UK and Ireland, Day 1.

Okay! Time to start with the journals. I’m trying to break them up a bit more this time, as many people seemed to think they were too long last time. I’m also feeling ambitious, and trying to keep up with the pictures at the same time, and add some into the text as we go. Anyway, it’s the same deal as last time: I took my Handspring along on the trip, and a snazzy keyboard for it.. and whenever I had the chance or the desire, I’d write what all was going on, and what we did.. or just rambled on and on about unrelated nonsense for a while.. The program I was using (memopad) Limited the size of each entry, so I would name each entry with either where I currently was (on a train, on a plane, in a hostel, etc..) or what the entry was about.. So those titles are what preceed each entry. I also decided not to edit these things again, so if I don’t notice a glaring error or a sentance that makes no sense, etc… let me know, so I can fix it. Danke!

Anyway, let’s get on with it: This is “Day 1”.. I’ve decided to break up June 3 and 4, which to us were really one L-O-N-G day… from driving from Grandville to Chicago to A number of flights, to landing in London and still having the entire day ahead of us.. This entry gets us as far as landing in London. Pictures are up as well.


6/3 Chicago [O’Hare]

Our BackpacksI’m at the airport in O’Hare.. We drove out Thursdays morning around 10ish… maybe 10:30, headed out to my parents place, and had some food, then my dad drove us out to O’Hare. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 4, but since we were early, they asked if we wanted to head out at 3… we said yes.. This ins a Continental flight.. to Newark.. the next flight is a Virgin flight [Joke Averted!] to London… our seats to London so far are not together.. we very much would like to fix that… only they can’t do that here… we gotta try when we’re in Newark.. with us leaving at 3, we’ll have plenty ‘o time to try… That flight doesn’t leave til 9:45ish, I think… Anyway, that’s that.

I took a bunch of really big sinus medicine pills in the hopes that it’ll open up my ear tubes so I don’t explode on take off… that’s now the part I’m most nervous about.. just cause seriously, it hurts like all sorts of hell. We shall see.

I’ve got a long flight ahead, so I figure I shouldn’t waste time now talking about things I could waste time talking about later… so I’ma see if Joel wants to play some gameboy… We’ve already taken many pictures.


6/3 New Jersey [Newark]

We’re in New Jersey now. We’ve got a bit of a wait… I think at this point we’re waiting for someone to show up at the Virgin desk so we can ask about getting all of our seats together… we’d better get our seats together, cause otherwise this flight will be very, very long… Unless I’m placed next to Keira Knightly, in which case this entire flight will be nothing but me giggling a lot, and stammering to say hi every 15-20 minutes.

Anyway, the first flight was relatively uneventful… the pills I took prolly helped some… I still got the whole ears plugged and painful as hell thing, but after about a half an hour one ear completely popped, and the other one stayed plugged and painful for at least an hour or so, I guess. But it wasn’t all that bad, and I was pleased that I was only hella dizzy for a short time, and then I just went back to reading..

New York One nice thing was that the weather is very nice, and very clear, so on our approach to Newark we got a fine view of down town New York City… though it was on the other side of the plane. Last time on the flight in it was really foggy and rainy. Not so this time. Anyway, we landed 30 minutes early, which is in addition to the hour early we were from the earlier flight.. so we’ve got some time to kill. Despite this airport being fairly lousy with signs and information, we found our spot fairly quickly, and got some food, and now we’re just sitting here..people watching. People watching at an airport is fascinating… I got to do quite a bit of that back in Paris last year.. far too much, come to think of it. Anyway, that’s what we’re doing now… until the desk dude shows up and we demand to sit by each other.

Hrm.. Maye it’s time for some gameboy…


6/3 New Jersey [Newark] 2

We’re still here. No love on the getting seats next to each other… Which is unfortunate… I think I have a window seat, so I’m not too worried about it… we’ll see if we can try to trade for seats or something. I dunno. at this point I’m tired, and getting cranky.

So a GIANT Air Swiss plane was parked right by us, and then an Air Israel plane showed up.. and a whole bunch of Jews unloaded… some of them looked like they were Hasidic Jews with the ear locks and the full deal. Also, some people in he airport are way to freaking loud.. Examples: When we were in O’Hare there was this middle aged dude who kept answering his phone in a loud “Yo, Yo, Yo!” It was…. not good.

And here there’s this lady that talks really loud, and is involved in something computer related… and is one of those people where you say something like “It’s starting to rain” and she’ll be reminded of something that gets her talking about everything under the sun (from some random trip she took years ago, to her father being retired now, to why she was certain Mini-Discs were the wave of the future, yada yada) for a Long, Long time.. I very much want her to stop… So she will most certainly be sitting right next to me on the plane.

