Day 15: There And Back Again: A “Brad-bo” Tale
This morning we headed to the train station to catch the first train out to head to London Heathrow. I am happy that this will be the last time I’ll have to lug the giant gym bag around. We made it to the train station before the gates were open, so we had to sit out on the sidewalk for a while. When the station gates finally opened we found a creepy guy that basically squeezed in with Stacey through the automated ticket gate (he didn’t have a card to get in I guess.) Extremely inappropriate, but I didn’t say anything to him because he looked like one of those crazy soccer hooligans that throw bottles at referees and stabs people that wear opposing team jerseys, and since we were in an empty station, I held my tongue. He showed off by sliding down the escalator railing and looking back smiling. Before we could talk about how weird he was, we ran into him again when he wanted to ask for directions to find a certain train. We bumped into him one or two more times until we found our platform opposite of where he was. We hung around waiting for our train and Stephanie snapped one final photo of us as a group since she won’t be with us on the way home (she’s spending a further 14 days in France.) When our train arrived, we said goodbye to Stephanie and half-jokingly told her to have fun with creepy soccer hooligan. I say half-joking because there was a real good chance he’d pop back up after we left, but hopefully he got kicked off the train when he realizes he needed an Oyster card to ride. Anyway, I thought it’ll be funny if when we pick Stephanie up in a few days he’s at D.I.A. with her and she introduces him as her husband haha.
We made it through security and on our plane just in time; the ticket scanner lady even remarked how we had cut it pretty close. I tried as long as I could to not tell my mom that I was flying back on September 11th, but my little brother Tony had ratted me out to tell her that. Between how at the time several cities in England was rioting up to almost a little over a week prior to our flight and then we flew back on a very taboo day, I know they’re going crazy the full 12-13 hours I’m flying today worrying about me. The good thing about flying on a taboo day is that even though the likelihood of something like 9-11 happening the same way again are unlikely, many people are still freaked out so our plane was mostly spacious, save for our row, but the very comfortable man in front of us had the entire 5 seat row to himself and was sprawled out across them all. We on the other hand, had our very limited coach seating with every seat occupied on our row, so we glared jealously at him through the spaces of the seats. I was able to sleep a bit more than I did on the flight to England this time around, but I still spent a majority of the time awake, so I ended up watching X-Men First Class for the 4th or so time as well as Kung Fu Panda 2 and Super 8.
We made it back home fine and did not have any problems in customs, they wanted to make sure I wasn’t smuggling Stacey into the country and I knowingly checked off “No” on the question asking if we encountered any livestock or hung out in any pastures (I didn’t want Brown Cow labeled as a disease carrier!) After sorting out the airport parking fee with Josh, we headed to Stephanie’s house to pick up our car. Stacey and I made a b-line to Animal Lodge to pick up our kitties. Again the lounge was full of cats and when Gary and Gilbert were released, Gary jumped up on a cat tree and started to meow really loud while sharpening his claws, it was like he was showing us how much fun he had playing in the room. Gilbert, however was in a very scared slink away mood, but he eventually calmed down once we went home. They obviously cat-piled us on the bed when we decided to wind down and call it a night.
Overall, I really enjoyed the trip and would love to go again. Every place we had toured had some sort of charm and fun to it. The countryside was very pretty and I’ll always crave those damned garlic prawnies until one day I make my way back there and order them, like I should have done in the first place! Scotland was my favorite portion of the trip and I’d totally be cool with it if we find some sort of loophole that we find a job that’ll allow us to live and work there for a year or so. Glastonbury was probably the most overrated on our planned trip and York was by far the most surprising of the destinations as we didn’t expect much out of it and it ended with us wanting an extra day to explore. Obviously London was awesome, being that it was London!
This journal was my personal fun way to commemorate my vacation. Everyone takes photos, post statuses on Facebook and I’m definitely not the first person to do such a trip, but I wrote this just because I wanted a fun way to preserve the memories. I do however, wish I brought a laptop, as transcribing this had taken about 4 or so months to the day we first left. However, I now fully understand why writers stay in hotels or go to other countries when they are writing stuff! It’s so much easier to do without the distractions of home like doing things with the wife , friends, family and work.
Overall, I am very happy that we put ourselves in debt to do this trip as it was a blast and one I’d like to do a follow up to one day or a similar trip to another area. My pen and journal are ready!
“Me and my fellow Band of Travelers”