The return journey was long and tiring. It took me almost a whole day to come home. I left my mother's apartment at 7 in the morning for the Athens airport. The Aegean Airlines check-in process is supposed to be faster but it takes longer because the passenger has to check-in at a machine first and then, boarding pass in hand, take the luggage to the counter. Lines at both were long and customers became frustrated. If you don't know how to work a computer-type screen it can take a long time to get a boarding pass. Multiply that by any number of families with 3 or 4 members. After all that and after saying goodbye to David who was flying separately I had to go through security.
My San Miguel shoes apparently have metal in them. Who knew! Put your foot one at a time in a contraption. Beep! Take shoes off. Sit and wait barefoot while shoes are checked thoroughly. Ok, you can go. Should not have worn them to fly. On the approach to London turbulence got the best of me. We had to circle for 30 minutes because the air traffic was heavy. Get me out of here!
At Heathrow I had to go through immigration - another long line - and collect my suitcase, then find the Departures level and check in at United - another line (or cue as they say). Time for lunch. And a respite. The long layover came in handy however because after lunch and in search of the gate I walked for half an hour (no joke) to find it. Security check again: this time I took my shoes off to avoid the same delay but...didn't know I had to take the iPad out of the bag.
Wait for someone to go through it. Three people in front of me whose bags had to be checked too. Finally the nice man took my backpack and went through everything - every little thing. And the bathroom was calling me. Sit at the gate and wait but not before I have to get a seat. The counter clerk was not happy but she agreed to give me a seat. The last one on the plane as it turned out. The last row but a man who was there with his family wanted my seat and asked me to trade. He had a window seat in Economy Plus which means a smidgen more legroom. I said sure and walked back to the front of the plane.
The flight was smooth and I managed to kind-of sleep throughout as well as have some dinner and watch pieces of "42", the movie. Easy landing and I'm in Chicago. I get my suitcase again and look for a taxi. I thought of waiting for David who was supposed to arrive about an hour later but I decided to go home. Fortunately, earlier in Athens, I had changed my leftover Euros into dollars and had enough cash for a cab. Walked in at 7:30 in the evening. Which means 3 in the morning in Athens. Almost 24 hours later.
As it turns out, David's flight from Toronto was delayed and he didn't make it home until 10:00.
It takes too long to fly to Greece. And you have to wait and wait. And you have to stand in one line after another. Flying ain't fun no more. I'm staying put for a while.