You know your first time of leaving the UK is off to a bad start when you have an argument with airport security over Cranberry and Raspberry squash.
We travelled down on the Saturday night by coach to Gatwick. Our flight was leaving from Gatwick but returning to Heathrow, which caused a bit of a headache and in the end, we decided a coach was our best option. We managed to watch the Wales v England game on the way down with patchy 3G. We were gutted when we found out we were travelling down on game night. But Wales won so our holiday got off to a great start. But that wouldn’t last long. We stayed in Gatwick central Travelodge over night. We were only 10 minutes from the airport.
Then it started to go a bit wrong. The boarding passes we printed at home wouldn’t scan but they checked our passports and let us through. Our big case was too big to go with the other luggage and had to go in a different area. It was dead on its 23kg weight limit. Then at security, Cat set off the bleepers and had to go into a body scanner and stand on the footprints, which were too wide for her and raise her arms above her head. That that didn’t look at all inappropriate. The footprints were shoulder width for most people. We’re pixie people. Lynx didn’t set them off, even though we were wearing practically the same.
Then they seized Cat’s tray and the guy told her she couldn’t take her bottles of Cranberry and Raspberry on. 5 bottles, in a clear plastic case, that had an aeroplane on with a tick, showing they were suitable. Lynx didn’t get stopped for the bottles, even though we had the same set. Guy “What size are they?” Cat “100 mil.” That’s the allowance. Guy “They’re not marked. You can’t take them on.” Cat “They’re 100 ml.” Him “Can you prove it?” Cat “No, I don’t have my eBay receipt.”
Yeah we know, being a smartarse in the airport was never going to win us any favours. He took out her bottle of foundation, which was also unmarked and said she could have that, but not the other bottles. There was no way she was losing them, after we’ve paid for them. Cat “What do I do?” Him *shrugs* “You can’t take them.” Cat “Well shall I go and find an empty bottle and empty them into it?” Him “If that’s what you want to do.” Then took her passport, boarding pass and the bottles. She dumped her stuff with Neen and Lynx and went to ask him where she should go. He walked off. So she followed him. When she caught him up, she asked where to go. He wanted her to follow him. Then tell her that! He took her back to the boarding gate and left her there. After a while, Neen went and asked him where Cat was. He shrugged. Neen “Cathryn Davies, goth girl. Where did she go?”
Him “I left her at the gate.” Neen “Where is she now?” Him “That’s up to her.” Neen “Will she come back up this way?” Guy “I would advise her to.” Really helpful. By now, Neen and Lynx were panicking that we’d miss our flight and we had no way to contact each other. Cat had to find her way back down to the newsagents. After queuing for ages, they didn’t sell empty bottles. She found her way back upstairs and went to another newsagents. The lady there was really surprised they wouldn’t allow the bottles. Cat went back to the boarding gate and told the lady there. She was also surprised and asked which side she went to. Cat said right, so the lady said to use the left. So she did, put them in the tray and guess what? They allowed them! That other guy was clearly a wankenstein.
We boarded really quickly. But 11 hours is a long flight! We watched a documentary called Life After Manson, about Patricia Krenwell from the Manson family; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Poltergeist and Terminator: Genysis. We also played Dobble and dice Carcassonne. In Dobble, you have cards with loads of pictures on and you have to match one to one of the pictures on the previous cards. One of the pictures is a bomb. Only after slapping her card down, did Cat realise calling out “bomb!” on an aeroplane probably isn’t the best thing. Then Neen’s Carcassonne dice catapulted across the aisle, landing beneath another passenger’s feet, so Cat had to retrieve them. Lynx got really sick on the landing ‘cos there was so much turbulence. There was a lot during the flight but it got really bad as we descended and Lynx has always been travel sick. Neen’s nickname for her when we travel is Sicky McSickpants.
Cat soaked a tissue and put it on her neck as she got pins and needles in her hands and feet. As soon as people started clearing the plane, Neen and Cat sent her off while they grabbed the stuff. There were no sickbags on board. At customs, Lynx got quizzed about her trip, whereas the guy Cat went to didn’t speak to her. He wanted to know what Lynx planned to do, what her job was, how much money she brought, where she got her customs form, who was that person loitering nearby (Neen). At baggage collection, Cat nearly took out 2 guys with her heroic dive for the big case, then couldn’t get it off, so a guy helped her.
Had to queue for ages to another customs thing, then Neen had to go to a different area cos she had alcohol and they made her empty her bags while we were waiting at the exit for like 20 minutes. The woman took one look at the small bottle of vodka Neen had and laughed.
Walking out of the airport into the Las Vegas heat was immense. It’s like standing below heaters set to their highest temperature. We couldn’t breathe. We got a bus to the strip. It was only $2 each. The Excalibur was huge! Though the air con smelled in our room. We hung out in our room for a bit then wandered the hotel. There’s a couple of outdoor pools and loads and loads of slot machines, arcades etc. Seriously, the entire downstairs was filled with them and there were arcade games in the ‘fun dungeon’ below. We were all too tired to really do anything. Asked about a fridge for our soya milk – they could send one to the room for $28 a night. No way. The guy suggested we get some ice from the machine and fill a container. So we did. That’ll do. Got back to our room about 6:45 pm. Went to bed at 8:30. Living the rock and roll lifestyle in Las Vegas!