After a long journey, my parents finally arrived in London late Saturday night! As a retired Air Force test pilot, my Dad (and Mom) can fly free of charge on a US military flight. However, there are few catches!
Their adventure began early Thursday morning when they said goodbye to Tellico Village in Tennessee and drove 7 hours to the Charleston, South Carolina Air Force base. Unsure when a flight would leave or if they would even get a seat (that is a very loose term), they were prepared to wait in Charleston until December 23rd. Luckily, they were able to secure a place on a cargo plane that same night. Now, this is no commericial airline! There are no flight attendants, airline pillows, and definitely no movies! Fold down jump seats provided security during takeoff and landing, the floor provided a sleeping area, and a box lunch prevented hunger. One crew member even rigged a hammock for some off-duty snoozes! Along with 14 other passengers (aka stowaways), my parents shared their flight with two huge cranes and a school bus sized crate full of construction materials. About eight noisy hours later, my parents (and construction materials) arrived in Germany. What? Did I say Germany? Yes, the plane did not land England but Germany! Ooopps. The next leg of their journey was an overnight stay in Germany and then a late night Ryanair flight to London and then a National Express bus to central London. Not wanting my parents to get lost in London, Jignesh and I waited for 40minutes in the middle of the night (if you saw some very cold person performing strange looking exercises to keep warm at 2:30am on Baker Street, that was me!). And to think that they have to this all again when they decide to return home!