And so, another adventure begins
Updated: May 27, 2022
After having to delay my departure from England for a day due to attending my mother’s funeral, I, yet again, climbed on a plane to fly to the United States to undertake my third ride for the Fuller Center for Housing.
Saying goodbye to my mother was taxing emotionally and did not set me up well for the marathon day that followed. I had to give the ‘appreciation of life’ for mum and spent quite some time trying to finalise the wording along with my sisters, then stand up in front of everyone and keeping my emotions in check was not easy. However, I fulfilled this and enjoyed celebrating my mum, who loved cats, along with family members afterwards and catching with some people I had not seen for decades.
I knew I had to leave the our home at 3.00am the following morning to catch my flights so we did not hang around too long.
I managed to snatch a few minutes sleep, said my fairwells to Elaine (my wife) and Hank (our golden retriever) and climbed in the taxi to the airport. I won’t be seeing them again until July! I know Elaine supports me, but I’m not sure Hank forgives me! The taxi journey was dreadful as the driver obviously was completely unaware that the seats in the back were not the same as the driver’s seat. I think I hit the ceiling twice!!
I checked in and was lined up for the following flights:
Bristol airport was absolutely teeming with live, resembling a disturbed ants’ nest!! Families jetting off for short holidays and making use of the extended holiday period due to the queen’s jubilee celebration. There were queues outside the entire terminal for the EasyJet desks! Fortunately I was flying with KLM and the queue there was less than a dozen people. The first flight was on time and everything was going so well until our departure from Amsterdam was delayed by more than an hour.
The plane was eventually packed with people and as we were flying to Minneapolis, a member of the flight crew found those of us who were hoping to catch a connection to New Orleans. We were told that we would now need to catch a flight to Atlanta and then another flight to New Orleans and arrive some hours later than scheduled. To add to this we would need to check out and go through customs and then check in again at the Delta desk in Minneapolis. This I did, until a lady told me that the original flight to New Orleans was still boarding and that if I was quick I might still be able to make it! I chucked my case on the rack and ran only to be faced with another set of case checks and body searches. I forgot to remove a bottle of water that I had received from KLM so my rucksack was duly held for inspection! Aaaaah!! The stress was intense as I was held up and the thought of my case flying to New Orleans without me!
Finally I was given the all clear to run to Gate G21 to see if I could catch my flight. As it turned out gates 21 and 22 were the furthest away from the customs check. The wheels on my small case sang out on the travel escalator as I ran to see if I could made it in time. Hallelujah! There were still ladies at the desk and there were others who were rushing to make it in time! I made it!! A rather flustered and warm Tim Bruce made it so his seat and apologised to the young couple who now had the opportunity to sit next to BO - Bruce Odore!!
Somewhat miraculously, I arrived in New Orleans on time and with all my belongings in what turned out to be a rather hectic and long journey! I caught a taxi to the hotel, checked in and made my way to my room at 11.00pm, as far as my body was concerned but only 5.00pm local time.
After calling home to confirm my safe arrival I started to roam around the famous French Quarter of New Orleans to catch a meal, some live music and then turn in for the night. I still had time to get soaked on the way back to the hotel!!
The Courtyard Hotel where I staying a couple of nights
Amazed at the abundance of art galleries