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The M25 on an early Sunday morning is not an interesting subject, it is however the M25 at its best. Free flowing and as luck would have it, clear skies as well.  Even better was I didn’t have to drive.  It was holiday time again and I was very much in need of this break.

Now a blog purely about a day of travelling is not for everyone, but sitting on the plane, there had already been much to write about.

As with a lot of people, or at least I thought a lot of people, I had checked in online. I this was somewhat wasted as the bag drop was combined with normal check in.  Thankfully it was to be the longest wait of the morning.  However the first comedy moment of the day was to come before I had even made it through security.

All the liquids I had that weren’t internal had already been checked in.  I would be buying. Some once though security but I was in no needs of the clear bag they now give out.  I was asked if I had any liquids and said that I didn’t.  What was said next was the surprise.  Despite having said I had none, I was told that I still needed to show them in a bag.  I can only think that they misheard me or were on auto pilot.  Had it not been the case that security at airports is very serious and never to be messed with I could have been tempted to take the bag and then show it to the people at the scanner saying I was told to do so.  Obviously I chose not to on the grounds that being frogmarched from an airport is not on my bucket list.

My flight was leaving from e furthest gate possible and the signs said that it was a 20 minute walk, so after I had done the customary purchasing of sun cream and breakfast it was time to start the 20 minute stroll to the back and beyond of airport gates.  I had plenty of time so decided to take the ‘longer’ options of not using the travellator at any point.  I figured the exercise would do me good and, after all, I was about to be sitting down for the majority of the next 10 hours.  Needless to say 5 minutes later I arrived at the gate.  I didn’t run and while it would have been possible to walk slower, I was taking my time.  I think the only way I could have made it was if I had been walking along the two steps forward one step back method.  Maybe that’s how the times are calculated.  I’m sure the meeting to agree that would have been fun and it makes me wonder what other methods of timing the route could have been considered.  Was there an argument over the use of pigeon steps versus doing walking backwards, only for them both to lose out to another style?

Plane journeys themselves are, hopefully, uninteresting, especially when spending a lot of it over the sea, though the current turbulent air isn’t fun.  Passing the time with films is a good way to do so, but I needed lighter relief this time and was glad of the downloads I had.  What it also did was enable me to watch the flight’s progress.  It was one of the odder routes, one that added about 30 mins to the journey time, though if what the captain said at the start was correct; it was more like an hour added.  The changes will have been to avoid storms that were moving across and up the country, but at times it seems like we were following the route of major airports.  Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago Kansas all had the honour of a flyby.  Not having the window seat I couldn’t tell if we were trailing colours behind us like the Red Arrows but I’m guessing not.  There was, however, one heart stopping moment when the flight tracker suddenly added an extra 4 hours onto our flight time and arrival time.  Whether anyone else noticed it or not I don’t know, but thankfully it corrected itself.

In the end there was plenty of time to make connections and look around the airport.  The international one at DFW isn’t too bad when it comes to it with plenty to see if you know where to look.

Thankfully the Tucson leg of the flight was uneventful.  A little late off the stand but nothing that would really class as a delay, especially in today’s world.  The delay though came upon arrival.  I was not the only one on the flight or at the airport heading to the ranch.  However I was the only person waiting with and speaking to the man who was there to meet us all.  After a bit of a frantic tine people were located and the last leg of the journey was underway.

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Always a welcome arch to be driven under!

Timing can be a wonderful thing and we were arriving just in time for dinner.  I still needed to check in with the front desk, but we know each other which makes it simpler.  Just as I was finishing the firms the ranch and a friend from previous visits was just making their way to dinner, it was a nice welcome to the ranch. In terms of timing as well this was now getting close to the 24 hours without rest point, but the meal would keep me going for a bit longer and its always important not to go to bed too early.

There was some good chat and catching up and even at this early stage, making new friends who had also just arrived. There were also others from the previous year where we remembered each other and likewise it was good to swap a few stories.

I’ve probably said it before, but I always find it a shame that the line dancing is on the Sunday night. I enjoy it but getting close to that 24 hour mark does mean that it’s more of a challenge than I would normally find it (or at least I hope I would). The lady who organises the line dancing always puts everything into it and gets lots of people dancing and having fun, so I will always show my face. I managed a couple of dancing, with relative success, though I did carefully pick the ones I joined in on. As always it was a fun way to end a very long day.

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The Longhorn Room Patio where the dancing takes place.

Maybe in the future I’ll try to sleep on the plane more so I’m less tired for the dancing. I said my goodnights and headed off into the darkness for some well-deserved sleep. Tomorrow the riding would start.

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