I decided not to do much of anything Friday after arriving at the hotel since I had to be up and ready to head to the airport no later than 5:30 AM (for an 8:40 AM flight). Seeing that there were two markets nearby, I went to the closer one, Eurospar, and splurged a bit. This particular Eurospar has a salad bar plus a sandwich shop and a hot meal area (small in scale than, say, the local Kroger or Publix, but you get the idea). The hot meal area (fixed to order) had a choice of several Oriental-style dishes, so I got duck with veggies and noodles. Then I saw that they had a ration of rashers! I will say this: Americans don't know bacon about bacon. The Irish do bacon right! No crispy skinny pieces of bacon. These were fat and cooked and limp and delicious!
After finally falling asleep (after having a third hypoglycemic attack) and getting up at 3:30 AM (instead of 5:00), I left the clothing I had planned on leaving and headed to the airport. What surprised me this time is that U.S. Customs (where you have to declare what you bought while overseas) is now located in Dublin and not at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport! The upside to this is that you don't have to go through customs as I'd done in 2007, where you got your luggage, when through customs, gave your luggage back to the airline, went from Terminal E to baggage claim, and then wait for the luggage to show up there. The downside is that there was no duty-free shop on board the return flight, and the watch I was going to pick up for myself, well, I didn't. *sigh*
The business class lounge at Dublin is considerably smaller than the Sky Club at Atlanta Hartsfield. No showers, for instance. The food choices were OK (especially considering I was there before 6:45 AM). It also serves more than just a few airlines. About 80 minutes before the flight, I left the lounge, went through passport control, headed to the gate and was one of the first ones on the flight to come home. Again, the flight was fantastic. The flight crew was not as good as the outgoing crew, but they still did a bang-up job. The food? Well, I'll leave that for another post where I talk only about the food I experienced.
When I got to Atlanta, I found out after leaving the plane that I had to go to Terminal F to get my luggage, as that's where international luggage goes now? When I got to Terminal F, my luggage was waiting for me (it took about 10 minutes to get to the terminal and to find the carousel). I then got on a shuttle van to head back to the south terminal, where I walked to the MARTA station (not having been able to get someone to pick me up), took the train to Lindbergh station and then took the bus home.
Next time: the food experience from wheels up in Atlanta to wheels down 8 days later.