We arrived at Gatwick airport at 5:45am and began the checkin process with Delta. Things were headed smoothly until we went through security. Debbie had packed all the souvenirs and gifts in her carryon - including hand cream for her mom. It was too big to meet the requirements. The security lady gave of the option to check one of our backpacks with the cream, so we quickly pulled everything together and Debbie headed back with her to the Delta counter. Unfortunately, they wanted to charge us $80 because it was a second bag. So that was a no go. On the way back in to the security area, Debbie walked through the metal detector with her phone in her pocket so she was pulled aside for a full pat-down. By this point the security lady felt awful - she went to speak with a manager and was given permission to test a small sample of the hand cream. When it passed inspection, we were allowed to take it and head on to the terminal. We caught up with the rest of our group members and headed to get some breakfast. We found a little cafe called Armadillo's and crowded into a big round booth. But we were all so exhausted by this time that we just kind of went through the motions of eating.
Finally, we boarded our flight which left at 9am UK time (4am US time). We were both zonked for most of the flight, sleeping through the main meal and waking up in time for the snack later of pizza and gelatto. Arrived back in Atlanta at 1pm, went through border patrol screening, picked up our luggage (dumped the handcream in a suitcase!), rechecked our bags and went through customs with our declaration forms, which was a breeze. When we got to our correct terminal, we grabbed good ol' Chik-Fil-A for lunch and hung out with our friends for one last time before boarding our flight home. Of course this leg was late - our 4:30 flight didn't leave until 5:30pm - but Debbie's mom was still waiting for us when we arrived home back in Tampa.
We headed back to Seffner, anxious to see the boys. So glad to finally wrap our arms around them - we had only gotten to Skype with them one time while we were gone! Debbie's mom had picked up an ice cream cake to celebrate her birthday and Daryl's mom had also made a chocolate cake to celebrate Daniels' 1 year anniversary of his ServPro franchise. So we had Daniel's crew up to the house and pigged out on cake.