This may not post until later but right now it's 07:29 am (EST) and I've been up since 3:30am (BST) which translates to being awake for about 9 hours. Last night I slept for about 1 hour because I was waiting for Episode 41 to upload for the second time because the first attempt didn't work for some unknown reason. So here's a quick run down of what's happened so far today:
3:30am - Woke up
4:30am - Left home
5:30am - Arrived at Heathrow
5:50am - Bag dropped off and boarding pass in hand
5:52am - Breakfast in Costa with my parents
6:20am - Said farewell to my family and entered security
6:30am - Cleared security
6:35am - Bought some lunch from Pret
6:40am - Wandered around Dixons and played with an iPad 2 (possible mistake because now I really want one!)
6:50am - Gate announced
6:51am - Headed to Gate 49, vlogged on the move.
7:10am - Boarded Flight to Washington Dulles
7:55am - Took off!!!!!!!!!!!
7:56am - Switched my watch to EST
3:00am - Napped
6:00am - Woke up, watched a movie, had my lunch.
7:29am - Started writing this blog post.
Right now I've got 2 hours and 52 minutes until I land in Washington according to the onboard computer. Agent P is snoozing in the seat back pocket next to my iPhone and a bag of posh cheese and onion crisps. As I suspected I haven't seen anyone on the flight that is obviously a fellow ICP. It's mostly Americans on board. That's one of the best things about flying with an American Airline - there are usually less British accents around to remind you of home.
By the way....
For those that are interested my bag weighed in at 21.1kg which was well under the 23kg limit. I managed to pack everything I wanted to bring - no exceptions - so I'm pretty pleased with that. There was also room in my case for more stuff so I didn't need to sit on it or anything to get it closed. I think a key contributor to that fact was using vacuum bags to pack my spare suitcase and my comforter (duvet). The duvet was basically flat by the time I'd sucked all the air out of it. I know everyone has their favourite style of suitcase. I would always recommend having one with wheels because that makes getting around the airport A LOT easier. My suitcase is a big, soft material, holdall on wheels with a fixed handle and a pull out one. My spare case (for travelling home) is also a holdall but with no wheels. That means that I could get it in my case without taking up loads of room for things I'd need to bring with me. After I'd vacuum packed it it was tiny and barely noticeable in the case so if you have one lying around at home then that's a really good way of packing it and prevents you needing to buy one before you go back home. Expect to bring back at least one more case than you take with you because I can almost guarantee that you'll buy stuff while you're in Orlando that you'll want to bring home.
Update: 12:40pm, In the skies near Washington D.C.
Good news! Agent P and I made it onto our second flight. We cleared customs and immigration within 10 minutes of stepping off the plane. - Definite advantage of flying with an American Airline and not flying direct into Orlando. We even had time to buy a drink at the airport and phone home to let my parents know that we'd arrived safely - happy days.
Amusing note: the United rep at the gate referred to flying to Orlando as "Chasing Mickey". Eavesdropping on some conversations it's obvious that a lot of people on board are planning to visit the mouse.
Magical Moment: So....I got on the plane and was one of the last to board. I had an aisle seat, 27C. Seat A was empty and Seat B had a guy in his early 20s who kept looking around the plane. Then he started gesturing to the girl in seat 27F (The opposite window seat). It looked like they wanted to sit together so I offered them my seat and now they are happily playing away on their iPads/iPhones next to each other. :D
I'm scheduled to land in Orlando in about 1 1/2 hours so *fingers crossed* I should be checking in at Vista Way some time between 4 and 5 which is about 2-3 hours earlier than last year. I can't wait to see all the other ICPs once they arrive. I haven't been able to check whether their flights were running to time or not so fingers crossed that everyone is safely on their way as planned.
Update: 5:29pm, Vista Way
I'm all checked in and shall be living in Vista Way. Mixed feelings about it because the people that I've met in my apartment are all lovely but I kinda wanted to be in Chatham this year for a bit of a change. I need to go to Walmart at some point tonight but I'm kinda waiting for the mass of Brits to arrive from the BA and Virgin flights because at the moment there's no-one really here. Seriously, I had about 15 people checking me in because no-one else was arriving. Annoyingly the Mears people dropped me off in the wrong place at Vista but a nice Cast member with a car picked me up and drove me to where I needed to be.
So yeah, that's pretty much it for now. There's nothing I HAVE to do until 10:20am tomorrow . Another post may appear later tonight when something more has happened. You have been warned! lol