2:15am on Sunday 10th December 2017. My alarm goes off after we’ve had around 4 hours of sleep. I’m up first, finishing packing my suitcase and getting everything sorted. Liam gets up at 2:50. Our taxi arrives just after 3am and after the last minute stresses the day before, we were glad to be on our way.
My mum was texting me in the car asking if I was excited. I was so excited! We got to the airport in around 40-45 minutes. Straight through to security (thank you online check in) and it was wonderful how quickly we got through compared to when I’m there in the summer! All checked in and our bags through safely, it was a no-brainer… pre-flight ‘spoons was on the cards straight away with a beer for Liam. It was great, we still had 2 hours until our flight so the morning was ours. We got a few bits from Boots and had a wander around the airport.
Liam was looking out the window at all of the snow blanketing the planes and the runway. ‘You watch it get cancelled now…’ we laughed. It was now 5 minutes until our gate was open; finally – I was getting sleepy! As we expected, there was a delay. I’d been on plenty of delayed flights – it wasn’t a big deal at all. We decided that while we waited for further information we’d get some more to eat and find a warm place to sit! Costa. Perfect! Needless to say, at this point, we were both tired and we were both wanting to be in the air soon so understandably, we were snappier than a group of crocodiles at a lake party. We found another spot to relax; it’s warm lighting and elegant interior made it nice and comfortable. I set up with my book and cracked on with reading it – it was getting good so I was hooked! Liam checked up on the snow which was falling heavy and settling fast. On the overhead announcement they informed passengers that the flight to Amsterdam had been cancelled. We’d earlier bumped into Liam’s friend who was on his way to Amsterdam; I couldn’t imagine how they must have felt. We kept our fingers crossed and I continued to be lost in my book. Another announcement, the flight to Dublin had now been cancelled. Our flight was still awaiting further information which was coming at 9am. The airline had given us free refreshment vouchers worth £7.50 – winner! Some snacks for the plane! I was getting hungry, my breakfast from 4am was digested and I was ready for more fuel so I popped over to Boots. Liam fancied something warm so he grabbed toasties from Costa. I waited with my book & packet of Quavers.
When Liam came back, his face told all. ‘Babe…the flight’s been cancelled’, which was shortly followed by the same message on the announcer, except they added that we needed to make our way to gate 7. All I could think to do was cry. I felt heartbroken. I’d always wanted to go to Paris and Liam was making one of my dreams come true! The magic of Disney, our first holiday together, photos outside the Eiffel Tower – all snatched away in a few seconds. I was just absolutely gutted. It was the most special trip and I was so excited, I couldn’t believe what was happening.
We also realised we had absolutely no clue how to deal with these things – neither of us had ever had a cancelled flight. So we went where we were told to go with what seemed the rest of the airport. We got in the queue at the right time because the trail of people behind us was never ending. Two hours we were in that queue. Two hours. So I sat on the floor and carried on reading my book (I needed a distraction from a) the current situation and b) the lady humming behind us…). When we finally got to the front, we were told we couldn’t sort out the refund there, despite being told different earlier in the queue. Cue further anger and distress from Mr Batchelor and Miss Whitmore.
Now, when we were in that amazing queue, I did do one constructive thing and booked us a hotel in Birmingham for the night. It was the hotel we stayed in on our second date. So, next port of call was to make our way to the station via the airport monorail and grab our tickets to New Street Station. We arrived, checked in and made our way to the room where I had another realisation that our magical trip wasn’t happening… so I cried again…
After several phone calls sorting out our refunds and expenses, we needed a plan. So we booked a table at Jamie’s Italian (our favourite), only to later receive a call saying they’ve close early. Fabulous. So we booked a table at Las Iguanas. We were so determined not to let this ruin our time off together. Liam and I rarely get to spend full days together due to our work hours so we didn’t want to waste this time that we had.
We spruced up and made ourselves look less haggered! I wore my favourite playsuit and had glitter on my eyes. Liam wore his boots and grey jumper. We had our coats and scarves on and were ready to go. We took some photos and out we went. We got our table after a very slippy walk there and immediately took advantage of the 2 for 1 offers! 2 pitchers and 4 cocktails accompanied by our delicious food. I haven’t laughed as much as I did that night in so long!! We had so much fun together, just like that second date we had back in March. We took a snowy walk after dinner (at one point thinking we were walking into a beautiful field, only to realise there were gravestones to the left and right of us and a church right in front- oops!) and made our way back to the room. We were genuinely thrilled that we hadn’t missed the end of I’m a Celeb so we got comfy and enjoyed a wonderful night in at the hotel.
Our day had not gone to plan that day. We were not in Paris. We weren’t going to Disneyland in the morning. We didn’t have any pictures with the Eiffel Tower. But what we did have, was each other. We had the best night and had enjoyed every single second. It just goes to show, it’s not about where you are, it’s who you are with that creates the most wonderful memories.
It’s a story to tell the Grandkids one day and there is nobody I’d rather have experienced this crazy 24 hours with.