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Old 2 Jan 08, 08:57 PM  
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Very Serious Dibber
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Join Date: Feb 05
Christmas in Lapland Day 4 Boxing Day

Hubby - Richard 34 (the one with the credit card)
Me - Teresa 37 (chief planner and organiser)
DS1 - Daniel 10 (Santa's Little Helper)
DS2 - Joshua 9 (Santa's Little Helper)

Today, we are going home, it has been a fantastic experience and we certainly have enjoyed everything.

The temperature for outside was reading at -12C which is the coldest (apart from wind chill) that it has been, the whole time we have been here.

We refused to pack yesterday, how can you pack on Christmas Day, so we went down for our last breakfast and then returned to the room to pack. As we were not being collected by the coach until 11.30am, we had time to go out and look in any shops that were open and get some more gifts. I managed to get an Arctic Circle scarf to go with the fleece that I bought at Santa Village. The scarf was a lot cheaper, than in Santa Village but luckily the fleece was only a couple of Euro dearer.

We returned to the hotel and took all our cases down to reception to check out, this was also just as quick as checking in and then waited in the lobby area for Fergus and Frosty. The Fire Alarm went off, but no one was ushered outside, they checked where it was coming from and then went off to deal with it. The noise was deafening, so we went outside, Frosty had just turned up, so cases on the coach.

We left the hotel at 11.30 ready for the airport, the roads were quite snowy!

We were back at the airport in 20 minutes, not enough time to complete the First Choice questionnaire. Frosty gave each of the kids a present, so that was really nice.

The airport inside was really busy, so busy, you could only just get in the door. Check in had started for our flight at 11.10am and it was now 11.55am. We picked the first row with a sign board that said Bristol 13:10 and Manchester 13.45. This was the same in all the queues, there were two different flights for checking in, in the same queue. The 'large' always late group came in after and others from our plane and they were all shown to a new queue that was NOT boarded. We watched all the queues go down quicker, whilst ours barely moved. The 'large' family group went through and we were still not half way through our queue. There was a family in front of us that were also trying to get on our plane. Time was really getting on, it was now 12.35pm and we were still not anywhere near the front of the queue. Then they called boarding for our plane and Bristol went off he Check In board leaving just Manchester showing. This was now particularly worrying and there was no First Choice Rep around. When we finally got to the front of the queue, the staff member said to us, that the security was really busy and we would need to go to the front of the queue to be asked to be let through!
To get to the front of the queue was a nightmare in itself, as we had all our hand luggage and there was no breathing space in the airport let alone moving space. We did eventually get there and tried to explain to the guy that we were on the Bristol flight, he didn't really understand, but the couple of the front did and they let us in, another person bellowed out at us for queue jumping. I shouted back that we were on the Bristol flight that was due to go any time, he didn't seem to understand, I could understand why he was probably stressed, standing in this queue forever and people pushing in, but if we had gone to the back of the queue, then our flight would have been extremely late leaving, meaning that the flight he was on would have been much later too, so it was for his benefit and we had to be told by the Check In guy to do this.
There was no time to go to any of the airport shops or get a drink, we had to get straight on the plane, which was a shame.

The snow was chucking it down outside and before we could take off they had to de-ice the wings. The runway had to be cleared too!

We took off about 40 minutes late, which wasn't bad. The food on the plane was Christmas Dinner, which would have been nice, had it not have had gravy on it. Both Daniel and I do not like gravy. We asked if there was any additional choice and they said they would check to see if anyone wanted to swap. It wasn't worth swapping Daniel's as whatever it would be, he wouldn't eat it anyway. They came back and were able to swap mine to a vegetable pasta dish, so that wasn't too bad. (I did get my Christmas Dinner on New Year's Day, without gravy)
The Christmas film they showed was Deck the Halls, although the kids and I all went on our DS's and I trained my brain!

Back at Bristol, we had to wait for the luggage to come out, which seemed to take ages, then there was a backlog of people trying to get out/in the revolving doors, it was ridiculous. We crawled back out of the queue and went to the way we came in and got out nice and easily to drizzly Bristol.

It took about an hour to get home and when we walked in the door, it appeared that Santa had left us all presents here too!

and that was it, a fab Christmas!

Day 3 Christmas Day
2017 - All Star Sports & Royal Pacific Trip Report
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Pop Century May 07 + All Star Sports March 06
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