The beauty of nature seen through the lens of Rob Packer



26 Apr - Chicago

26 April 2009


Slow Progress

After a great breakfast, that included marmalade on toast, and a wonderful phone-call with Sheralyn it was off to the airport. The Raleigh airport is actually really nice, brand new and spacious. I checked ticketing for my flights and asked if it would be possible to get window seats. Granted! Things were looking good. Imagine how I felt when we were told the flight to Chicago was delayed 10 minutes because of rain there. But we left at the adjusted departure time. Not only did I have a window seat, but it was also on the emergency exit row ? double the leg room. Now I could stretch my legs to their full length. Soon after leaving we were informed that we would be placed in a holding pattern as there was a backlog of planes trying to land at Chicago. So we circled for 30 minutes, then took a treasure-hunt route into the windy city. The delays didn?t stress me too much once I knew we would get to Chicago. Why? I had 4 hours to spend exploring terminal 3.

Chicago

Despite being desperately tired I forced myself to stay awake, planning to sleep on the overnight flight to Brussels. We departed 5 minutes early ? that was nice. Even better was my seat. A window seat (without a window) behind the second bulkhead on our Boeing 777. Plenty of leg-room and open space in front of me. Soon after take-off I fell asleep and woke when the meal came around. Frustratingly, despite being really, really tired, I did not get any more sleep.

We landed in Brussels on time, then had a half hour delay as the ground staff tried to organise the air-bridge. In the end that proved impossible, so we walked down the stairs, across the tarmac, then up the stairs into the air-bridge. Eventually I found my way to the point where I could catch the bus across to the international terminal. This was very new, and very quiet. The flight to Entebbe was run by Brussels Airlines and the plane is less than 20% full. That means plenty of space ? what a nice change! However I only managed to get an hour?s sleep. That meant I arrived in Entebbe absolutely exhausted.



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