Travel Blog: Week 5

USA

Week 5: 10.12.2012 – 16.12.2012

Monday:-

Up not particularly early. Didn’t need to leave for the airport until 11:30 – I think I can be ready by then! Brekkie, packing and then run. Packing was interesting. I was flying with Spirit Airlines – a bit like easy jet. The fares are low, low, low until you start adding extra luxuries like having a seat and baggage. I was travelling very light. It surprising how much room a pair of trainers take up in a bag 40 x 35 x 30!!! Anyway job done. Tammy was travelling for work today and flying from Ronald Regan airport so I went that far with her then took the metro to Union station for lunch and a quick massage (you know how tough it is backpacking) then took a Marc train to the BWI station and shuttle to the airport. I had plenty of time which was good and you pretty much have to re-dress yourself after going through security. I had a few hours a gate C13 then as the boarding time approached the announcement was made – due to weather conditions the flight was delayed…..by 6 hours. So not a 6:15 flight but 11:20!!! An update to Lauren was in order as she was picking me up.

The next bit of good news was that everything in the airport closed at 8. Hmmh, a beer was in order. As it happened all flights had been delayed so there were a few drowning their sorrows at the bar waiting for flights to Baltimore (me), Chicago and NY. Everyone was strangely in good spirits. I ordered another beer only to be told they were closing up. You’d think pouring it into my water bottle to drink later would be a sensible thing – it would if it wasn’t against the law. What!!! The barmaid (don’t think they’re called that of here) threatened me with a call to security if I didn’t pour it back. Love this airport.

The good thing was when we did eventually board the plane was pretty much empty and I got to stretch out across the seats and sleep for a few hours. The last half an hour was fairly choppy but we made it. By now it was gone 2 and so I got a shuttle to Lauren’s. There was a whole different vibe here and at that time of the morning I wasn’t ready for florida’s brand of customer service. Anyway after a few changes of shuttle vehicle I was on my way. So near and yet so far. The driver could not find Lauren’s block. At last we got there.

It’s been a few years since we’ve seen each other so we had some catching upon to do. Got to bed around 4

Tuesday:

The girls were very quiet and let me sleep in until 9 ish. Lauren took them to school and then we were out to take a spin around the local area. Some shopping for Lauren so she could get chrimbo presents and a Mexican lunch, and perhaps ice-cream. It was after all like summer over here and I wanted to make the most of it.

On the way back to pick up the girls, Emmi and Camryn, we stopped by Lauren’s school – 3500 kids!! So I got a bit of a tour and a visit to her art classroom. The girls were excited to see me pick them up at school -well in that excited who are you sort of a way. Home, tub time, tea, and then we went for a drive to see the local Christmas lights.

  

  

  

  

Bedtime for the girls with me not far behind.

Wednesday:

Up at a slightly more reasonable time. I managed a short run – how hot is it here! More shopping today but not before a drive along the coast among the houses of the rich and famous. THERE IS MONEY HERE- IN BUCKETS! More chrimbo shopping, with a stop at Macy’s (it’s the US, it’s got to be done), Greek lunch at Taverna Opa, more shopping, another most fabulous ice-cream and home.

  

  

 There’s a pattern forming. Stop by the school, pick up the girls, tub time (my turn to do the honours – those girls were squeaky clean) dinner, and then entertainment. The girls did a little song for me – always going to think of them when I hear it in the future. One Direction, What makes you Beautiful – you rock!!!

Thursday:

Up way too early for 4:20 pick up for the airport. All went smoothly including the flight – an upgrade to slightly bigger seats but most importantly an empty row so time to snooze. It’s so much easier when you on have carry on luggage. I found the shuttle to the station and the right platform to get back to Washington and Union station.

  

What to do now? Not sure. I could train it back to Woodbridge or see some more of DC and slug home. I found a coffee shop to help me contemplate the enormity of this decision. I decided on the later. More of DC, lunch, some time to sit in the beautiful sunshine and then to find the slug line.

  

 I headed for New York and 14th – no one was here. Was I in the right place? A couple of road cleaners helped me out – they called head office so I could ask where the slug line was. Vera on the other end of the line confirmed slugging was now from New York and 15th. I found it and started queuing – for nearly 90 minutes!!!! before a car going to Old Hechingers turned up. 3 of us from the queue, were very relieved and jumped in.

A short walk home and at last a chance to warm up. Tammy was still away with work so I had the place to myself.

Friday:-

Quiet day. A morning walk down to Occoquan post office then over the river to the woods. The afternoon was a trip to the grocery store with my back pack to stock up on food – 3 hour round trip when on foot. Tammy got home so we had dinner together and a movie night.

Saturday:-

Brekkie before a quick run around the block. Then an afternoon walking Fountain Point – as always tall trees, leaves on the ground, squirrels running around like headless chickens and the sound of woodpeckers. Beautiful. So, Saturday night ……..what else can we do but a steak dinner and a game of monopoly. A special National Parks version. How rock and roll are we.

Sunday:-

Lazy day. Couple of hours hiking, some final shopping before I leave for San Fran then home for a movie.

    

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