My American Adventure

I didn’t really pay that much attention to the dates, but then someone made a comment – "you’re flying to the States on September 11! Aren’t you scared?"

The comment did throw me a little, and I did consider that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. After all, I’d deliberately chosen to NOT fly American Airlines or United cos these two are often targeted.

But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like not such a bad idea – surely after London the security would be really tight? So I kept the flight schedule.

Checking in was fun. I arrived at the desk at Brussels (cheaper to fly out of Brussels than out of Dublin) and a guy with a laptop was there to interrogate me. He scanned my passport which said that I was OK, but then he had to ask questions…

Guy: "So where are you flying to?"
Me:  "Denver"
Guy: "In Colorado?"
Me:  "That’s the one"
Guy: "And you have a British passport"
Me:  "Yes"
Guy: "But you don’t sound British"
Me:  "No, I’m also Australian"
Guy: "And where do you live?"
Me:  "Dublin"
Guy: "Which Dublin?"
Me:  "Ireland"
Guy: "And why are you flying out of Brussels?"
Me:  "It was cheaper to fly here first"
Guy: "When did you get here?"
Me:  "Yesterday"
Guy: "I’ll need to see your ticket"
Me:  "It’s electronic, no ticket"
Guy: "You’ll need to prove it to me"
(show the man the boarding card stub – thankfully I still had it)
Guy: "Where did you stay last night?"
Me:  "In Antwerp"
Guy: "Which hotel?"
Me:  "No hotel, with a friend"
Guy: "Who’s your friend?"
Me:  "That man over there"
Guy: "And how do you know him"
Me:  "My company has an office in Antwerp – I met him there"
Guy: "What are you doing in Denver?"
Me:  "Business"
Guy: "What type of business"
Me:  "I’m seeing our development company"
Guy: "Where are you staying?"
Me:  "At the Marriot"
Guy: "What’s your reservation number?"
(show the man the email from the hotel)
Guy: "How long will you be there"
Me:  "A week" (which it says on the hotel reservation email)
Guy: "And where will you go from there?"
Me:  "Back to Brussels and then back to Dublin"
Guy: "I need to see the ticket for the flight back to Dublin"
Me:  "It’s the same electronic ticket as earlier"
Guy: "Is this your bag?"
Me:  "Yes"
Guy: "Did you pack it yourself?"
Me:  "Yes"
Guy: "And where has the bag been?"
Me:  "In the car with me"
Guy: "OK, you can go"

I was exhausted! Hadn’t even checked in yet!

Next was security – the standard one which in Brussels is set to detect a bra underwire so that the security people can cop a quick feel… then on to another check at the gate.

When I finally got onto the plane it was about 1 third full. Seems a lot of others were concerned with flying on that date.

Trip to Atlanta was good, ended up chatting to a lovely guy in the next row for most of the flight. He has the most gorgeous little boy and another on the way. A year ago I would have not spoken to anyone, but I’m a little more outgoing these days. When we got to Atlanta he helped me to find my gate which was lovely.

Anyway, did a little shopping with some help from Alan who was looking up teh decent places to go for me, got myself a hotdog (oh my god so yummy!) and then grabbed my flight to Denver. This one wasn’t as good, was full and I was dead on my feet and finding it hard to sleep.

When I got to the airport and finally got my bag I grabbed a cab to the hotel. It was a long way so very expensive and the cabby scary – wanted to take me out tomorrow night. Was glad when he finally gave gave up trying to get my phone number or name out of me and gave me my receipt.

Met up with Henry for a quick bite to eat – the plates were huge. Enough food to feed a small country! I had a starter of Bison Chilli which was delicious. Was good to collapse into a comfy bed for the night.