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We’re off.
I can’t believe it. We couldn’t believe the flight wasn’t cancelled. We couldn’t believe they took our bags. We watched the pilot through the window. Sure, he was doing a Sudoku but he was in the cockpit – at 7 in the morning. Every announcement they made I was sure they were going to be calling us off and apologizing.

The lounge TV had news from the U.K. and they were talking about ash and clouds. They showed pictures from the airport filled with people and I was sure this would be it. The pilot might see the news and call the whole thing off.

We got on the plane and they thanked us for choosing Air Transat. We taxied and they didn’t even stop at the beginning of the runway. We took the last turn on two wheels and were up, up, and away.

This is the strangest flight experience I have ever had. I have never seen people pay closer attention to the safety demonstration before take off in my life! People were taking notes, there were questions after. It was intense.

And there are empty seats on this plane! Two in front of me and two behind me! I can’t believe it. In flight movie #1 The Blind Side. I can’t believe it! I wanted to see that movie. I almost bought it at Walmart. It was great. I cried. The next movie is something with George Clooney so I am going to read my book. The third movie is something with Alvin and the Chipmunks. I am hoping to be unconscious by then.

In summary, I can’t believe it. Good praying everybody. Good job. Hopefully I’ll see you in Blighty.
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Update: We made it… sort of . Air Transat filed a ‘tentative flight plan’ that included Gatwick opening in time for us to land there. Well, they didn’t so while in the air we started looking for a place to land. Heathrow? No. Manchester? No. We had Dublin and Newcastle (400 km north of London). They went with Newcastle (thank goodness) which has seen three widebody planes land today. The pilot got a round of applause upon touchdown. The last time I heard people clapping on touchdown was September 11th. There is no terminal so we walked down the stairs and into a bus – pronounced “coooch” (coach) over to the airport building to be ‘patriated’.

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When we came up the stairs there were photographers, and three news crews at the airport. This is apparently news. I was asked, “Are you glad to be home?” I told him to ask me next week. Starbucks was handing out free mini hot chocolates. Sweet!

We picked up our bag and headed out to the bus where John and Cary were loading the bus and preparing for our departure. Six hour bus ride to Gatwick you say? Excellent.

Buses sort of have a bathroom which we have been warned against using. “Aye woodn’t youse et” Says John. Duly noted John. I’ll cross my legs.

This is an awesome holiday! I am loving this! We have been out of the house 18 hours and I have been absolutely flabbergasted twice.

I couldn’t believe we were actually flying and then I couldn’t believe we took off with no place to land. I have been watching the Gatwick Airport for days assuming that if Gatwick is closed we weren’t going to fly. Well shut my mouth. Apparently that doesn’t matter at all!

When we get some Internet we will look at making some alternative arrangements for the way home. We`ll see. Julie says hi. I say cheers. Now, lets try to get some sleep on a cooch.

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