has a certain sadness to it. I really want to document what we saw and how we felt because I am sure at some point in my life, this will all feel far away and hopefully hard to remember. I am sure that life will resume, families will travel and laughter and excitement will return. One thing this has taught me, never take those mundane, happy moments for granted!
|More empty corridors at London Heathrow|
|Waiting for boarding|
|Empty seats on Boeing 767|
|Constant mask reminders on flight entertainment screen|