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Old 3 Sep 15, 08:42 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Howdy Texas! Travel Day(s)

Finally, after planning for so many months, travel day had arrived - hurrah! After a slight scare at the cattery the day before - oh no, Cat not on list! (the lovely cattery lady apologised and found her a bed), we had packed, and then made Paul do some decorating as he was getting restless and over-excited, so we may as well make use of that energy!

We got up, grabbed suitcases and got our taxi to the station to get the train to Manchester Airport. It was all very uneventful and before too long, we were doing our bag drop for our Ryanair flight to Dublin. We had been very strict on packing due to having only 15 kg of hold luggage each and had made everyone put plenty in their hand luggage. We waited nervously as the bags hit the scales but were all fine, with the heaviest at 10 kg. Our superlight packing skills strike again.

Unlucky Evan got unlucky at security - having left his phone in his pocket, which earned him a full pat down including shoe check. Always happens to him!

Terminal 3 was as much fun as it would ever be and we were slightly irked at finding the water fountains - just after we had bought bottles of water because the information desk told us there were no water fountains anymore!

The wait wasn't too long though and the flight to Dublin was very quick, if a bit bumpy. We caught the shuttle bus to the Premier Inn at Swords and were in the room by mid afternoon. I tried to check in online, but the BA site wasn't showing our first flight (DUB-LHR) and directed me to AA for our second flight (LHR-DFW) but that wouldn't check me in as it wasn't our first flight. I tried a few times but gave up, deciding that there was no point in stressing as we had pre-booked seats on the AA flight anyway. We would just make sure we were at the airport in plenty of time.

One of the reasons for going to Dublin was to see a bit of the city - as well as cut the cost of our flights, so we set off to get the bus into the centre. Unfortunately, it was a bank holiday in Ireland, so they were running a reduced timetable and we had just missed one. Cue a 25 minute wait by a cold and windy roadside and scowling boys (me and Hannah were much more stoical!)

We got off on O'Connell street and asked in the tourist information about heading to the river. The very friendly man advised us to eat elsewhere, recommending a couple of pubs, including the Hophouse. This turned out to be a wonderful find - Korean & Japanese food served in a pub, so you can have a Guinness with your sushi.

We had a stroll afterwards and got the kids to pose by this guy



before finding the river



and then going back to the hotel for another Guinness



So far, so good. Dublin was okay, although we didn't see that much of it and the Guinness was good. We had saved a decent amount of money by doing the journey this way and it was an extra day of holiday.

Next morning, we were up early and on the bus to the airport. Cases were weighed and Evan won the award for lightest case - 8.4 kg! There was a moment of nerves at the desk when the man from Aer Lingus had trouble locating our booking. Even though we had the printed e-ticket with us, it was a mild moment of panic until he came back to say everything was fine. I suspect there was a glitch with BA and that's why we couldn't check in online either. But anyway, all was resolved.

We had breakfast, which was unmemorable, and it wasn't too long a wait before we were boarding for our DUB-LHR flight. Going through security at LHR, unlucky Evan got selected for a random bag swab. Must look at bit shifty. Still, we had the sight of a woman arguing with security who told her that her son wasn't allowed to take a toy crossbow on the plane to keep us entertained!

We had a couple of hours at Heathrow but with a wander around the shops and some lunch, it soon goes and it didn't feel like a chore. Then we got called to our gate for our flight to Dallas - this is when we get a bit giddy! Although you can see we are holding it all in.



While we were in the queue to board, we spotted a man in front of us, who appeared to be with his family, surfing Grindr on his phone. Being as it is an app for making "special friends" nearby, we weren't sure why he was using it at Heathrow airport, unless making plans to join the mile high club on board? Either way, it did amuse us.

The flights with American airlines were long (9.45hrs) but enjoyable. The IFE was quite old and on a loop, with a fairly small selection but we found enough films and TV to keep us going. The staff were very nice and the food was really good - can't remember what we ate but I remember thinking it was good. Didn't manage much more than a doze but it was fine.

Used the kiosks at DFW and although we were all fairly inept at getting all our fingers on, we managed in the end. Bags arrived quickly and the customs/immigration man was welcoming - although he did ask a lot of questions about our trip, and we all felt ridiculously nervous answering them - but I guess they are used to that.

Finally, we could get the car. We had pre-booked a saloon but the very nice man at Avis gave us a free upgrade to an SUV - a Toyota 4Runner - telling us - "Y'all in Texas - y'all need a big car!"

The trusty satnav was set up, finding the satellites just in time as we got to the road junction and we did the 20 minute journey to our hotel - Country Inn & Suites at Fort Worth - without any problems. Once there, we ate our free cookies and collapsed into bed!

Edited at 02:12 PM.
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Old 4 Sep 15, 09:16 PM  
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Melbatb
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Sounds like quite a good few travelling days - no diasters! And yay for an upgrade on the car!
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Index of my trip reports
2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City - Hong Kong
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Visiting my boy in Hong Kong:
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Old 4 Sep 15, 09:51 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Mobile

Upgrade was awesome - we liked our car last year but we Loved it this year!
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Old 4 Sep 15, 10:34 PM  
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KarenG
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Great report! Can't wait to read more
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New Orleans!
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Old 5 Sep 15, 04:23 PM  
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CrispyA
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Thanks - it was such a fun trip
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Old 5 Sep 15, 05:33 PM  
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caj
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I'm intrigued to read on!
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Same castle, new horizons!
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Old 12 Sep 15, 03:41 PM  
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orlandosgr8
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Join Date: Jun 05

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A great start to your trip, looking forward to reading more as my Uncle lives in Texas and I have always wanted to visit there
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Going back 'home'
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Old 1 May 17, 07:50 AM  
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WileyCoyote
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Join Date: Feb 11
Great start. I know I'm reading your reports in reverse order, it's so funny, the kids look so different in your Rockies one!

Long day but glad uneventful although I see BA hiccup again... Trend ?!
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Old 1 May 17, 07:26 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Originally Posted by WileyCoyote View Post
Great start. I know I'm reading your reports in reverse order, it's so funny, the kids look so different in your Rockies one!

Long day but glad uneventful although I see BA hiccup again... Trend ?!
Thanks. It's funny seeing how much people's kids change from one year to the next - your boys are so grown up now! You don't see it so much yourself as you're with them all the time but holiday photos really bring it out.
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