Every adventure and trip starts with meticulous planning (solely on Ellen’s part as I just carry the luggage), finalizing the trip and, of course the best part...the trip.
This current trip was no different. Once we got the invitation to join our two good friends, the planning started. How will we coordinate our flights, where will we stay, what will we see. The usual. Having flown internationally numerous times, we looked for that elusive combination of good schedule with affordable price.
Time spent poring over schedules resulted in an 8:50 p.m. flight from Washington-Dulles to London Heathrow arriving at 9 a.m. We never flew that late a flight, but it worked great for our schedule. Being the one to worry about traffic on our trip to Dulles, I decided we would leave earlier than usual just to make sure that we wouldn’t be delayed.
And we weren’t. Traffic was light, construction in the area was over for the day, and we were there with hours to spare. We said goodbye to our son for his drive home and went to the British Airways counter.
Hi, I said, handing the woman at the counter our ticket. She looked at it, had a quizzical look on her face and politely pointed out to me that our flight was from BALTIMORE. Nooooo!!!
A quick call to our son got him back and our traffic adventure to BWI began. Remember: This was rush hour in Washington and Baltimore. It was a trip a NASCAR driver would envy, despite traffic jams that make me glad never to have lived or worked near a major city. It seems at that time of day that speed limits are suggestions, and weaving between backed-up lanes of traffic is an art...or a suicide mission.
Normally we are at the airport before a flight about three hours early (yeah, I know that’s a lot). This time we arrived with about 90 minutes to the flight. For the next 90 minutes, and even right up until we reached cruising altitude, we kept muttering “I can’t believe we made it….”
It was a rookie flier mistake. We always fly out of Dulles so never checked the tickets to make sure. Next flight, we will.
Hey, at least we’re in the right country now!
The attendant at the British Airways counter looked at us strangely.
“Um ...” she said. “These tickets are for BWI, not Dulles. How were you planning to get there?”
Pete and I looked at each other dumbfounded.
We ALWAYS travel from Dulles. NEVER from BWI.
Except this time.
This time, we were at Dulles. And we needed to be at BWI.
Rush hour oops.
I’m pretty sure we beat some land speed records, even in the midst of Washington/Baltimore traffic.
Fortunately, our son, who had dropped us off at Dulles, made a wrong turn and easily returned to pick us up again. Fortunately, Pete, who apparently can’t read a printed boarding pass (I’m at fault, too), had us at the airport three hours early.
Fortunately, we made it! We’re writing this from our hotel at Heathrow Airport near London, waiting for our friends and travel companions to arrive.
We made it. Fortunately.
Stay tuned for more of our adventures!