Back to the grind..

Well the holiday is over and it is back to the grind tomorrow.

The trip home was awful…… the flight was delayed by 4 hours.  Four extra hours sitting in Heathrow airport is not much fun.  The flight was supposed to leave at 4.20pm landing me in DC around 8pm last night.  At first the departure board had "Please Wait"  listed instead of a gate number.    Then the dreaded "Delayed" sign appeared with no further information.   Eventually a time went up but it kept being changed to a later and later time until we finally departed at 8.30pm. The weather was clear in both London and DC and we were never really told what happened other than our plane had "landed at Gatwick" and then had to wait for a slot to reland at Heathrow…  Mmmm!

We landed in DC just before midnight.  By then they had made the announcement that every single connecting flight had left so there were a lot of unhappy people  – not least the 74 people who were flying to Orlando last night – some of them to go on a Disney cruise.

To try cheering these "connectors" up a bit they separated them from the DC terminators and took them to Immigration first and then brought their bags up on a different carousel before we DC people got ours!   Apparently they wanted to get these people to hotel rooms as quickly as possible – it didn't do much to mollify those of us living here!

Then I had been honest on the Customs form and written that I had food – so they sent me to the Agricultural Line – oh No!  I thought I was going to have to throw away my bloody expensive Fortnum and Mason Christmas Pudding!!

When you land in Australia there are signs all the way to Customs telling you that you can't bring fruit, meats etc into the country so to either eat it or toss it (bins helpfully provided).  The woman who processed me made a comment about me being Australian (the passport gives it away) and something along the lines that I should know better!  At this stage I was wondering if I could eat the whole pudding rather than throw it away – I was pretty hungry….. 

I said "It's commercially packaged, not some home made thing".   The fruit was the problem; but after running all my baggage through the scan machine they let me go with the pudding intact.   

By the time I got home it was almost 3am and I have felt decidedly "seedy" today.
I took this photo in Rome on the first day we were there…     I am going to need a bit of patching up myself,  to be able to get through my first day back at work tomorrow! 


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18 responses

  1. Awwwww…… must be exhausted! that trip home sounds like a real mess. I'm glad you got the pudding through, in your bag and not in your stomach!It's good to have you home!That's a terrific horse…you go back to work TOMORROW??? GAH!I'm sorry you can't take a days to reset your internal clock and rest ….

  2. The thing about being on holidays is that you don't want them to finish but once they do you just want to get home as soon as possible. If everything had gone to plan I would've been in bed between 10-11pm last night and had a whole night's sleep with today to get back into the zone etc. Now I am all out of whack and probably going to be a cranky girl tomorrow …..Pudding is so rich that I don't think I could eat much of it in one sitting – LOL – I wonder how much confiscated food the customs people eat themselves. I had to give up some chocolate coated cranberries at Sydney airport one year and I have always imagined them enjoying them in their break!

  3. Rest well and hopefully tomorrow is a better day, but I have always wondered why they call it a vacation because we cram so much in to it we need a rest from it afterward…Enjoy that pudding and remember that there is only a few days left until you get to take off for Christmas then New Years…. I bet it is nice to be back home!

  4. Huh, I once brought in a Christmas pudding (through LAX, not Dulles) and nobody said anything (except to remark that I was a bit late, as it was the 9th January!). I'm bringing some little ones this time too, so I hope it goes as smoothly.

  5. Thanks so much for all of your holiday posts, they were a pleasure to read. I often find the return leg is unpleasant, probably because there's none of that excited anticipation to overcome any setbacks etc. Anyway, I hope you are able to ease your way back into things at the salt mine.

  6. my guess would be there are regulations against it (which isn't to say it there isn't smuggling that occurs). i've worked in food service environments where regardless of the amount of perfectly good leftovers, we were required to toss them all. ouch. also, cops are at least on paper forbidden from taking home the goods inc. dope confiscated, i'd just think most immigration offices would be of similar policy.

  7. Yes I'm sure you are right about the regulations but they must be tempted when they see perfectly good sealed stuff. I used to do Night fill ( fill supermarket shelves at night time) and if we broke/cut/tore any packets we had to put them in a container so they could be written off. If lollies got damaged there was always a temptation to take a couple on the way to the container..This morning it felt as though my body was back in sync but by lunchtime it wanted to be back in bed!

  8. Yes Jamie – it is nice to be back home. Vacations are always a bit go, go, go – I like them like that though. There is plenty of time to rest when we are really old. LOL. Two short work weeks – yippee!

  9. I'm sure you will have no problems. The officers were probably feeling a bit crabby at being kept on overtime on a Saturday night this close to Christmas. I come in to LAX from Australia and I have never had anyone there say anything about the Cadbury chocolates and Tim Tams I always bring back.

  10. Thank you Jaffnut. I'm sure you are right about that lack of anticipation on the way home – just the desire to be back quickly. At least these two weeks are short work weeks! 2.5 working days per week will be nice!

  11. I'm sure they're tempted, who wouldn't be, there's perfectly dandy edibles that don't pass immigration (just as there's been at our past jobs). it wouldn't surprise me if regulations require recording of every such item. anyway, your body will be back on u.s. time in no time.

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