And so my journey begins...
Departing Norwich Airport.
Where are my travels going to take me, you ask.?
I start by flying from Norwich to Amsterdam to catch a connecting flight to Washington DC, there I will be reunited with my daughter Charlotte who is to be married in Virginia on 4th June. From there I travel to Austin, TX for a reunion with an old school friend from Cromer and then onto Hockley, TX to spend valuable time with family and friends. Then, via Qatar I fly to Cambodia, to embark on Missionary work - during the monsoon season, which should be interesting, if a little wet.! The plan is to return to England in February 2017.
So... that is what I'm doing at Norwich Airport, stressing over whether my luggage will just scrape in under the baggage weight allowance.
After an early start and a lovely send off (thank you Larraine), I made it to check in early and why did I panick so.? The suitcases just scrapped in by a couple of grammes; that was the panick, trying to get all my cases UNDER the allowed baggage allowance. And all those layers of clothing, well worth the inconvenience.! Hmm, do you really think so, I'm starting to get rather too hot now.! Have you ever ever done that.? Worn about six layers of clothing to maintain your hand luggage is less than 12kg, only to take it all off and pack it in your hand luggage once you've cleared weigh in. What a bizarre process, but we all do it, and it works.!
Life is never quite that easy, as I was about to find out...
I place my hand luggage and coat on the rollers and start to walk through the scanner, only to set off one alarm after the other, lights flashing and I'm pulled to the side. Red faced and anxious about where my hand luggage is on the rollers (Charlotte's wedding dress and accessories are inside it), I'm asked to raise this limb and drop that one, while someone rubs strips up and down me. They don't tell me what it's all for, just keep a serious face and a stern voice when telling you what to do. Unknowingly I've set off either the drug or (probably in my case, and) the explosive alarms.! DRUGS, EXPLOSIVES - anyone who knows me will tell you how absurd that is. Eventually I'm told all's good and am allowed to retrieve my hand luggage, which appears to be in the tight clutches of a security officer - what now.?
By this time I'm shaking, have a huge knot in my stomach and feel physically sick. I approach the security officer and nicely but rather nervously, say "that's mine - I'll take it thank you". "I don't think so, I'm told - we have a slight problem, could you open it please".? People now are starting to think that I'm the morning's entertainment, are stopping to watch me and can't work out if I'm a potential terrorist or drug smuggler. I hasten to add... I am NEITHER, and am now getting more and more embarrassed. After twenty minutes of unpacking, retesting and then totally emptying my hand luggage, it's discovered that the amethyst crystals are the culprits and not good items to go through the scanners... If only I'd known.! And NO, I didn't deliberately try to conceal twelve large pieces of amethyst crystal in my hand luggage Mam, as if.! Why is it, that you can never repack a suitcase quickly, neatly or even get everything back in it again, especially with people watching you.? But I managed it, eventually.
Okay; you'll be pleased to know I've made it to Washington DC airport without any further ado but pray this hasn't set a presidence for future flights.
Yayyyy, non eventful flight... thank you KLM and arrived safely. Straight through immigration, boarder control and into glorious sunshine. Met by a jubilant daughter and future son in law; and now off to catch up on all the news and wedding plans.
From this travel experience, although embarrassing (they were only doing their job), I would highly recommend:
Departure - Norwich International Airport
Airline - KLM