After spending a week overseas, it was time to head back to the USA. I think everyone was ready to head back home. I could feel the excitement in the air as I ate my English breakfast that morning with Shaun, Tyler, and Dan as everyone seemed energetic and Dan talked about his plans for the summer. I had the classic English breakfast for the last time. As we grouped together that morning getting read to leave, it seemed everyone was excited.
Once again, we took the subway to the train station. This time, it was for the last time. As we got on the train for London-Gatwick airport, it felt like the trip was now going in reverse. I was on the same train as the first day, but now going back to the airport. I saw much of the same scenery that I had seen that first day. The first day, my face we peeled to the window, but now the green scenery and house architecture seemed normal to me.
The airport was incredibly busy. I had never seen an airport so busy. I think I stood in line to print out my board pass for almost 20 minutes. Once I got my boarding pass printed out, I had to stand in another line for another 10 minutes to get rid of my luggage. As I stood in line, I was asked general questions about my luggage and its security (whether or not I had been watching it the whole time, about the souvenirs I had bought, etc. etc.) Going through security took probably another 30 – 40 minutes.
After making it through security, we bummed around the airport for awhile. Marcus, Megan, and I walked around and looked at some of the airport shops. I bought some candy from a Cadburry chocolate machine with some change I had left over. Marcus needed to get rid of some of his change, so we played a couple video games in the airport. Even though there were tons of people at the airport, once we got past the insanity of security, it seemed so desolate. It was weird.
On the flight back home, I sat next to Megan again. The flight home was much like the flight to London. We talked a bit and were constantly being fed it seemed. I kept myself entertained with the computer-entertainment system they had built into the headsets. I watched Toy Story 2, tracked the plane in the air, and listened to some music. Even with the entertainment, the eight hour plane ride was long!
Eventually, we made it back to Minneapolis, cleared customs, and got our luggage. Because we were in a new country, we had to go through security once again with our luggage. After I went through security, I was finally able to use my cell phone. I called home and confirmed our landing time and flight numbers.
As we walked towards our gate, I could tell I was back in America. After being emerged in the UK culture for two weeks, America felt slightly foreign. No longer was I surrounded by people who were nicely dressed with British accents. I was now surrounded by people wearing a lot more casual wear, mainly t-shirts with logos and text. Not only that, but there were a lot more fat people. After all the running around I had done in the subway for the past two weeks, I had no doubts about why the British were so healthy and slim.
The flight back to Sioux Falls was very short and sweet. The plane was very small and a bit warm, but the flight only took about 45 minutes. Again, I sat next to Megan. I had a window seat on the way back so I spent most of my time glued to the window enjoying the view.
After landing in Sioux Falls, I grabbed my luggage, said goodbye to everyone, and left with my parents who were eager to see me. As we made our way back home, I told them the stories and experiences that I have just told you.