Sep 18, 2019Dawn at 30,000 feet

Dawn at 30,000 feet – SGF to ORD.Copyright © 2019 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

Vacation Day 1

We were up at 3 am, ready for Lanie to pick us up and take us to the airport for a 6 am flight to Chicago. It must be said that the sunrise seen from the plane made up for an early start. While we are gone Lanie is house and cat-sitting for us, keeping Tubby company, and feeding him his meds. We’ll see how much she enjoys being woken up by Tubbs several times per night.

We’re trying a different strategy on this trip — We are crossing the Atlantic earlier in the day and spending our first night at Heathrow. This idea was prompted by the fact that booking a combined flight and hotel was a lot less expensive than booking the flights alone. I’m not one-hundred percent sure about the logic of that. Someone is obviously making far too much profit on the flights for it to make sound business sense.

The flight out of Chicago to London was at 9:30 am, so we had just enough time to face up to the hustle and bustle of Chicago ORD and find some breakfast. I was planning to work on the flight (on a nice new 787), but a lack of sleep and a determination not to sleep on the plane meant I ended up watching back-to-back movies in ‘brainless mode’. Our arrival time (22:45 local) meant immigration was a breeze, 10-15 minutes instead of the normal half to three-quarters of an hour. We missed the hotel shuttle service which shuts down for 4-5 hours a day (so much for the advertised 24-hour service), However, Google found us a free bus, which was an unexpected bonus.

Once at the hotel, we were unable to check-in because their computers were down … So, by midnight we were sitting in the bar enjoying a complimentary pint of beer while they sorted out their computer woes. All in all, not a bad way to start our time in the UK. Tomorrow Robert is coming to pick us up to take us to Portsmouth.

The flights aren’t the only different strategy we are trying. We have rented an Air BnB in Portsmouth for our time in the UK. There are no plans except catching up with family in Portsmouth and spending time with our new grandson and our first grandchild. We’re not renting a car, and we are not traveling around. By doing so we hope it will make for a more restful trip.

In another departure from our usual routine, I’ll be traveling back alone as I have a tonne of work to get done and can’t be away for more than a couple of weeks — Convention is earlier this year and the volunteer committees that don’t have to do the work, apparently don’t realize that three months’ notice is not enough time for a part-time member of staff to devise, plan, shoot, and edit a complete 10-plus minute video, and at the same time perform their normal duties. Ginger’s extended stay includes teaching in the UK and Sweden, plus attending a workshop in Prague. She’ll get back just in time to wave goodbye as I head off for Convention. It’s almost a repeat of the June/July 2018, when she was away working for two weeks, and a day or two after she got back I went to Austin, Texas for General Convention for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, the diocesan convention will only require one night away. Then it’ll be time to start catching up on everything I couldn’t do while I was sorting out the convention video. Oh, and if I’m fit enough, maybe it’s time for some backpacking. I need some time in the woods.   

Copyright © 2019 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

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