The final breakfast was had and enjoyed. We checked out and stored our bags at the hotel and then were off. We had a quest: find a souvenir!
We then returned to the hotel, claimed our bags, and went to Stansted Airport via tube and train. We made sure to arrive in plenty of time (three hours) because of the extra security measures. Luckily they had changed the requirements so that we could have one very small carry-on instead of all of the clear plastic bags. We checked in quickly, had a good meal, and then waited for a about an hour and a half.
We then were directed towards our gate where we waited in line to board. I have never in my life been on a plane with so many children. Granted, my life isn't in the running for longest ever, but I have flown a lot. So. Many. Children. Really, I like them, so that isn't a terrible thing in and of itself. What made things bad was the fact that many of these families were going on holiday. Oh yes, and maybe the fact that it appeared as if none of the parents were being responsible for their children's actions, nor had they (apparently) ever taught their children how to behave in public or how to be responsible for themselves (especially those of an age to do so)...yes, that may have had something to do with the utter chaos that ensued - for the whole trip.
There was screaming, there was crying, there was hitting, kicking, and stomping. If you can think of it, my guess is it occurred. I kept thinking about those super-crowded school buses back home with the drivers that never made anyone be quiet and just let everyone go crazy while they sped along - it was like that. There were children kicking and shoving the chairs of adults in front of them and the innocent adults (not the parents/guardians) had to give the evil eyes in an attempt to make them stop. And did they? Of course not!
IT WAS CRAZY!
Incredibly, we all made it home in one piece. What a relief it was to get off of that plane! We gathered our bags and practically sprinted out of there. An hour-long drive later and we were home and ready for bed. Unfortunately we had to wait until the next day to collect Pantalon. Yes, that is a nick-name (he has many...more on that later). For your viewing pleasure, and because you listened to my long commentary on London, here he is: