On the Road Again - heard that song for the first time years at the Starbucks in York.
Drove through Jedburgh – saw the ruins of the Abby and Mary, Queen of Scots’ Malade House – she stayed at the house mainly because it had an indoor privy. Saw the castle on the hill and the thousand year old hanging tree. Saw a faerie tree – branches have grown back into the ground forming an arch. Quick stop at a bit of Hadrian’s Wall.
We walked around York exploring the area known as the Shambles (what used to be the butcher area). Saw the cathedral through the rain. It poured! Took shelter in Starbucks where Kev & I yakked with Robert.
On to Leeds – lots of green area in this industrial city. Kev & I hit an Asian fusion/noodle house for dinner. We’ve managed to avoid fish and chips the entire trip! Kev got this dessert of ice cream drizzled with Bailey’s sitting on base of coffee jello cubes and cream brulee. I enjoyed the fried bananas.
Caught up on journal and wrote the remaining dozen postcards. Writer’s Cramp!
6:30am wake up. 7:30am bags out and breakfast. 8:30am departure
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Almost left without Margaret! We were half way down the driveway when somebody realized that Margaret was missing. It turned out that she had gone up to her room after breakfast and had just lain down for a second and…
Next stop, Coventry. Quick city tour (which I slept through) and then we went to the cathedral. The original cathedral had been destroyed in World War II – most of the outside walls were still standing. The new cathedral is a modern building with soaring ceilings and walls of glass. The baptismal wall is a rainbow of colored glass. Beautiful.
Stratford on Avon – I finally made it to the bridge and river after 20 years! I’d gotten separated from the group and got very lost and barely found it to the bus on time. It was one of the few things on this trip that I had to do.
On the way down to the river, I just meandered into a health food shop and Allelieuia! Found the Riccola cough drops!!! Go Me! Yay!!! Picked up 5 boxes for trektone
Had lunch at café right on the river next to the bridge. Enjoyed watching all the ducks and swans swim by. Munched on ice cream as we wandered about.
Back to London – end of the tour. Lots of goodbyes were said – many people were going off to other hotels or being picked up by relatives or friends. Those of us that were left ended up in the hotel bar for drinks and then later for dinner at the hotel restaurant. More goodbyes – hugs – good wishes. It had been a blast!
Managed to get everything in my suitcase! Go Me! Was afraid that I really would need to buy another suitcase.
4:30am wake up. 5:15-5:45am pick up
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Hotelink picked us up at 5:40am. This service works very well! Drove to Victoria Station where we caught the Gatwick Express to Gatwick. My bag ended up being 31 kilos – but Kev’s was 32. He had to take his suitcase over to the oversize suitcase area *grin*
Had a lousy breakfast at Café Gerard’s. Picked up a Manchester United shirt for Steve. Time to board the plane.
Sardine time The people in front of us had leaned their seats back the entire trip. I always love having the display monitor in my face. *sigh* Watched bits of Mona Lisa Smiles and all of Calendar Girls between naps.
Spent part of the trip figuring out my customs declaration. I declare everything. Was definitely over the $800 limit, but had spent lots on books and toys – which are technically items that one does not have to pay duty on. Landed in Atlanta on time. Customs was a breeze – didn’t have to pay duty. Kev, on the other hand, was one of those random people who had their entire luggage searched. Must be his smiling face *grin
Had time for Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia yogurt cone before next flight. Waited until Kev was going to board before I walked over to my gate. For a change, there was nothing eventful with my return flight. Slept most of the way home. Got in a few minutes early, if you can believe it. (not like last year’s all snafu on the way home from Balticon)
Was one of the first people off the plane. Saw Karen & the kids just outside the security area. Karen pointed the kids in my direction and they ran up to me and gave me big hugs and kisses. Ahhhh sweeties!!! Oh yeah, got hugs from Karen & Gayle.
Went back to Gayle’s for dinner – Chinese food. Played with kids, gave them their souvenirs – mainly clothes. Kyle managed to de-tire his bus within 10 minutes. Alani loved her highland cow (found a small one that didn’t moo). Gayle says she was carrying the cow where ever she went.
And thus ends my grand adventure along the long & winding road…