Why I nearly didn’t make it home in time for Christmas

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Did you have a good Christmas? I did in the end – but I very nearly never made it back home from the US of A for the big day.

Seriously, it was very close. Matt and I flew off to New York for a week – it was amazing and just as Christmassy as I had hoped.

But we had a slight ‘hiccup’ on the way out. By hiccup, I mean I picked up the wrong blinkin’ suitcase from the carousel.

It amazes me that it doesn’t really matter whether you go to NYC or Spain, door to door it can take the best part of the entire day. So by the time we arrived into JFK Airport we were shattered.

We decided to have an hour’s shut-eye – sad I know, but honestly we really were tired.

Anyway, when we woke up I opened my suitcase and there laying on top of what I thought were my belongings were a load of syringes.

Alarm bells started ringing. These weren’t mine. Neither were the men’s jeans, shirts and boxer shorts.

I’d reclaimed our bags whilst Matt was going through the security gates – so there was no-one else to blame. It was down to me.

Thirteen hours and 20 phone calls later, having had to deal with several not-so-happy-to-help telephone operators, Virgin Atlantic finally gave me my bag back – after holding it ransom until I had handed over the other one (like I really wanted a suitcase full of needles and menswear).

The drama didn’t finish there though. When the time finally came to return home, we had another panic.

We’ve been to New York four times now, so we know how long it takes to get to the airport. But we’d never been a few days before Crimbo and clearly didn’t factor in the holiday traffic.

I kid you not, we made it with 20 seconds to spare before they shut the gate.

Someone was standing there counting down the seconds as we approached with sweat dripping down our faces (plus tears on mine).

When we picked up our bags back in London, they had ‘LAST BAG’ emblazoned across them. The Yellow Cab driver who somehow got us to JFK just in time deserves a medal.

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