It was an entirely acceptable 9a.m. wake-up this morning and with all of our luggage already packed a quick change and freshen up was all that was required before packing the car and heading to breakfast. Unfortunately, this left a little to be desired and we decided to skip it and get something at the airport instead, our last meal together for over a year couldn’t be cereal and toast…. After filling up the car we dropped the rental back off (with no added fees, thanks Autoeurope!) and made our way to the main terminal building. I checked-in, although annoyingly the lady at the desk couldn’t work out how to check me in for my middle flight (the main one) only the 2 tiny ones at the start and end. She also made me re-pack my luggage and put lots of stuff in my backpack to avoid $100 in fines for 5lbs overweight. Otherwise all went smoothly and we headed to the Ye Olde College Inn to get a last minute breakfast of ham shank, potatoes and biscuit. It was fairly average but so nice to spend some extra time with my favourite travel buddy.
The goodbye was horrible as always, even more so knowing we wouldn’t see each other again for over a year. Why do American’s get such terrible holiday entitlement?? Once through security I managed to catch up on some life admin and purchase a travel pillow, something that I have been needing for a long time, before boarding my first flight to Detroit. Having previously flown internally in the US with United and Air Canada – none of which provided any entertainment I was happy realise we would have the full in-flight entertainment on the short 2 hour journey as well as complimentary drinks and snacks. This was way above my expectations and I think I would even go so far as to say Delta would be my first choice American airline for my next US trip! The views of Detroit were gorgeous as we came in to land, all snowy with some of the river frozen over. Quite a contrast from the sun that I had left behind in New Orleans though.
It was a short turnaround in Detroit but after picking up my middle boarding pass, which the airline staff here had no issue with whatsoever, I realised we were going to be delayed around an hour. There was a Popeye’s right next to my gate which after 20 minutes I just couldn’t resist, despite my unfavourable first experience. I opted this time for the 2 piece dinner with a side of onion rooms and it was great! I think the fact that the pieces come with bones and all make a huge difference to the chicken quality and would definitely recommend to anyone wishing to give it a try to opt for this as opposed to the strips (which are dry and taste strange and not akin to chicken at all). Feeling rather full I boarded my second flight from Detroit to Amsterdam with a flight time of only 7 hours. This is when my favourite point in the journey occurred, the flight was almost empty. I made my way to my seat right at the back and immediately realised I would be sitting alone with 2 seats all to myself! I ate the terrible in-flight meal of barbecue chicken with rice whilst watching Apollo 13 before stretching out and sleeping for the rest of the flight – absolute bliss. I didn’t have long to wait after touching down in Amsterdam before boarding my final flight, back home to Edinburgh and back to work. What a trip, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, cavern diving in natural springs, snorkelling with peaceful manatees and finally learning a bit of the history associated with the south and the cotton plantations. We had racked up close to 1500 miles and had the best time in doing so. Until next time….