And with apologies to Don McLean (and Tyson Fury) but my head is in the clouds… and high, fly, this American sky.
Because I’m trying to get all my (Donald) ducks in a row and get over to the States tomorrow.
And what was once a breeze through the gate 40 years ago the first time I visited is now akin to a military operation.
Of course there is always the danger of jinxing any forthcoming trip but I think I’ve most of my prep done.
In truth it all started last November with a Thanksgiving get-together with Visit USA in Dublin.
When I reacquainted myself with my friends from Boston,
Now if you’re thinking of travelling Stateside then the rules may seem quackers but here goes.
Yes, it’s an ESTA visa which is an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation.
It will last for two years, take 72 hours for you to get back.
And it will be the best $14, or equivalent, you’ll spend.
And you’ll be doubly protected with a double vaccination and a booster.
So get your health board to send you documented evidence.
You can scan too through an app, although if this trips you up and your daughterie isn’t around then a print will be your fallback.
Pass the supervised test
And while we wait for Joe to lift this requirement we’ll all need to take a supervised antigen test.
Now you need to take this no longer than 24 hours from your flight time.
And you’ll need to book a Zoom test to go through the nose swab test.
Before you then photograph it and go through the step by step digital endorsements.
And wait up to three hours for hopefully the confirmation of your negative result.
And I’d recommend Prenetics who walked me through it all.
While the Scary One held my hand, the one that wasn’t squeezing my swab into the tube.
And they had my results back in half the three-hour timespan they promised.
Almost ready to go
They will give you a four-point checklist.
With an attestation check, a vaccination review which you can tender manually or digitally.
Then there’s the Covid-19 Test review, or Proof of Recovery.
Both of which they’ll contact you with the results of within a couple of hours.
Now for a tea party
There’s no guarantee, of course, that that’s the last of it.
We’ve twice missed our flight before to Dublin, our through passage to an America with pre-clearance.
Now not pointing the finger particularly after she helped me today.
But she was involved in both… going back to check the heating was off, and banjaxing the car en route to the airport.
So, it’s a good night’s sleep, set two alarms.
And see you on the other side in Beantown (God, Jehovah, Allah and Buddha be praised).