SO... I get to Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix. After my Dad dropped me off at the curb (after having treated me to a delicious lunch at Chuckbox) I went in to check in to my United flight to London through Denver. I failed to read the fine print on my registration, however, that the flight was operated by a different carrier (what does that even mean?) and I had to check in in a different terminal. Luckily, I was 2 hours early like a good international traveller and had plenty of time. Next, I went to the check in counter, and gave the lady my passport, and the information for the connecting flight so my luggage would be checked all the way through. She informed me they didn't have luggage tags long enough for all of my connections and I would have to re-check bertha in London. After a few more little things, I was sitting at the gate waiting for my flight. This was only the beginning of my 22 hour flight/layover fest that awaited me.
The flight to Denver was like a roller coaster (and as the flight attendant said, "This is all a free bonus!"), but otherwise fine. The flight to London was outrageously long, but what overseas flight isn't? I sat next to a very pleasant girl from Montana off to visit her boyfriend in London. In London was where the REAL adventure began. After getting hassled by the border guard ("You're a student, are you? Isn't there another term after Easter?") and getting bertha, I went to check into my next flight. Yet again, I was in the wrong terminal. I was directed to take the intra-airport shuttle, the Heathrow Express, to terminal 4. Coming down the endless flights of stairs, I came to the train station at the center of the earth. I just missed my train and had to wait 20 minutes for the next one. At about minute 15, everyone on the platform was informed there was a fire in the outlying area and all train service would halt indefinitely. Of course it would, because I needed a train. "No matter," they say. "Take the tube." Easier said than done. After finding my way out of Dante's inferno and into the underground station, I bought a ticket to go down one stop to Hatton Cross, cross the platform, and get on a train coming back. A ticker for this (which would have been free, mind you) was £3.50 (aka $7.00!). Anyway, after finding my way, I got through security and had 2 hours left in my 4 hour layover.
After going through Paris, we transferred to a tic-tac with wings that would fly us in 2 hours to Croatia. I knew I was back in Europe, because the guy I was sitting next to was definitely NOT wearing Old Spice. More like, Eau de B.O. The combined smell of underarm "au naturale" from most of the occupants of my tic-tac invaded my nostrils like a blaring neon Welcome! sign that puts Las Vegas to shame. Anyway, after FINALLY making it to the Zagreb International Airport (which is probably smaller than either Falcon Field or the Provo Airfield), I found my ride and, after a stop at McDonalds (I know, I know, just save it), we made it home. Now here I am at 4 a.m. Croatia time after 6 hours of jet-lag sleep, and I'm wide awake. Translation: long, boring, and perhaps confusing or scatterbrained blog post. Enjoy!
Adventure part 2: Flying - check.