Travel Day 1: Chicago, Illinois to London, England

On December 30th, I said farewell to my family and rode with my cousin, Rachel, to Chicago to catch my 9:15 am flight to London on the 31st. The drive was highly entertaining with my young cousins: Dylan, Taylor, and Wesley. I assisted in keeping the children happy, part of which entailed singing to Wesley. My extensive repertoire included Patty Cake and Row, Row, Row Your Boat. As for Taylor and Dylan, I assisted in playing a Lego police game on the iPad, which Dylan told me I was not good at.

Farewell mom and dad!

When we were almost to Chicago, I realized my winter/rain jacket had not made its way into the car. To fix this issue, I planned on heading to Michigan Avenue to shop once we arrived at Rachel’s house. However, my cousin graciously lent me her old North Face Jacket and I told me to keep it. Problem solved!

I played with the boys, ate sushi for dinner with my cousin and my aunt and uncle who also came along for the ride, and watched the Colts game. After the third quarter, everyone headed to bed and I cozied up on the couch until my 4:30 am alarm. In anticipation of my flight, my sleep for the night was not the best.

After my alarm went off, I got around and Ubered to the blue line train station, which Rachel had suggested. Otherwise, I would have had to switch trains and ride for an extra 30+ minutes. Once I arrived at the train station, I hauled my luggage down the stairs and hopped on the train until the end of the line at Chicago O’Hare. From there, I found my terminal, checked my luggage, and went through security. I grabbed a Starbucks and waited at my gate until boarding time.

My flight from Chicago to London was roughly 7-8 hours. I lucked out and had an aisle seat and did not have anyone sitting next to me. For the duration of the flight, I read a book and chit-chatted with my neighbor who was on the other side of the empty seat. The gentleman was from Virginia and was vacationing in London with his family. He appeared to be very surprised that I planned on sleeping/hanging out at Heathrow until my flight to Hanover, Germany.

Even though the flight I booked was with British Airways, I flew on an American Airlines plane. I had a positive experience and felt the flight attendants were attentive and the food subpar.

A delicious American Airlines breakfast

I landed at London Heathrow around 10:40 pm and from there claimed my luggage and went through customs. My friend, Kendall and I navigated the airport to find our terminal for our second flight to Hamburg, Germany. Apparently, exhaustion got the best of us as we had to have help getting through a turnstile and also did not realize the elevator we had called to go to the tram had appeared until another airport associate pointed out the waiting elevator. He called out to us, “What did you both have to drink?!” This gave us both a laugh as water and orange juice were the only liquids in our systems.

Once we arrived to the next terminal, we freshened up and discovered we could not check-in for our next flight until 4:45 am. Both Kendall and I made ourselves comfortable on some chairs and tried sleeping. At this point, this is where I highly recommend you have some sort of travel pillow and blanket to make curling up on chairs more comfortable. Between the dinging of a nearby elevator and the paranoia of someone touching my suitcases, I merely rested my eyes and continued reading my book.

Leave a positive impression,

Sydney xo

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