We finally pointed our rental car toward Manchester airport, but not without a few adventures. We suddenly realized one of the crates we had acquired didn't have venting at the back, and would not be accepted at the airline. Thomas had gone off to market and we scrambled around looking for either a substitute crate we could use or a drill to put vent holes into the back. Finally, we phoned Thomas in a panic as our required time of departure was rapidly approaching.
Fortunately, Thomas was on his way back and with his typical friendly and gentlemanly demeanor calmly sorted the situation out for us by drilling some holes into the crate. It was a miracle of packing that got five dogs, five crates and all our luggage for the month into the Hyundai Santa Fe we were driving.
Naturally, because we were now running late the GPS took us on the worst possible route to the airport and we ended up stuck in morning traffic.
When we arrived, the rental company was also running late due to traffic and so wasn't there to pick up the car. We had no change for the multiple luggage carts we required but a kind gentleman saw us struggling and took pity on us. With the carts piled precariously with luggage and crates, several generous people assisted us in getting the carts from one end of the airport to the other, because of course the dogs had to be dropped off at the opposite end of the airport from the check-in.
Finally, all was tucked away and we collapsed into our plane seats, having just made it to the gate on time. Both of us were shaking from adrenaline. We sadly waved good-bye to England, already planning another adventure for the future as the experience was truly life changing.
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