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Unread 10 Aug 19, 12:19 PM  
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CrispyA
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Great Lakes Grooving: Travel Day(s)

5 July Pre-Travel & Travel Days

Having finished work the day before, Friday started with a run for Paul, to relieve some pre-holiday stress, and then packing. I would have gone for a run as well but I felt as though I was coming down with a cold, so gave it a miss while dosing myself with Vicks First Defence. Spoiler alert - it seems to work, hurrah! No cold for me, although the nasal spray is not particularly pleasant.

Once the run and some packing was done, it was time for the worst moment of the trip - taking the cats to the cattery. We have had Johnny & June since the end of October and to say that these cats are adored is somewhat of an understatement. They are just over a year old now and possibly the cutest cats ever.

Here they are snuggled up together



We managed to catch them and get them into their boxes without too much drama but they miaowed piteously for the whole journey to the cattery and we felt quite traumatised by the time we got there. Of course, they were absolutely fine and had lots of fuss while they were there but it was really hard to leave them, especially as Johnny is very anxious and was hiding under a blanket as we left.

Back home, we finished packing and as we got the satnav out, I realised that this was the first year I had missed putting all our hotels etc into it. It has been so hectic leading up to the holiday, with A-levels, GCSEs, work, visitors etc and I didn't feel nearly as prepared as I usually do. I quickly got the satnav updated and programmed in the hotels, so all was right with the world. We also gave the house a quick clean as you aren't allowed through immigration if you haven't hoovered . . . Usually our cleaner would come while we were away but she quit just before we went away - first world problems I know but she was great and I hate cleaning so I'm quite sad about it .

Anyway, all prep was done and we ate a weird lunch of all the remaining fresh food in the house, before finally setting off to get the bus into the city centre and go to the train station.

Train to Manchester Airport was quite uneventful and I did doze off. Then we got a taxi to the Premier Inn at Heald Green. Once we were there, I checked in online for our flights - well, I checked everyone else in but it wouldn't allow me, stating I had to have extra security checks at the airport. This gave rise to various comments from my very supportive family about my "dodginess" (gee, thanks guys) but I had seen that other people have had this happen as well so managed not to worry about it.

We walked to a pub we had been to the previous year, the Griffin, and had a nice meal and some drinks before heading back to the hotel and to bed.

6 July - Travel Day

We were up early and ready to go before too long. We had planned to get the train to the airport as the station was next door but it was chucking it down with rain, so we got reception to call us a taxi instead. We arrived at Terminal 2 and had a very quick and easy check in, with a super friendly lady from Virgin. They were also giving out ice creams so we had quick snack before security. Nobody got a special pat down so we were quickly into the departure area.

The food options were unimpressive and although we had fancied the Greggs (what?) we had spotted when looking online, we were disappointed to find out it was in arrivals. Sad times We made do with Cafe Nero instead.



Shortly after this was taken, Evan managed to spill coffee all over himself and the table. Fortunately it wasn't hot any more but a small amount of liquid really does go a long way and there was quite a mess. Poor Evan was quite displeased at being coffee scented for the rest of the journey and I did point out that there was a reason I advised all the family to take a change of clothes in their hand luggage . . . Not my fault if they didn't listen!

Our plane, in the rain


I did have to have an extra security check on the way to the plan but it was very quick and I was deemed to be "not dodgy at all" and allowed on. The flight to Atlanta was good - the seats were comfortable and the IFE had some good choices. I'm not a huge fan of being on a long haul flight as I get restless and bit stir crazy but this was fine.

Plane selfie


Immigration was surprisingly quick considering how busy Atlanta airport is and we picked up our bags and re-checked them for our onward flight with no problems either.

There was a train you could get between terminals but we walked most of the way to our next terminal as we fancied stretching our legs.

We were ready to eat again and were pleased to spot a Chick-Fil-A in the terminal. Love those waffle fries.



Hannah decided to pass the time with some yoga, as you do.



Eventually our flight to Chicago Midway was ready and we could board. It was quite a quick flight, 1 hour 40 minutes, and I dozed for most of it.

It was lovely to land as domestic passengers and go straight to the baggage claim. While waiting, we realised that Hannah's padlock had reset itself and the code she had programmed in no longer worked. Thanks, padlock! Fortunately, it had only changed by one digit so we didn't need to find a hacksaw to open it.