Seriously.. people watching at an airport is interesting.. until you start to notice that some people are just messed up.. then it gets you angry, then you just give up an try to take a nap.

I hope they have good movies on the plane…. i.e something NOT with Martin Lawrence

I hope Ned is doing well… he’s got 7 goldfish friends now.. which he has prolly already eaten.

Maybe I should just sleep the entire flight..

Seriously, that girl won’t shut up… NOBODY CARES!


6/4 Flight to London

I’m writing this all now on the 6th, at night, in the Hostel in Edinburgh.. but I wrote stuff down on paper while we were out and about, and am now just filling in the gaps… I think when last I left, we were waiting to get on to the plane from Newark to London.. well it appears we did alright there.. Here’s what all went on:

We weren’t’ able to get seats next to each other.. which really worked out fine, I think.. Well it worked out fine for me, anyway. Robb mentioned he planned on sleeping a bulk of the trip, which made good sense, as when we landed it’d be towards the morning, and we’d have a full day ahead of us. Anyway, All 3 of us got pulled aside for “random” bag checks, even though Joel was way the hell back there and Robb and I were together… Turns out about half the plane got pulled aside for the Random bag check.. But they were far nicer than that French dude that made me strip off half my clothes and took apart my entire bag last year… The girl checking through my bag was impressed with my earphones case, and liked my electronics… I decided to just say thanks rather than make some joke that would surely have gotten me kicked off the plane for one reason or another.. Turns out I don’t trust myself when in places that forbid you to say things like “Bomb” or “I’m planning on killing the president”.. no real reason.. just turns out my humor requires a more free, less regulated atmosphere or something. anyway, I get on the plane, and what I was most worried about was room to put our packs in the overhead compartments.. no problem, plenty of room. Robb was one row behind me, and Joel was 2 rows in front of me. I was placed at the window seat next to two girls, Score.

SO I sat down, and we talked a little bit.. then a stewardess came over and asked to see my ticket.. so I handed her my stub.. and she said “no.. your ticket. paper ticket” and I was confused… cause the dude at the desk took our tickets.. So I looked at Robb and said “Robb?” and he said to the flight attendant that th guy had taken them.. then she asked if I had any of my other tickets.. and I turned to Robb again, assuming he had them… but he couldn’t find them.. so I looked and found them in my wallet dealie… and handed them over.. and sure enough… they weren’t there, cause the dude took them… But the small stub thinger was still there.. so she said thanks, and left… Weird thing though: when she was asking questions, she didn’t have a British accent.. then when she said thank you, it came back… very odd. .. which leads me to another segue: When we got on to the plane we were met by a really cute blond flight attendant that was looking at tickets and telling people what aisle to go down.. and D-A-M-N.. I would have done anything she said to me. “go toss myself into the jet engine? Okay.. can I buy you something nice first?” Yeah they were pretty, and had accents, and it was all very, very kewl.

Anyway, back to those girls I was sitting by. They had both recently graduated from college, both now living in Houston, Texas One just graduated from medical school, and would be starting residency once she got back. the other was a first grade teacher. I talked to them a fair bit, and they were quite friendly. they were going to London, the Paris, then throughout France and Italy, so I mentioned a few of the places I’d been, and recommended Florance. It took us quite a while to take off for some unknown reason, so we talked for a while. My knowledge of the Mommas and the Poppas helped me out yet again… Eventually we took off, and this time I had no problems with my ears at all, which was awesome. After a meal I fell asleep.. and woke up to another meal.. I woke up and looked over, and the girl next to me asked “do you want some food” and I replied “Is that….. … .. um….. …. breakfast?” I was very out of it, but she found it funny, rather than just assuming/realizing I was retarded.. so score one for me. After breakfast I slept a bit more.. then woke up as we were approaching land.


6/4 Landing in London

So the girl I was sitting with and I spent the rest of the flight looking out the window…What we both found most fascinating was a tall skyscraper shaped like a bullet. From on high it looked very kewl. So we landed, and all was fine. We went through a long line at customs.

UndergroundEventually we got through all that, then headed to an ATM for some money, then on down and found the underground station… so after a little huddle Joel and I got in the information line, while Robb plotted out using his book what we needed to get accomplished The people in the front of the line did not speak English, and really didn’t seem to get what was going on.. Meanwhile Joel and I found maps of the underground routes, and we figured out what all we needed… Eventually we got to the front, after making a few jokes with the British lady ahead of us about that group that didn’t know what was going on..and we got our tickets..,, I saw and bid farewell to the two girls I had sat by, and we were on our way..

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