USA 2015 Day 8/9 – Nebraska to Birmingham

I was in no rush to get up – as I wasn’t getting the shuttle bus until 11:45 I had plenty of time to have breakfast, and get ready for leaving. By 07:30 though I was ready but wasted the morning in the hotel – I felt I’d seen as much of Omaha as I was going to, and couldn’t find any details of other places to see for the time I had available.

The morning was spent looking through some work and watching TV until finally it was time to check out and take the shuttle bus to the airport. Between the wasted morning and the long layover I knew was ahead of me in Dublin, I felt it a shame I couldn’t have arranged the flights better to instead have had the long layover in Chicago so I could have had a quick look around there before moving on. I imagine though I could have spent a fair few hours sightseeing there – a reason to go back some other time.

At 11:30 I checked out of the hotel and sat around in the lobby waiting, the journey to the airport was only 5 minutes but the shuttle was late arriving. I finally left the hotel just after 12:00 and was through the airport pretty quickly. Fortunately this time my luggage would be checked in for the whole journey so the 93 minute layover in Chicago should be possible.

By 12:25 I was ready to find some lunch. On the other side of security though there was only one place to get food and the lady serving food there didn’t understand me – despite this being America and me speaking English. I almost gave up, but then decided to ask for a hotdog as this something she must hear people say every day. Sure enough I was able to get a hotdog, but then didn’t even attempt to get a drink knowing how much trouble it had been just to get that far.

The Omaha airport does have free Wi-Fi however I couldn’t get it to work on my iPhone or my Macbook. I suspect it probably had too many people using it already – something which is common for airport Wi-Fi, but something I hadn’t encountered much on this trip. I used this time before the flight to try and determine how easy the connection would be in Chicago – from what I could tell my flight would be leaving from the same terminal I was arriving in so in theory the short time available would be enough.

The flight to Chicago O’Hare International seemed short, and before I knew it we had landed. I got through the airport as quickly as I could but stopping to buy a sandwich and a cookie to use for lunch the next day as I’d be in Dublin airport without any Euros. It wasn’t much of a wait before boarding the plane to Dublin, although it was delayed by 10 minutes.

For the flight to Dublin it was close to 8 hours so shortly after boarding they served us cheese and crackers with a drink, followed by dinner. At this time the entertainment system wasn’t working so my fourth attempt at watching the ending of the movie “Project Almanac” wasn’t getting too far. For the dinner option I went with the chicken – it wasn’t amazing.

Whilst eating, the entertainment system started to work so I was finally able to watch the end of the movie I’d started watching on the way to Mexico back in May. After it finished I then tried my best to sleep until they turned the cabin lights back on to signal that they were about to serve breakfast.

Breakfast on this flight was a croissant with jam and a drink. They went around twice which meant I was able to have a black tea, and also get a water bottle to use later. We touched down a little later than they had planned to a cloudy and cold Ireland. I was one of the last people off the plane, but I wasn’t in any rush – I was then the only one heading towards the connecting flights desk which meant showing my passport and going through security was incredibly quick.

For the next six hours I would be sitting around in the Dublin airport terminal waiting for my flight home. The time passed slowly and the airport was cold, or at least colder than I was used to which meant it felt cold to me. I had lunch a little earlier than intended too, trying to pass the time. Eventually it was time for the gate to open – but they hadn’t up until then announced what gate it would be. As usual there was a pause between announcing the gate was open, and actually beginning boarding. The flight to Birmingham wasn’t bad, but it was a struggle to stay awake by this point – having been awake for just over 24 hours by the time I boarded the plane.

At last my journey around what had turned out to be five of the United States was over. There had been very little time for sightseeing this time, but it did at least get me to the Johnson Space Center and allowed me to tick more states off my list.


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