So where did we leave off?
Aww...the allergic reaction. Starting on my bum. That's right. Well, as you can assume, I survived and we are now in the UK. But the adventures didn't stop there. I may have used 'adventures' as a euphemism.
We boarded our flight at almost 11pm, and I was asleep by the time we took off. I suppose it was half benadryl and half exhaustion. I woke up 2 hours later to a meal on my tray. I ate it, while half asleep, almost upset that I was expected to eat while so tired. I fell asleep and woke up 6 hours later. Amazing. Slept for 8 of 10 hours on the flight. It was dark and silent. Felt a connectedness. Like we just had this airborn sleepover with 250 people. All was fantastic until we began the descent. My cramps became ridiculously hell-like. Maybe it had something to do with the pressure or altitude or something but if I didn't know better I would have thought I was having baby birthing contractions.
We de-plane and rush to customs, at which point we are halted to a stop. There had to be a thousand people in line, snaking back and forth towards the officers up front. Oh and did I mention it was record high temperature here yesterday. Well, we had no control over it so we didn't let it bother us. Believe it or not, I was in pretty good spirits all things considered. We played hand games like evens & odds, we people watched, we laughed at the comically upset man. So angry about the length of the line, his true behaviors were like a bad actor. Every 2 minutes he would pull up his sleeve, look at his watch, look at the crowd and shake his head. His misery was hilarious.
An hour later we get through customs, pick up our bags and I rush to the restroom. We then exit and find our driver, lug our bags 10 minutes to his car in the parking lot and I realize "oh shit! I left my iphone in the bathroom at the baggage claim area." We tell the driver we have to go back in, he quickly says to meet him out front and we run back. Realizing there is no re-entry, we speak to the information booth who sends us to an officer who sends us to security who finally tells us to use a phone on the wall to call our airline who will then have to send someone over to escort me back to check the bathroom after confirming we were on the flight and checking my passport. I knew my phone was a goner. My beautiful iphone, in a busy bathroom at Heathrow. No chance. So we call Virgin Atlantic, it rings and rings and rings, when finally someone picks up and my husband goes on, "My wife left her phone in the baggage claim bathroom, they said we needed to call you..." when out of nowhere an airport employee walks by and says, "did you say you lost your phone?" YES! "an iphone?" YES! "in the bathroom?" YES! She says, "we just had one turned in, I will go and get it." I cried. It was like I had won some silly game show and tons of money. I felt relieved. I had already admitted defeat. Which made it that much more exciting. We waited, 10 minutes later she arrives with my phone. I cried again, don't judge. We sat there in awe of our luck. Had we been any earlier or any later she wouldn't have overheard our phone call. And who knows if we would have ever found out if it was turned in and to whom and to where.
So we run out of the airport and begin scanning the packed area full of cars and drivers, realizing we didn't even remember what kind of car our driver had. I spotted him and we ran over. James says, "I feel like we're on the amazing race!" My dream. Our adventure. We've had our own kind of magic in the past 24 hours. Been thrown some curveballs, and here we are. A 5 hour LAX stay, an 11 hour flight, a 2 hour car ride, an allergic reaction and lost (& found) phone later, sitting in Kent, UK at 5am capturing our experience. Day 1.