Monday, March 25th 2013
Early morning wake up at 5am! Sam didn't get much sleep anyways so it was probably a good thing to get up that early! Auntie Tracey called at 5:05am just to make sure we didn't sleep in and to make sure that everyone was awake! We aimed to leave the house at 5:45am but with the last run around we didn't leave the house until nearly 6am. We arrived at the airport just after 6am and as Sam was getting his luggage out of the car he noticed that Chris turned up to surprise him! Heading towards the revolving doors to enter the airport, Sam halted and said "One moment.." He held onto the railings and bent over and starting gagging, he stood back up and said "Oh... I feel better now!" Chris found this hilarious as Sam wasnt even sick but said to him "All you did was bark at the floor and now you feel better!?!"
We all went over to the British Airways Check-in area where Sam had to get his files out to find the information needed to print his tickets out at the machine. Sam was getting worried as the information he was putting into the machine wasn't getting accepted! He finally put the correct information in and got his ticket printed out.
We found a seating area in a restaurant that wasn't open yet so we could all sit round and talk. Sam wasn't doing much talking as he felt very nervous, at one point he couldn't stand up as he felt sick so my dad passed him a Monster Munch crisp packet just in case!
It came to about 7am and Sam wanted to go to the departure lounge. We had a final family photo, a final hug each and the crying started! We waved Sam off and he didn't want to turn around but as the lady at the desk checked his tickets/passport he had to go down to the bottom and turn back round and come back facing us. This did make us laugh though! As soon as he had gone it finally hit that he is now gone for 2 whole years! We tracked his flights via real time on our iPhones, we could see any delays and where his plane actually was!
This flight was only a quick flight as only about an hours journey. Sam was told he had to get a train to get to his next terminal so I think Sam may have spent that time worrying about where he would go when he lands! By the time he landed he didn't have much time left until his main flight from Heathrow - Dallas!
We were expecting to get a call off Sam to say he had missed his flight BUT we didn't thankfully! This was the longest flight as around 10 hours. Sam told us he didn't get much sleep on the plane but he was excited that he had his own TV screen which even had an episode of Modern Family on! The man he was sitting next to works with airplanes, he does the de-icing, re-fueling, maintenance and push-back so Sam talked to him for quite a while!
Dallas to Salt Lake is another short flight, around 3 hours. Sam said that when he reached border control he was asked for his call letter, he was told he could only let him in America for one year! Luckily he phoned someone who let him in for the full two years without any further questions!
Sam arrived a bit late but luckily he was being met at the airport by mams friend Susan and a long time friend Leanne! He didn't arrive at the MTC until 11pm as Susan got a bit lost trying to find where he needed to be!
Now his adventure officially starts.......