Tag Archives: travel

Life at 35,000ft

The plan was to have all the loose ends tied up early so I could get to bed at a reasonable hour and do the regular Thursday morning ride before leaving for the airport. That plan was laid to waste by the big sale that starts Friday; way too much stuff to get done, and just when I was about to write off one of the biggest tasks (new hangtags for every bike on sale) I had an epiphany.

Seriously. A real live epiphany. As in, I’d been fighting this one for some time, it really seemed beyond my technical abilities, and then, at 9pm, I realized I had already written an SQL query that was doing almost the exact same thing! And thus began a three hour ordeal in which I did get the job done, but got to bed sometime past 2am.

And I have to get up for the ride at 7.

So I went to bed thinking Kevin would appreciate the opportunity to sleep in (I always have to wake him up) but at 7:03am there he is next to the bed, saying “Aren’t you getting up?” And for the briefest of moments I was thinking, 4 hours sleep, but how can I rationalize missing the ride? Then I remembered that I’d forgotten to bring my bike back home from the shop (I planned to pick it up around 11pm, naively thinking I’d be done by then). Saved! But Kevin went on his own and had a very nice ride.

I got going earlier than I wanted to, not really sleeping after Kevin left, but clearly not coherent because on the way to the airport we realize we left the cytomax at home… Not quite fatal but close… and then after checking out bags Kevin asks where the backpack with the camera gear is. Um, er,… Quick call to Becky who does another round trip to the airport and delivers both camera bag AND cytomax, literally saving the trip. We might be able to live with a substitute for Cytomax (although we didn’t want to find out!) but it’s not like we can go out and buy $2000 in extra camera gear.

And why is the camera gear so important? Because if it’s not documented in words and photos, it didn’t happen. Simple as that!

Turns out to have been a good thing we didn’t get to the airport early and catch the earlier flight, since that flight was delayed an hour and we wouldn’t have made our connection at Dulles. So maybe my lack of a brain this morning worked out for the best. Although it was more an issue of preoccupation with work stuff that messed things up. Hey, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

9:55pm Made it on plane to Frankfurt and had enough time to set up mobile hotspot and send files from laptop. Close but worked! Bye until Frankfurt- Mike

You can’t go to England without going to Stonehenge. Right?

Our first trip to London, maybe 8 years ago, we really didn’t see much. Just a few days in town, saw the dungeon, did a cool walking tour of Buckingham Palace with the changing of the guard etc. Pretty much took it easy, too easy, and were blown away by how expensive everything was.

Breakfast at Paul
"Paul", a phenomenal bakery chain

I’m still blown away by how expensive everything is, but this time we’re seeing the stuff we didn’t before, with yesterday being an example of getting lots in with little downtime. The day started off with breakfast at Paul, which I mentioned in yesterday’s entry. From there it was down into the “Underground” to Lieciester Square to buy same-day discounted theater tickets for “Love Never Dies”. We arrived a bit early; the box office doesn’t open until 10am, so we had some time to get acquainted with what “cold” feels like. It feels bad. Bad enough that I quickly found a place with inexpensive warm gloves.

Inside the amazing Salisbury CathedralNext, head to Waterloo Station for a train trip to Salisbury, from which the Stonehenge Tour Bus departs. This is where I blew it; I had no idea that Salisbury would be a place I’d like to spend some real time in, a lovely town with an active central square/shopping district and the most-incredible cathedral you can imagine! Unfortunately, after finding a place to eat & warm up, we had very little time before having to catch the final tour bus out to Stonehenge; if you plan to visit the cathedral, plan to spend a good hour there, maybe even more. Oh, and did I mention they have the best-surviving copy of the Magna Carte?

The Stonehenge prop from Spinal Tap!
Spinal Tap aficionados will recognize this...
Stone Cold

Oh, did I mention it was cold? Stonehenge is a cold place by nature; there’s not much “warmth” to a display of large rocks. It is an amazing thing to see though, including the gift shop’s display of props from the movie “Spinal Tap.”

If you would like to see a bunch of Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral photos, I’ve put some up on our Picasa website.

After returning from Salisbury we went straight to the theater district (Strand) and ate at Leon’s, a sort of high-quality Mediterranean fast-food place that’s pretty spectacular. As for the play itself, “Love Never Dies” is no Phantom, and I thought the ending was a bit too predictable, but it did have the added adventure of being stopped about 10 minutes into the production by some sort of technical difficulty, resolved about 30 minutes later. If you go to see it, consider that the ending for “A Little Night Music” might have worked better.

So yes, yesterday was a pretty full day! We’re getting off to a bit later start this morning, and will be staying “local.” Our flight out leaves at 3:30pm tomorrow, giving us just enough time to fit in the London Eye before heading back. That’s the plan anyway.  –Mike–