I left Santa Rosa at 2 p.m. on the Airport Express. It seems as though Christmas Day might just be the best day to travel, or perhaps my timing was particularly perfect, because everything has been relatively flawless thus far. There were only five people on board the bus and it was a mostly quiet and uneventful trip, and we actually arrived almost 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Once I arrived, I was the only person in line for the baggage check, and made it through security about 10 minutes after I entered the terminal.
Finding myself in the airport all checked in an entire four hours before my flight, I found a spot at the nearby bar and nursed a couple of bloody mary’s while reading “Emma” on my Kindle – which is only one of the many books I need to read in the next couple months in order to pass my graduate school comprehensive oral exam. After I polished both of those off, I walked across the way and went downstairs to my gate, where I charged my laptop and read some more until the plane eventually began boarding.
While I thought it would be maybe a half-full flight, it appeared as though it was mostly booked. I got a window seat just behind the wings and engines, and the two companions next to me were also traveling solo. As soon as the on-board entertainment began, I had a Heineken (unfortunately, the beer selection always seems to be sub-par [it was either that or Grolsch], and since I requested a vegan meal, my food came quite early on. I think it was some kind of seitan, with mushrooms (which weren’t bad and that I surprisingly ate all of), spinach and rice, along with mixed greens and a fruit salad. I washed it all down with a glass of red wine and a cup of coffee while watching “Get Him to the Greek,” and then settled in to sleep.
Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep so well on the plane. I was able to doze for maybe an hour, but it was quite light and interrupted and I kept waking up. Eventually I resigned myself to the fact that the last couple hours of the flight would be incredibly boring. But I made it through and arrived in London. Flying in was awesome, because there was snow everywhere, and looking down at the ground below it looked like iceberg chunks and not actual ground.
Once arriving in London, I was completely and unnecessarily confused, because Heathrow has got to be one of the most confusing airports ever. I figured out how to get to my terminal and went through security quickly (I only had a 30-minute period of time to clear it) but then of course the departures screen had my flight listed but no gate number. After waiting in a queue for what seemed like forever, I got my number and made it there (surprisingly) before any of the other passengers.
Boarding was easy and quick, and before I knew it, we were on our way to Gothenburg. The flight was less than two hours, and as we pulled in over Sweden, the whole coastline was lit up with lights. I didn’t notice until we landed (because it was too dark) that everything was covered in snow, and when we got off the plane, it was snowing outside! SO beautiful!
I’d finally made it to Sweden.