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Friday, February 1, 2019

Journey to see the Boys - Part 2


If you read Part 1 last Friday, the good news is that “what happened next” was quite Koopmans-y normal, except for one, unexpected bucket list check-marking event.

[We return you now to the moment when our intrepid (and dashingly handsome, at least to himself) traveler clicked Publish on the first of his 2-part, Irish trilogy.]

The writerly adrenaline bled out of me like a broken vodka bottle in a laptop bag. I wanted to sleep in the lovely dark, empty bar (wouldn’t have been the first time.) Instead I headed upstairs to the swanky level. Knowing the lounge wouldn’t open until 05:00 (another two hours,) I found a bank of five plugs dotted along a long table. With no one else around, I spread my stuff out like a German tourist hogging the pool chairs and recharged everything at once. It was terribly obnoxious, but kinda fun, too. Of course, if anyone had come along, I would have stacked all my shit on top of each other in one tiny corner and apologized profusely. As I do.

As the lounge opened, I joined the maddening crowd of six people ahead of me (didn’t they have homes to go to?) and wandered around the breakfast buff. (Too small to be called a “buffet.”) As I am a cultural genius, (when in Helsinki, do as the Finlandish do, I say,) I asked for a Danish, but got a blank look. I tried the local warm bread with cold stuff (meat? cheese?) in the middle. The bread-thing, however, smelled like my socks after 24 hours travelling (I compared). I fell back on a couple of recognizable croissants and headed for the gate.

There was another lounge over there (I love my dodgy free-lounge card) and working off the premise that it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, (but nowhere does it say “p.m.,”) I had a beer at 05:50, and as Katy Perry says, I liked it.

At the British Airways counter, I asked to switch from window to aisle and I landed the same row, too! Which seemed amazing, until I discovered I had the whole row anyway. Not wasting this minor miracle, I pulled a Philly cream cheese and spread myself over the three seats for the next 4 hours.

Once at Heathrow, I had 2.5 hours to get from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5, and after last night’s Swedish drama, I researched (imagine that) how to get there. I had a trek to trot but made it as boarding began for the flight to IAD. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy—and then I looked outside the window...

A Jumbo Jet.

FINALLY, I get to fly in a Jumbo. It's one of my favorite never-flown (until now:) airplanes, (I mean, it’s not as if you book online and add the filter, "Must be a Jumbo." This 747-400 series was gorgeous, and I didn’t care where I sat. (With seat 55G, I hoped that business class was really, really, really long, but helass pinda kaas, not a chance.)

I had the last seat.

Of the last row. (But I didn't care!)

Something symbolic about that methinks... troublemakers to the back?

Finally, after 42 hours door-to-door, I made it to the hotel, alongside 3 excited, arguing, talking-over-each-other boys.

For some reason I wasn’t tired anymore.


Elephant's Child said...

Of course you weren't tired. I expect that when it caught up to you it was 'crash and burn time' though.

Anonymous said...

@E.C.: Welll, maybe a *little* :)

Mirjam said...

Guess what....on May the 1st, you’ll be on a 747-400 flight to HKG, keeping seat 77J warm.....which happens to be upperdeck.....business class......
Oh Mark.....please behave, okay?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

A jumbo hug or two I'm sure, or three! Ghastly journey though - but you made it ... and great you were able to tick off a bucket list item. Just fun to read ... all the best - cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You had a row all to yourself? That is unheard of these days!
Glad the boys pumped you with some energy. Go enjoy.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

How sweet! They re-energized you.

CWMartin said...

Mainly, I'm glad things went better... selfishly, I'm disappointed in the entertainment drop off, lol!

Mark Koopmans said...

@Jo. Comments should be working:)

Lisa said...

Oh wow! I'm sooo glad it all worked out and you got that 747! I've flown on one once, when I was 14! It's always easier (for me) time change-wise, to fly this direction for jet lag. Can't wait to hear more!!! Glad you're with your boys!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I booked a my son a flight with lots of lay overs and time to reflect and sleep in airports. It was a character builder for him and a money saver for me. LOL

Glad to hear you're visiting your boys. And it's great to see you're writing. You're such a natural!!

Debra Renée Byrd said...

You made it! :D

Melissa said...

Aw. Look at those boys. It was worth it. :)

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