Well….we did it!
Matthew, Karla and I are back home in the UK.
The past week has been a complete whirlwind of activity and emotion.
I feel like we haven’t really stopped since last Tuesday, when we dropped Karla off ready for her journey back.
We then spent the rest of Tuesday and the majority of our day Wednesday somewhat worrying about Karla, but primarily worrying about packing our luggage and cleaning out our rental house.
It was horrible being in the house without Karla – she really does make our little family complete.
Wednesday really was a long day – especially when we had to evenly distribute our baggage allowance between our four bags, and we were so painfully close – but thankfully when we checked in on Thursday afternoon, we were just under – and I admit, I gave Matthew a huge hi-five in the baggage check-in area! *win*
We did manage to enjoy a lovely “final meal”, and had some time to relax in the evening, but Wednesday night into Thursday morning both Matthew and I didn’t get much sleep.
Karla safely landed early on Thursday morning, and I spent some time speaking with my parents who had very kindly travelled to pick her up.
It was a huge sense of relief when Karla was with them and we knew she was safe and sound at home, and we just needed to join her.
Now those of you know know me, will know I don’t really like flying.
However, not only is Matthew extremely good at “dealing” with me in that situation by talking to me and calmly explaining what all the changes in noise and movements are, I had also began using a new app called Headspace, which is a simple meditation program, and actually had a free “fear of flying” session, which I found really helpful. I’ll definitely continue to use it in stressful times, and would certainly recommend it.
The flight itself was pretty uneventful. There was very little turbulence, which I was thankful for!
However the flight itself was a pretty “high-profile” event.
Matthew and I were flying with Air Canada Rouge, the “budget-style” version of the well-known Air Canada.
The flight we were on, from Toronto to London, Gatwick, was actually the inaugural flight for that particular journey for AC Rouge – and I admit, I did briefly wonder whether the pilots would remember which airport to land at!
But it meant that we got a little bit of special treatment – there was a red carpet and celebratory cake when we boarded, and we were given an unexpected meal and free alcoholic drink (I got mine and passed it over to Matthew for him to enjoy!) whilst on board.
The stewards on board were lovely, and one was even kind enough to have a chat with me whilst he was eating his dinner and I was stretching my legs.
Matthew and I were a little worried about the “in flight entertainment” as our flight out to Canada had promised seat-back TVs, and unfortunately that wasn’t to be. We knew flying with AC Rouge that there was no seat-back entertainment, but instead you were able to use their in-flight entertainment system on your own iPhone/iPad/laptop etc.
It actually worked surprisingly well – there wasn’t a vast amount of choice, but there was more than enough to pass the time.
And when we landed, and were eventually allowed off the plane (that part seems to always take forever, doesn’t it?!) we seemed to breeze through – well apart from the stupid “e-passport” system which just didn’t like my face and repeatedly refused me entry!
We collected our bags and made our way out to meet Matthew’s brother David who had generously woken up at the crack of dawn to come and collect us.
I’ll write another post about what we’ve been doing since we’ve been back, but in short everything feels and seems very small and cramped, fish, chips and mushy peas are even better than I remember, and it is extremely surreal being back – something I’m still getting used to!