So moving out of the house on the Wednesday and living on the Woodruff Road for 9 days was not how we wanted to spend our last few days in America. I wanted to go to the beach. We initially booked Hilton Head, but this was very expensive. So we cancelled and got a Groupon to Myrtle Beach instead.
By the time our container was packed on the Friday, we didn't end up leaving Simpsonville till 4 pm, much later than we would normally for a weekend away. We still hit the coast by 8pm, had a quick snack and went to bed.
Our resort was not the most upmarket. In fact, I would say it was a dump in places. But it was right on the beach, with 5+ pools.....
The beach was awesome. Yes, it was busy, but not as busy as it would have been on the main area (we were south of the main strip). We spent 2 days just lounging around the beach, the pools and the hotels. We only left the resort to go and play mini golf.
We did get the joyous news from the vet on the Saturday morning that the cats documents to be counter signed by the state vet needed to be hand delivered. I thought they would fax a copy to the state vet, and I could pick them upon the way back from Myrtle beach. But no. Our vets signature needed to be in blue ink. Ball ache. We decided to just leave super early on Monday, so I could pick up the documents and drive down to Columbia.
On with the vacation! More time in the pool, on the beach and more cocktails
I was able to carry out Monday's day of driving with no issue. Documents all ready and correct for the border patrol and customs.
Tuesday paul went out with some work mates for drinks. The boys and I went for dinner at Christys house. The boys had not seen Edmund in about 9 months. They played beautifully for 4 hours. They ate dinner. Then we had to say 'see you later', but they knew it would be a long time till they saw each other again. Both Isaac and Edmund were in tears, which really did not help Christy and I (welling up as I write this)
Thursday morning, paul and I both dropped a small fortune at Krispy Kreme donuts. Paul for work colleagues, me for Sebastian's daycare. Saying good bye to that school was very hard. They have done such great things for Sebastian, and listened to me rant when something else has happened. They are amazingly accommodating. One of the staff from Oliver's school has started working there recently, so the older 2 got to say goodbye to her also. Hard, hard goodbyes......
Friday morning. We left the hotel by 4.30, and said our good byes to Greenville. We got to the cargo area to drop the cat at about 5.45. Good job too. Her crate was too small by United's standards. Luckily they had one I could purchase. Processing her paper work took nearly an hour!.
Then it was off to drop the car hire, then check in. As we were traveling business class, we were able to check in with a person rather than a machine, and they took the luggage through. Then on to security. Friday before 4th July. Airport was really busy. Through security in under 30 minutes, even with me having a pat down. Amazingly efficient service (as always) at Charlotte airport.
See that box in the photo?
That's the cat........ Making it on to our first airplane. Bother our planes sat on Tarmac for a while. At our layover in Chicago we made good use of the business lounge. It was just easier than sitting out in the terminal with the boys. We did make sure that they had some food at the terminal, as we thought they would not eat on the plane (we were right).
The second plane sat on Tarmac for about 45 minutes. At least this pilot communicated to us what was happening: technical issues. By now the boys were safely in their seats, and comfortable as anything.
Once we were on the air, it was a pretty uneventful flight, other than the staff rushing through the dinner service. It wasn't very nice, but at least I had an unlimited, free, supply of craft beer. We even managed to get some sleep, and it was some good sleep for once. The lie down seats seem to have improved in business class since the last time we flew.
The pilot took us around London as he was taxiing to land. Absolutely stunning views. We landed 30 minutes late. Rounding up our luggage was easy, another perk of flying business class.
We got through customs very quick. And Paul's dad was there to greet us. It was great to see him, and a huge help. Paul went off to get the hire car, his dad and I went for a coffee then took the boys out side to play in the huge pedestrian area at the bottom of Heathrow Terminal 2.
It wasn't even a hire car, more of a hire van. We loaded the van, and headed to get the cat. The animal collection area was just a short drive from the terminal. And she was already there. They let the animals out, offer them food, water and use of toilet. I had to wait and out 20 minutes for her paperwork to be checked, and she was released to me. An amazingly efficient service, with awesome staff. Then we were on the road, down to Chichester.
Nothing like the M25 on a Saturday morning......