Wednesday, September 13, 2006

UK Trip! Wed Aug 23/06

Alright, it's been a month - I've been on my UK trip and back again, so I'm going to try to backtrack. I'll post about the cottage trip later I think.

So the day before I left on my trip, I was chatting with my Mum and she gave me some VERY bad news. My Dad has been diagnosed with throat cancer. They've caught it early, and he's going to need radiation treatment, but both of my parents are very positive and so is the doctor - 95% treatable he says - so I'm not supposed to worry. He feels just fine, it's just his voice sounds funny. They don't need me to come home or be there for anything.

That's not stopping me from worrying, of course. I was an utter wreck for hours after that. Mum was saying oh, I shouldn't have told you - EXCUSE ME, of course you should have! And no, waiting until I was back wouldn't have been good either! I was shakey and had sore eyes for a day or so afterwards, but I think I blocked it off in my mind, there's just been too many bad things lately, there's only so much I can take.

And also, a minor annoyance - when I woke up Tuesday morning, I had a sore throat. Fine timing. Gah.

So that was Tuesday night, the 22nd. The 23rd was the day I was going on my trip. Convinced by Mum that I wasn't needed at home, the trip was still on. Of course, I worked a full day that day - and half of it was taken up by training a freelancer who was coming in and making sure I had full instructions written out for her. I knew I couldn't stay late as I had to catch the airport shuttle right after work, so I did my best to get it all sorted - and surprised myself with how quickly I got everything together - and I and my suitcase were off.

Got down to the shuttle area, outside the Royal York, and no one was there to sell me a ticket. I had another ten minutes before the bus came though, so no worries. Other people were milling around, waiting as well. When the girl finally showed up to sell me a ticket, the bus hadn't shown up - and was about five minutes late - but no worries. Got my ticket. Stood around, with everyone else.

Noticed there seemed to be a lot of construction right on that corner.

Checked to see if there were any notices about a change of service, there was none. Waited a little longer, then asked the girl, 'the bus still stops here, right?'

'Oh no,' she said brightly, 'you need to go across the street, over there, beside the hot dog vendor.' GAH! I told her that maybe she should tell the other people waiting for the bus, and rushed over to the corner. Got a red light. Watched the bus come. Got a green light, rushed across the street... and watched the bus pull away.

No problem, I thought, I'm frustrated, but I was planning on being super early for my flight anyway. Of course, a couple of other people had to get a cab to the airport because of this, as they were now going to be late for their flights.

So I waited on the corner, along with a bunch of other people. Cabs pulled up and parked, illegally, right in front of us, blocking us from boarding any bus that might want to pick us up. We all glared at the cabbies and motioned for them to move, and they all ignored us. When the bus did finally arrive - fifteen minutes late on the new run - the driver had to make one of the cabbies back up so we could fit between the cars to get on the bus. But then we were off, and got there in good time.

Got to the airport, found J* waiting for me in line right away, went quickly through the queue and checked our luggage, and then went in to wait for our flight. The family ahead of us at the security check had their carry-on stuff emptied, and we saw the mother lose her mascara and stuff, but we got waved on just fine - and we both had our lip balms with us, yay! I had an empty water bottle too, so I filled it a couple of times from a water fountain. I warned J* that I had a sore throat, but the way she saw it, we were going to be sharing a bed for nine days so if she was gonna get sick nothing would stop it, so we didn't worry about it. I did have some mint Halls with me though, good thing.

We boarded fine. J* had booked us bulkhead seats, thinking we'd have better knee room, great idea! Except of course, a) we don't have better FOOT room, unfortunately, and 2) beside us, in the third seat, was a woman with a baby - the baby wasn't bad, but the FUCKING GREAT BASSINET they attached to the wall directly in front of us was! No standing for the entire flight. J* almost couldn't put her tray down for the dinner. And the steward-folk were almost non-existent. Seven hour flight, ONE TINY GLASS of water, for the whole thing. Thank god I had the Halls or I'd have died!

We managed to sleep for about four hours on the flight though, so we were somewhat awake when we landed at Gatwick. Yep, Gatwick, in a whole different country!!!

More to come...

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