36 Hours

A timeline of the random thoughts occurring to me during my trip from Albuquerque to Glasgow and beyond.

Okay, so it’s not really 36 hours, what with crossing time zones and the like. But that makes for a better title and it’ll probably end up feeling that long. Plus, if you consider I did my regular hours at my day job beforehand, it might be closer to 48. But somebody already used that title.

Starting out

10:00pm

Say goodbye to Britt and head into the airport.

Albuquerque Sunport

10:30pm 

Made it through check-in and the security checkpoint with minor delays. Walk through the quiet gates and start imagining monsters attacking travellers.

10:45pm 

One of the other passengers for my flight is reading and folding the book around backwards. I manage not to shout.

Onboard JetBlue flight

11:30pm 

Is it worth upgrading to get extra leg room? I’m not that tall and I’ve never felt put out with the usual space alloted. They are at the front of the plane though and will get off first. But it’s not like I’m pressed for time in New York either.

11:50pm 

4 hours to New York. Will I sleep? Do I try on the complimentary snooze kit? Or do I take it with me in case I want it for the second flight?

12:05am 

The familiar dropping feeling in my stomach on takeoff…

12:30am 

I think I dozed for a few minutes. Rewinds my audiobook. Check the flight tracking in the in-flight entertainment system, looks like we’re over northern Texas.

12:35am

Switches off audiobook to conserve phone battery. I start flicking through the online entertainment. Law & Order seems promising for a moment until I realise I remember the episode too well. Try to doze some more.

1:00am

Find the Lego Batman Movie. I think it’s still early on enough that I can follow along. This is probably as much as my brain can handle just now.

2:00am

I’m sure I’ve been drifting in and out of a light sleep. The film is still playing but looks like it’s nearly ending.

3:00am

Dozed again. Film has started over. End up flicking between it and another Law & Order.

3:30am

Beginning descent.

JFK airport, New York

3:40am

To quote the late, great Robin Williams “We’re in New York, fucking New York.”

Better switch to local time +2 hrs.

5:45am

First things first, find where I’m supposed to be for my next flight. Nothing about it listed on the departures board but it is 12 hours away. Start wandering…

5:50am

The irony of being in New York and immediately seeing a large billboard for visiting New Mexico…


6:00am

Find out from a help desk that my next flight actually leaves from the gate right next to the one I arrived at. Well, at least I know now.

6:05am

Coffee is needed. Line at the Starbucks seems half a mile long. Bypass it in favour of Dunkin’ Donuts. Next stop, charging station.

6:15am 

Curious to see how much I actually slept on the plane. Start to sync my Fitbit then realise that having been on airplane mode probably means they weren’t communicating. Sure enough, no information showing up.

6:20am

Phone charging and I’m catching up on some messages.

7:45am

Need to get up and walk some. Debate getting more coffee. Eyes are heavy.

8:00am

Get water instead. Need to remember to stay hydrated. Send Britt a message giving her an update on my progress.

8:25am

Approx. 10 hours before my next flight starts boarding. In theory, I could go into the city but I’m not sure I want to deal with navigating my way there and back and having to go through security again.

9:20am

Given how spacey I’m feeling think it’s best I don’t try venturing out of the airport. Making sure this visit goes right is more important than seeing Times Square or anything… Decide to settle in at a quiet gate and read my book.

9:50am

Find myself nodding slightly. Debate getting myself another coffee.

10:40am

Finish my book, start thinking about the review.

11:30am

Finally get myself another coffee. Then find another table where I can plug in my laptop and start working on the  book review.

12:30pm

Realize I haven’t eaten yet. Remembering that I promised Britt I’d try to get a proper meal, I go searching for a) something that sounds good & b) reasonably priced. End up choosing a grilled chicken BLT.

12:50pm

This restaurant seems to really like Fleetwood Mac. Pretty sure I’ve heard 3 of their songs while I’ve been in here.

1:00pm

What are the odds of running into a pipe band?

1:30pm

Trying to work on a Flash Fiction challenge, working from a choice of random titles. Like the sound of two: Ghosts of the Sea Queen or Once There Was Far Music.

2:40pm

Only 2 hours left to wait. 

3:30pm

Last coffee wearing off. Trying to decide what to read next…

4:10pm

Just seen the cabin staff go through my gate so shouldn’t be too much longer. Definitely starting to fade now. Still, once I’m on the plane…

Onboard Aer Lingus

4:55pm

Found my seat and settled in. Wonder how long before I crash out?

5:30pm

I think I dozed for a few minutes while we were taxiing to the runway, woke for takeoff, slept for another few and now I’m wide awake again. Time to consult the in-flight entertainment.

5:40pm

It’s tempting to choose Logan or one of the Nolan Batman films but instead I’ve put on The Great Wall. Let’s see if this keeps me going or if it puts me to sleep.

5:50pm

Not sure if it’s the engine noise, the headphones or just me but I’m baffled as to exactly what accent Matt Damon is using.

6:05pm

Beasties. 🙂

7:30pm

Finished the film and I’m still wide awake. Accepting the complimentary coffee may be a mistake. Decide to continue the trend with films I had meant to rent at some point by starting Assassin’s Creed.

7:40pm

Still 3 & 1/2 hours flight time until Dublin.

7:45pm

There’s a three year old running around loose.

8:15pm

Another 10 minute catnap.

10:00pm

I seem to be in a stage where I can’t think but I still can’t sleep.

11:20pm

Touchdown in Dublin. +5 hours.

Dublin Airport 

4:42am

Got in ahead of schedule. Gate for the flight to Glasgow isn’t on the board yet. Wander around tourist shops.

5:25am

Let Britt know I’m safe and I’m at my next gate. Only 2 more stops to go.

6:20am

Now on a bus from the gate to the plane. Didn’t expect that…

6:40am

Got off the bus, onto the tarmac and climbed the steps to board the plane. Felt like one of the Beatles for a moment. Except without the screaming fans.

6:45am

I don’t think I’ve been on a plane that has propeller engines before…

7:45am

And down into Glasgow.

Glasgow Airport

8:05am

Get through the airport in surprisingly quick time so I have time to grab a bit of breakfast before my rental car is ready. 

On the Road

9:00am

Okay, just have to make it through a couple of hours drive and then I’m done. Tempted to re-think my original plan of going into town and doing some food shopping.

11:30am

Decide I should get some food in. Hopefully it won’t take me too long.

1:00pm

“You have reached your destination.”

Postscript

In case you were worried, I did get some sleep finally…

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