Journal Heathrow 2009 – Jan 20th 3:28 Local time.

Ciao! Hello! Here I am! London, England sitting in the Heathrow airport trying to figure out why the free wireless internet connects but won’t bring up any pages… funny. Here I sit thousands of miles from home and my biggest concern is figuring out how to connect to the WIFI network in a foreign Airport. Strange, frustrating, Fun.

This morning we left home, My parents and I drove, met with my Aunt and Uncle, then met with our cousins from Chicago. Nice to see everyone. We got to have lunch together and Alex made it over from work for lunch. A good send off. A great last memory of my family before I take off on this grand adventure. Seven months, my god what a long time it seems now, but I know before I even blink it will be over far too soon.

Alex took me to the airport. The flight in was pretty nice. Got through security on the American side in 10 minutes flat grabbed a seat and had a lovely chat with the gentleman to my left. He was a retired English gentleman from just outside London, worked all his life in London and came out to Arizona to visit his son who was training for his American PPL in Goodyear Arizona. To my left was a German woman headed to Munich to visit her daughter and grandchild. They helped pass the time as we waited to board the BA flight 288 to Heathrow.

The flight itself was fine. I’d describe the feeling as warm, cozy… tight, very tight. We were served two meals, the first – dinner – was served while we flew over New England and the second while we flew over Ireland. Dinner was a salad, beef brisket, muffin, red wine, and a nice slice of pie. Breakfast was a cheese sandwich with strawberrie yogurt and orange juice.

They turned off all the lights in the plane and I managed to sleep over the ocean. I fell asleep flying over the U.S. East Coast and woke up 20 minutes out from the Irish coast. While flying over the Appalachians I looked out and saw only burning clouds. The sight reminded me of Mordor, the cities burning bright beneath black clouds like the furnaces of mount doom covered by its own exhaust. Shadows in the clouds, perhaps some chemical or maybe just heavy rain filled the clouds, I’m not sure but the effect was captivating. Where the city light broke through it was muddied, red-brown with a yellowish taint. The outcome was Beautiful but eerie.

After my delightful nap and wake up call for breakfast we flew for another hour and a half before arriving in Heathrow five minutes early. Took me another half an hour to go through security, it seems I wont go through customs until Milano. The whole shoe thing seems global now, never had to take off and put my shoes back on so many times in such a short period of time.

It seems Public WiFi here at Heathrow does not work. Only the locked routers appear to allow connection. Unfortunate but I refuse to pay one of the businesses here to log onto their systems. I’ll wait until I am in Milan. Done writing this journals its 3:44 – Plane boards at 5:30 Can’t get the gate number until an hour before… foolish, makes me feel like I’m rushing when I’ve plenty of time.

PHX-Heathrow.