Hello everyone, I’m back, so here’s my 1st blog.
Hellish journey to get back out here…HELLISH! It started back at Manchester airport. I won’t say who my flight was with but never again.. (well, after the return flight anyway). After some very unnecessary major check-in faff, I missed out on getting breakfast. Never mind Nads (I thought) you’re soon on that plane. However, apart from the one meal, you have to pay for everything else??!! My stomach was tapping my shoulder and slapping me across the face, it was that hungry. Due to the plane being from the 90’s, the only in flight entertainment was from 4 drop-down screens, so I had no films to distract me from the stabbing pains that my stomach was inflicting on me. I caved and bought a cup of tea and a bag of Cheddars (for £5.60 *dramatic eye roll*); They saw me through until dinner time and all was well. Except though that the fella sat next to me was mostly asleep, mouth wide open and snoring. I managed zero hrs of sleep and ended up with a sore neck from trying to watch Gravity on the closest screen….oh well, soon landing in JFK and onto Nashville eh? Nope.
Once I’d queued for 5 years at customs, I collected my bag and headed to Delta air check – in, nice and early for my flight to Nashville. Sitting in front of the flight information board, I suddenly noticed a bright red ‘cancelled’ next to my flight…surely not?! Yes. So, after a discussion with the re-booking peoples, we decided that I should head to LA Guardia airport, where a slightly later flight had a seat available to Nashville. Slightly annoying but jumping in a cab and paying $45 seemed a small price to pay.
I get to La Guardia airport. Check my bag in and pass through security. Hungry again, so I treat myself to a $10 sandwich (*dramatic jaw drop and double check at price*) I settle down with my sandwich, at my gate and look up at the screen and notice, that same bright red ‘cancelled’ next to my flight!! I called Rob. I cried. No more flights out of New York, where the hell was I going to stay? After my mini break down, I joined the mile long queue at the help desk, wondering about my options. I have very little money, especially for a hotel in New York, I mean, a sandwich is $10?! If I can have an early morning flight I could sleep at the airport?? What to do? I was finally greeted by a man that had clearly had enough of customer “support” that day and got told that I’d been checked-on to a flight at 2pm the following day. There was clearly no discussing it, so, I walked away, exhausted. I attempted to collect my bag and was told that there was a 2hr wait for me to reclaim that but I could take a free toiletry bag from them instead if I didn’t want to wait. I took the free bag. I booked a hotel for $140 (*dramatic shake of head and an overly long sigh*) I walked the 20 mins to my 1 star hotel and finally opened the door to my non-smoking room that smelt like an ashtray. Seriously smokers, it’s really gross trying to sleep in a room that stinks of stale smoke! GO OUTSIDE!
I slept for about 12 hrs and managed to shower and feel at least somewhat refreshed, using the contents of my freebie bag. It does have this awesome comb/brush thing too, like almost worth the cancelled flights for it. Walking back to the airport with worry about where I would stay again if the flights are cancelled and feeling grubby from the heat and wearing the same clothes, I had a word with myself, like I always do, and reminded myself that things aren’t that bad and there’s always a solution. Thankfully, after actually taking off, I sighed with relief. The flight of course, had me sat next to 3 year old girl that kept staring at me and making me have to pretend I was asleep, which resulted in her stroking my arm. It wasn’t going to a normal flight was it!!
Walking out of arrivals, towards my Forrest Gump, holding a sign with Lt.Nad on it, made all of the trauma disappear. We were back together. I had missed him since he had returned and I was excited to get going again. We boarded a bus to near where we had stored our Jenny and stayed in a hotel, that cost $50 and didn’t smell like an ashtray. I fell asleep fast that night, after stuffing my face with a Krispy Kreme doughnut. I’d earned that cake batter Krispy Kreme dream.
The following morning had us collecting Jenny. She looked gorgeous and once we had reconnected the battery, she started like a dream. It felt all cosy and familiar again and although I was nervous about remembering to drive on the right (wrong) side of the road, I was eager to get us back up to Minneapolis, and get Rob back into the route and routine.
We drove, over 2 days, around 900 miles, through 6 states and with an overnight stay in Chicago and Minneapolis, with a lovely couple called Rachel and John, who bought us pizza and gave us some amazing music for the RV, to avoid the ever changing static of radio stations. Rob got started the following morning, in the raging heat and I followed in Jenny, with cold drinks and food and that feeling of familiarity. Our 1st day ending with a night stay at a Walmart car park, (to keep things cheap) which strangely felt comforting.
So, back in the saddle. Back into the routine of up early and drive 35-45 miles a day over 10 hrs; cook, clean, refuel and generally support. So far so good and if I may repeat my total admiration for Rob, it’s all for him. He’s still doing this. With our own money pretty much spent and injury a constant fear, he still gets up every morning to run. I still get in that driver’s seat and three point turn a house. I know this amazing journey has to be completed and if I can help, in any way, then I will.
We don’t know how far we can go but we know that we’ll not give up easily.