Our last morning waking up at home is reasonably chilled as we won’t be leaving until after Scott has finished watching the Formula 1 on the Sky + from last night. I can’t bear to watch so I sneak a look at the result online and finish up checking some last minute details online. Once the race is over, we get checked in online with Virgin, do the final packing, get the cats into their boxes and set off about 1.30pm. We drive the 5 minutes to the cattery; say our rather painful goodbyes then head to the motorway on the long road to Gatwick.
The plan is to meet Scott’s parents at Birchanger Services on the M11, we have to make a quick pit stop at Peterborough to fix a minor recurring problem on the car but we are at Birchanger about the specified time and quickly locate Linda & Graham having a large coffee in the seating area. I grab some fries as I have a gut feeling we won’t be eating for a long time and we set off for the final leg to Gatwick in convoy. There’s surprisingly little traffic on the M25 and we only get stuck once, eventually making our way to the short stay car park for Twilight Check In. It seems we join the queue in time as it more than doubles in the 20 mins or so we wait to get rid of our cases. Soon we are free from luggage and head back to the cars where the TomTom leads us to our hotel with no fuss.
We get the cars parked and check in to the lovely Aurora International Hotel, paying for our trip on the airport shuttles in advance. The guys go and move the cars to the underground car park as it will be safer for them over the next two weeks. In the rooms the TV screens are on giving us a personal greeting which is a nice touch.
We head to Morgan’s Pub inside the hotel as it’s getting late (about 9pm) and we’re starving – boy am I glad I grabbed those fries earlier! The pub isn’t quite as chilled as we’d have hoped due to the large crowd of Scots watching the Rugby World Cup, still the food is good. I order fish and chips for a last bite of Englishness and it’s a good choice.
After we’ve finished eating I nip outside to get a shot of the hotel before we head to the bar in the lobby for a drink or two.
We know we have an obscenely long day ahead of us so it’s not long before we call it a night.