Thursday, January 01, 2009
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Today, the racket started at 8:27. How she's still in bed 5 minutes later, I have no idea.
I haven't figured out how she sleeps through her alarms either.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
July 9, 4pm EST – Detroit
And it's a good thing too, because Mel was getting really grumpy and going on tirades about piddly little islands and their tiny toilets and miniscule showers.
I think she was set off by the sight of our hotel room in London. Our room where only one of us could stand up at a time. Mel could literally touch both walls at the narrowest part, and linked together we could span the widest part with a foot or more to spare.
The good news is that we could check in when we got there at 1pm… stayed long enough to dump our stuff and then headed off to the National Gallery. Saw all my favorites – Lady Jane Gray, Monets, Renoirs, and enough Madonnas and Children to last me a whole year or more. We walked to Leicester Square for Trusty Ol' Mr. Wu's. Cheap, mainly because it's onions in yellow sauce (with chicken), Onions in brown sauce (with beef), and sweet and sour pork drizzled with a tiny amount of sauce… but with a huge vat of it right next it.
Decided to skip the shows, considering the wake-up call was for 4:30am, and went to see Kung Fu Panda. Discovered strange Britishism. The movie was on the board as starting at 6:40. We were there early about 6:10ish. Then realized that seating didn't open until 6:30. Trailers started at 7 and the movie didn't start until 7:15. What the heck was that about? Movie was cute, and then back to hotel for shower, repack and sleep. Who am I kidding? Mel did the repack while I used the shower which literally had 8 inches of dressing space. I cringed when Mel told me she wandered through the public hallway naked so she could dress in the bathroom. Gah!
So this morning we headed down to the lobby and the desk clerk told us it would be just about the same to take a cab to the airport as it would be to get a cab to Paddington and then take the Heathrow Express. Yeah! No lugging suitcase down into the tube!
Heathrow security made Lax look like a slacker. We went through the first security terminal, and then once through the gate, we were searched again AND sniffed by a cute dog.
You could hear the sigh of relief when we landed in Detroit. Finally back in the land of paper towels and free refills. Passport control went much more swiftly than Heathrow. He asked me what I'd been doing, and I said "same as the girl before me. Went to a wedding."
"Congratulations!" he replies. Funny Man. The customs guy wasn't so funny. He looked bored out of his skull. He apparently pestered Mel, but left me alone. We dragged our luggage off to be rechecked and then had to go through security again. I saw a booth that I think is one of those see through your clothes deals. Mel and I thankfully didn't get hassled.
So we've got 10 or some minutes before boarding… if we're running on time… which the previous 3 Philly flights have not.
Post Script: We boarded about 15 minutes late, then taxied out to de-icing area where we sat for an hour waiting for the weather in Philly to clear. Yeah.
July 8, 10:23 – currently on train leaving Bath.
Yesterday morning, armed with my trusty anti-rain talisman (aka brolly) we set out for Bath Abbey – which I think is much more like a church than a tourist attraction (unlike many of the Cathedrals we've visited in the past.) The Heritage Vaults were interesting and not dumbed down as many of the museums. A school was practicing for their Founder's Day and while Mel was not amused, I felt like singing along and giggled to myself every time the director stopped to yell at them. He had a booming voice that echoed through the Abbey. I so wanted to burst out into song to hear what my voice would sound like all echoes and reverberation.
Sally Lunn was next. The "museum" is a whole two rooms in the basement, but it was worth the price of admission (free). The little old lady behind the counter took a liking to Mel and gave her the guided tour.
We had lunch upstairs in the tearooms then headed back downstairs for 2 Sally Lunn Bath Buns… yum.
Then we met Gary, our tour guide. His catchphrase "I'll tell you about that later…" He rambled on in an amusing fashion as we drove the hour to Stonehenge. It dribbled on us for about 30 seconds but then the only thing we had to worry about were the winds. They were blowing us every which way. Brrr. The clouds made for some very dramatic photos.
Gary really won my heart when we got back on the bus and he announced that we'd be in Brighton in 30 minutes. "No, we're not really going to Brighton. But I want to go to Brighton!"
Instead we headed off to the little village of Lalock where they filmed bits of Hogsmead, Harry's parent's house, and the main street of Meriton (thus the Pride and Prejudice reference to Brighton.)
Back in Bath, we stopped into the Hunter's Pub, where finding the loo was a labyrinthical experience. Up the stairs, around the corner, up the stairs past the gents, down the stairs, through the room and up the stairs again. Going back I just went down one set of stairs, around the bar, down another set of stairs and confused the heck out of Mel when I came from the opposite direction from which I'd left.
While we waited for our walking tour at 8pm, we planned our next novel and a half – a sequel to The Road To. Possible Titles: The Road Two, The Road to Two, The Road From. Mel is not particularly impressed with any of them. Maybe we should have a trio. The Road To, The Road From, and The Road Less Traveled By.
Bizarre Bath, the walking tour was just as funny as I remembered it. I think 10 years is significant enough time to forget most of the jokes. When we got back to the hostel at 10, the lights were already off, so I didn't get a chance to write all this down… but at least I had something to do on the train! Soduku Time!