Arizona Days 8 & 9 – Going Home

The end of the adventure was finally upon us, and after so many hectic days we actually had a day with nothing planned. I got up at 07:00 and went running, but after just half a mile a lightning bolt came down in front of me – after another half mile I decided to cut my run short and turn back having only completed two miles.

After breakfast we packed ready for the flight in the afternoon and we said goodbye to my friend who would be flying to Canada long before we left for England. Me and my sister then headed out into the heat of Phoenix to explore a little. We soon found that the dry heat, although only in the 30s (centigrade) was still warm enough to make us want to keep out of the direct sunlight as much as possible.

We wandered for quite some time but never really found anything worth seeing – though I did take a photograph of Coopertown which is a bar run by the singer Alice Cooper. It appeared that the part of Phoenix we were in was mostly businesses and restaurants so was pretty limited.

By midday we’d given up on looking for anywhere to look around, and so decided we’d eat at the Hard Rock Cafe. I had one of their burgers, but it was difficult to eat as by this point my lips had become so cracked, and bloody from the dry heat that they were too sore to move. I then had an Apple Cobbler for dessert which was quite nice, and was filling enough to know that I could then last until late evening before any more food.

For a while we continued to wander around Phoenix, taking breaks in the shade where we could, but eventually decided we’d get to the airport early and so took the shuttle bus from the hotel – arriving 5 hours early.

Getting through security was relatively quick – my sister again didn’t have any problem getting her medication through though they did have a good look at the amount of candy she was carrying in her backpack. Whilst sitting around waiting I was able to sort through some of my photographs from the trip, and also heard from my friend who had arrived back in Canada before we’d even left.

Over the PA system we also heard that they’d banned the use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones due to the risk of explosions and were requesting that passengers turn them off and cannot charge them on aircrafts or in the airport. For an airport to specifically name a make and model of a device shows how bad the situation with them must be, especially when the company has recalled all of the devices.

Hours passed and eventually we boarded the flight. It was a bit of organised chaos though as they were trying to get enough people to completely fill a Boeing 747-400 onboard in the space of 20 minutes; but had no space at the gate at all as it was one without a seating area. This was causing confusion from people on where they should queue but eventually we were able to board and take our seats.

Time on the plane home passed quickly as I watched the classic film “Chariots of Fire”, and also an episode of “Blackadder The Third”. For the first of the meals on the plane there was dinner shortly after reaching cruising altitude – I had chicken arabiatta with cheesecake.

I was in dire need of sleep, but couldn’t. If I was lucky I may have had the odd few minutes of sleep here and there when I closed my eyes, but for the most part I was awake. About an hour before we were due to land they served a full English breakfast – the first meal across the flights that hadn’t been too good.

The plane landed almost 30 minutes early, before they’d had chance to hand out the immigration cards to those that would need them. As a result passengers were told that they couldn’t put their tray tables down for leaning on as we were too close to landing.

Fortunately immigration and baggage collection didn’t take too long and I could travel the remaining (just over) 2 hours home by car. After almost 33 hours awake, I could finally sleep.

It had been a busy week travelling around the state of Arizona and had seen so much. We’d driven 1,962 miles, and on top of that, although not much, I’d run or walked for 41.28 miles across the week meaning I’d covered over 2,000 miles. There’s definitely places where we could have spent more time, but I’m glad the itinerary I’d planned worked out as well as it did. Hopefully next time I visit the US it will be at least as successful as this grand adventure.

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