September 26, 2017, Europe Journal

September 26, 2017, Chicago O’Hare Runway. Uber driver, Uber Robert (recommended by friend Beth Mason) picked us up this morning at 5:00 a.m. Ugh! But we did have an

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Leaving Little Rock

uneventful trip to the Little Rock airport, where I was anxious to weigh my luggage. Last year for the Scotland/England trip my suitcase weighed an all-time high of 44 pounds (Richard’s was 40). Last year my backpack weighed 14+ pounds and Richard’s weighed 11. I was determined to cut down this year. Yesterday I did the weigh-myself/weigh-myself-awkwardly-holding-the-suitcase thing, and I would definitely be breaking the 40-pound barrier.
After waiting in the check-in line for a few minutes, I slung my bag onto the scale, while Richard took care of the boarding pass details. YES! My bag was a mere 32.5 pounds! Hooray and jubilation! My backpack weighed 12.5, a decrease, but it’s still pretty hefty. Then I looked over at the weight of Richard’s bag–28 pounds! Argh! How does he do it? He didn’t even know there was a competition, and he still won! His backpack’s weight is hardly worth mentioning–6.5 pounds. I don’t know why he even bothers.            What’s he carrying in there anyway–a clean pair of socks and the itinerary?
So we had a smooth flight to Chicago and checked into the American Airlines’ Flagship Lounge for our 6-hour layover. Mr. “Never Pay Retail” Richard Coote has really done some wheeling and dealing on our Business Class air tickets this year. Combining freqent flyer miles that we had with some that he purchased along with some cash, he saved enough money on the air tickets to pay for all of our trendy, little boutique hotels for the MONTH!

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Hello, Chicago!

The drawback is we had a six-hour layover in Chicago, and we’ll have another 6-hour layover in London, but we will be flying overnight, tucked soundly into our precious, little bed pods, where we can snooze the flight away, dreaming of all that money Richard saved us.
We did meet a nice couple in American Lounge. They were about our age, retired, and we passed a few hours with them, while she beat him at gin rummy. They were on their way to Bejing, China, where they would be doing a Taulk Tour of the country for 21 days. They were kind of dressed alike, which did seem a little weird–khaki pants with blue blazers–but their shirts didn’t match. I asked Richard if he thought we should dress alike when we traveled. He gave me the “if-you’re-serious-we’ll-have-to-quit-traveling” look.

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