Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our Departure, May 15, 2010

We awoke around 6:00 and got ready. We left the Weird around 7:00 a.m. and no one was awake, so we stole away in the early hours. We arrived at the airport early, as Peter advised, and make our way to security. This should not surprise you, but I had an issue at Heathrow. LOL.

I had two carry-on items, which contained the usual stuff, computer, phone, paper, books, and souvenirs of cookies, tea, and other food stuffs. I know y’all are surprised by that. And before you wonder, yes, I got them at the grocery store. :). I was somewhat worried that the food might be an issue, but that was not my problem. First, I left my UK cell phone in my pant’s pocket which set off the alarm when I walked through security. I was patted down by an extremely friendly Indian woman. I told her I should charge her for what she did to me! LOL

Next were my carry-on bags. I expected my cookies to get me in trouble, but it was my other bag, which contained my laptop, US cell phone, MP3 player, books, papers, and other non-threatening items. After about five minutes security asked me to identify my bag. I did and he asked me to list all its contents. I proceeded to do so and I thought I recalled well, until Tanya advised me that I listed the contents from my other bag! Oops. I called the security agent over and told him and I had to go over all the items in the bag in question. They called over a second person who questioned me. Finally, they took my bag and asked me to open it. Honestly, why didn’t they just do that in the first place? Well, they were satisfied nothing was threatening and we were allowed to pass. We headed in, had some real porridge and tea, and then shopped. We bought BLT sandwiches in case we didn't have dinner on the plane. Turns out we had ravioli, salad, bread, cheese and crackers, and dessert for lunch and then a Chicago deep dish pizza with cookies and grapes for a snack, so we ended up bringing the BLTs all the way from England!

We arrived at RDU a little early. Cleared the fitst customs area where I told them I had my BLT because they asked about produce. Hey, I was honest and told them. The first customs man said no problem. I got my luggage, but the next customs man said I either needed to eat my BLT on the spot or go to the Agriculture exam area and toss the BLT. Fine, I'll toss the damn thing. Not so easy! I had to wait 40 mins to have all my luggage scanned and pawed through--all for a stupid BLT. Grr.

Tomorrow I will post my overall thoughts and take-aways.

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