Next stop was the rental car, which was again very straightforward with no attempts at upselling insurance etc. This was almost quite disappointing as the car hire guy was called Willis and I was waiting for him to suggest something preposterous, just so I could say "Watchu talking about, Willis?" But it was not to be.

We got our Toyota Rav 4 and headed out. There was a moment as the satnav was still finding the satellites and the driver was growing impatient with the lack of instructions. I suggested he pull over and let it finish calculating but instead he drove slowly around the block and with each turn, the satnav had to recalculate as we were now pointing a different way. I swear she sighed and rolled her eyes at some point, or maybe that was me?

Eventually we were all set and did the long drive to Geneva, where Paul's Uncle Clive lives. It took around 45 minutes but then we were landed, at around 9.30 pm. Clive and his wife Doreen were so welcoming and we were so relieved to have finished travelling! They had got us Chicago deep dish pizza which we had with a nice cold beer before collapsing into bed.
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Unread 10 Aug 19, 02:15 PM  
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anji
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Great travel day. Love your joke about Willis 😂 Looking forward to the rest of your trip.
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Unread 10 Aug 19, 04:57 PM  
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Melbatb
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Yay - you have started

A long but uneventful travel day! I think I am doing something wrong as I pack my kids spare clothes (DS especially is known for knocking drinks over - though last time ot was over DH! )

Looking forward to reading more!
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Unread 14 Aug 19, 04:54 AM  
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Sounds like a good travel day and really wish Willis has said something outrageous 😀
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Unread 25 Aug 19, 08:19 AM  
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WileyCoyote
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Relatively painless start there. Glad the cold didnt materialise. Oh poor Evan being doused in coffee. How long Hannahs hair is now ! Do you find those fries very salty ? Thats what always hits me at our first fast food stop in the US airports. Phew that no breaking into cases was required and yay to getting there !
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Unread 27 Aug 19, 05:54 PM  
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smithlane
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Very smooth travel days.
Im glad you got Johnny and June to the kennels safely after was it Johnnys crazy escape from before?! Can you imagine that happening the day before you were leaving 😳
Poor Evan spilling coffee over himself, if only kids would just listen to us parents eh!
Im actually disappointed your hire car pickup was smooth as that would have been hilarious to say 😂
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Unread 27 Aug 19, 09:05 PM  
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DisneyDaffodil
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Great travel day. I understand the trauma of leaving your cats. Im always sad at leaving our pets when we go away, even though they are always well looked after
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Unread 31 Aug 19, 10:36 AM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by anji View Post
Great travel day. Love your joke about Willis 😂 Looking forward to the rest of your trip.
Thanks - should be able to do the rest of it before too long!

Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
Yay - you have started

A long but uneventful travel day! I think I am doing something wrong as I pack my kids spare clothes (DS especially is known for knocking drinks over - though last time ot was over DH! )

Looking forward to reading more!
We have a packing spreadsheet, so everyone can do their own clothes but maybe I need an extra column for what to take on the plane!

Originally Posted by katiebaz View Post
Sounds like a good travel day and really wish Willis has said something outrageous 😀
Such a missed opportunity . . .

Originally Posted by WileyCoyote View Post
Relatively painless start there. Glad the cold didnt materialise. Oh poor Evan being doused in coffee. How long Hannahs hair is now ! Do you find those fries very salty ? Thats what always hits me at our first fast food stop in the US airports. Phew that no breaking into cases was required and yay to getting there !
Her hair is so long now - it's hard to believe that it was really short only a couple of years ago. And such a relief not to have to break into your own case on the first day!

Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Very smooth travel days.
Im glad you got Johnny and June to the kennels safely after was it Johnnys crazy escape from before?! Can you imagine that happening the day before you were leaving 😳
Poor Evan spilling coffee over himself, if only kids would just listen to us parents eh!
Im actually disappointed your hire car pickup was smooth as that would have been hilarious to say 😂
Yes, Johnny is a very "special" cat and sadly now has to be an indoor cat on the vet's advice as he just can't cope with going outside! Fortunately there were no escapes the day before as I don't think my nerves would have taken it.

Such a missed opportunity with the car hire - I don't think Willis really appreciated the chance he was given!

Originally Posted by DisneyDaffodil View Post
Great travel day. I understand the trauma of leaving your cats. Im always sad at leaving our pets when we go away, even though they are always well looked after
I know. They had a lovely time in the cattery and were very well looked after but we did miss them.
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