Our flight wasn’t until the afternoon so we were able to have an easy morning to make sure we were completely ready before being driven down to Heathrow airport. This later flight also meant that I could go for a short run in the morning before breakfast and still have time to get to the airport.
At the check-in desk at Heathrow we were told we were lucky that we’d checked in the day before as the flight was full. This made it sound like it was an overbooked flight and so if we hadn’t have done, we may not have got on the flight. Not great when we’d paid for the only direct flight from Heathrow to Phoenix for the day, but fortunately that wasn’t the case – as always I’d checked in online the day before. Security was then the fastest I’ve been through at an international airport – from arriving at the terminal to going through security was only a little over 10 minutes!
After some food from Pret we went looking for an airport employee to talk to. This was because as a side effect from when my sister was ill last year, she needed to have a Dalteparin injection two hours before the flight but needed to know where we could dispose of the needle afterwards.
The time in the airport passed quickly and it was soon time to make our way to the gate ready for our flight to Phoenix. I did see before we boarded though that although we were boarding on time we’d be landing 29 minutes late the other end. This wasn’t helped by us leaving the gate 20 minutes late – but we were in the air at 15:20.
Not long after taking off I started watching “Allegiant” and ate dinner whilst watching this – chicken and rice followed by malted chocolate. Over the hours that followed I also watched “Bad Neighbours 2”, and “The Nice Guys”. We were also served a breakfast about half way into the flight which consisted of a cereal bar, fruit cake, nachos with salsa dip, and a chocolate sweet. A couple of hours before landing they also served a folded pizza – which we could choose between a Mozarella one, or a Chicken and pesto one.
After more than 10 hours we finally landed in Phoenix, though it took 20 minutes from touchdown to getting off the plane and then an hour to get through immigration. This did mean that baggage collection was pretty quick and we soon met up with my friend James. The airport terminal doesn’t have the car hire in the same building so it was a 10 minute shuttle ride to where we could pick-up the car.
Although we’d booked a fairly large car anyway we instead upgraded to a large SUV – a Toyota 4Runner. By large, I do mean massive – my friend commented it was like a tank. The sun had already set by this point, but my friend drove us the 3.3 miles to the hotel where we dropped off our suitcases before heading out for food. Even though it had been dark for a while it was still quite warm out, but we were heading to the nearby Hard Rock Cafe.
This took some finding as my friend couldn’t quite remember precisely where he’d seen it earlier. As my sister wasn’t wearing comfortable shoes, my friend ran off looking for it so it’d be easier on her feet. It was noticeable how empty the streets were on a Saturday night – most cities would be bustling with activity.
As we’d eaten a fair bit on the plane my sister just had a few fries, and I had an Oreo cheesecake, whilst my friend had a pulled chicken sandwich. It wasn’t too pricey, but we were now sufficiently fed to last until morning.
By the time we were back at the hotel it was 22:00 local time, so both me and my sister had been awake for 24.5 hours. At last though, we could sleep.