California Day 8/9 – San Jose to Leicester

It was a restless night – with so much noise around the hotel it meant it was difficult to sleep. At around 04:30 there were loud banging noises that sounded like large metal containers being moved. Eventually though it was time to get up and head to the airport, having had only 3 to 4 hours of sleep at best.

Due to how early we were leaving it meant having breakfast at the airport – fortunately unlike some airports I’ve been to there was a reasonable selection to choose from. I decided to have a “Pain au Chocolat”, or as the locals call them “Chocolate Croissant”. I also took this opportunity to buy some lunch to put in my backpack for later as with the tight connections I’d have it would mean I wouldn’t get chance to buy anything in Denver or Newark – if all went according to plan.

They began boarding the plane at 07:15, and was up in the air by 08:15. For this flight I sat and watched episodes of TV shows to pass the time. Though it was only a short flight so had to pause the second episode part way through.

When I got into Denver I said goodbye to my friend who would be going on to Chicago and then Toronto. I still had plenty of time for boarding the next flight as it turned out that the flight had been delayed 24 minutes. This meant my flight out of Newark was going to be very tight and I’d be lucky to make it. They did say though that they’d make up around 15 minutes in the air so we’d only be 10 minutes late arriving, however we still landed 25 minutes late. During the flight from Denver to Newark I finished off the episode I was watching and ate the turkey sandwich I’d bought from San Jose. Throughout the flight though I kept nervously looking at my watch – wondering if I was going to make it in time.

Upon touchdown the gate for my final flight had been open for sometime. It was slow progress getting off the plane as although the attendants asked that they let those with tight connections leave first, there wasn’t anyone allowing this to happen. As soon as I could I ran through the terminal. Luckily I had seen the gate on the way in so I knew where to go to get to it. I arrived just 5 minutes before they closed the cabin door – but that was all I needed. I’d made it to my flight home just in time.

During the flight they served drinks with cheese and crackers, and then later on they served dinner. Just like the flight out to the US, the options were chicken or pasta – I went with the chicken again and this time it was not curry, but some strips of chicken with red peppers. For the rest of the flight I put my feet up across the row of three chairs and tried to relax. I wasn’t able to sleep, but at least I was comfortable. For a while I watched more TV until eventually they served breakfast – a cold croissant with jam.

An hour later and the plane was finally preparing to land in Birmingham. My trip had come to an end and home was almost in sight. It seemed like the week in California has passed by incredibly quickly yet at the same time even events such as being in Los Angeles felt like weeks ago. It felt like it had been a good week for my first US road trip.

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