“You’ve missed your flight.”
I didn’t know what emotion to feel. I didn’t know whether to feel angry or sad, scream or cry. I was taken aback mostly. And why was this employee being so rude to us? Obviously we had no idea the plane had already boarded and the pilot was specifically waiting on us. There were plenty of people sitting in the gate waiting just like we were.
“We’ve repeatedly called your names on the intercom. You were sitting here the whole time and never heard it?”
Do you think we would’ve just sat there if we DID hear you announce our names?
My grandma and I just stood there in shock. What were we supposed to do now? It’s not like we could turn around and go home, we were already in New York. My aunt and uncle were waiting for us in England.
After rushing through the airport trying to find an information desk to reroute us to Birmingham, England, not even an hour later we were on a flight to Germany.
And from Germany, to Heathrow Airport in London.
Not exactly the airport we wanted to end up in considering it’s a two hour drive to our final destination rather than the original 45 minute drive. But the bigger problem was we were so rushed to jump on the next flight to Germany, we didn’t have time to tell my aunt and uncle we weren’t landing in Birmingham anymore. How were we supposed to contact them after we were out of the country?
Okay so here’s when it starts getting good
My aunt and uncle show up at Heathrow airport soon after we arrived (and soon after we freaked out for a minute). How did they know, you ask?
Apparently the original plane we were supposed to be on to Birmingham got three hours into the air and had to turn around because of mechanical trouble. They didn’t think they could make it over the ocean. My uncle had been tracking the flight and saw that the plane was being rerouted to Heathrow airport.
All of a sudden, all of those weird emotions were worth it. God allowed us to miss our flight for a reason. How amazing is that?
Okay on to the main events of England
My aunt and uncle live in Stratford Upon Avon, which is about two hours from London. Stratford Upon Avon is the birthplace of Shakespeare. His house can be toured and he’s buried in the Church of the Holy Trinity next to his wife and part of his family. It’s historical and almost unreal because this is someone you’ve studied throughout school since you were a kid. But now you’re standing where he once stood and you finally believe he was a real person.
Because this trip happened in 2013, I can only say I wish I was a better photographer at that time to really show you how beautiful and different the countryside is in Europe. Sheep graze in fields like cows graze here in the US. Roundabouts take the place of stop signs. And of course, driving on the left side of the road is an experience in itself. And if you’ve never been, the first thing you need to do when you get there is purchase fish and chips. People are not lying when they say it’s a staple in Europe.
When we were in London specifically, we visited the blue door that is the main setting in the movie Notting Hill. Notting Hill was my favorite movie growing up so my number one goal while in London was to buy a book from the travel bookstore that Hugh Grant works at in the movie. (Why was this my number one goal in this giant foreign country? Why not see the queen? Or ride a double decker bus?) Sadly, the bookstore didn’t exist anymore so that goal was not accomplished. But I was able to experience the market on Portobello road and buy some fabulous souvenirs because they’re my weakness when I go somewhere new.
Overall, I got to see Buckingham Palace, The National History Museum, ride my first train, visit with family, eat way too much food, and immerse myself in a whole new world.
My grandma and I caught all of the correct planes back to Nashville, TN and I already can’t wait to go back.