The Long Day
Thursday was a very long day.
Leanne took first Eliana then Emeline down to see a bit of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. After I finally finished packing up at the hotel then set out for The High Line, a park built on a bit of elevated railway. On the way we got to walk through the cleanup process in Times Square, followed by a subway, a bit of really good pizza, a walk (and sometimes run) through about 15 blocks of the park, then subway back. We had a great time and I have to give Leanne all the credit on this one: if it had been up to me we probably would have been at the airport seven hours early instead of the 3.5 hrs we actually had. (And while that 3.5 hrs might seem excessive, a bit of fun & games trying to get more money on a prepaid debit card at TravelEx managed to use up a lot of the extra.)
At the airport it was my turn to be The Man. Platinum status meant we could check extra bags, take the express lane through security, board before the plebes, and pass Leanne a free drink ticket. I believe the girls were impressed by the demonstration of the power of affinity marketing programs; for me it was almost like take your daughters to work day, a chance to share something that has been a large part of my life but that they normally can’t see.
Most of my flights to London — and I’ve had over a dozen — have been from California, so flying from Newark at only about 5 hrs flying time seemed a cakewalk. Or it did until Eliana passed out. She passed out in the lavatory and came back (understandably) in tears. We comforted her and she slept laying across Leanne and I, a half-full flight allowing us the use the entire middle row. She was fine eventually but the first hour or so after she returned was the most nervous I’ve ever been in a plane.
On landing we had a long wait in the immigration queue then caught a taxi to take us into the city. Emeline hadn’t slept on the flight but in the taxi the excitement gave way and the girl slept. I dozed a bit as well while Leanne kept watch and watched the houses and fields and buildings and lanes and everything else roll by. On arriving at our hotel — which we only had pending our flat being available after 2 pm — my suggestion to have everyone go for a walk was soundly voted down and the family slept through the middle of the day.
Getting all of our bags from the hotel de jour to our flat was comical. We had not only the 6 bags we’d checked for our flight, our 6 carry-on items, but three very large duffle bags I’d stashed in London from a trip here three weeks ago. Somehow we managed to cram the four of us and the 16 bags into a black cab and go the 1/2 mile to our flat and begin making ourselves at home. After living out of my carry-on bag for the last three weeks I couldn’t believe all the crap I had in those extra duffles. Who knew I had so many socks? Does anyone really need 3 jumpers and a sweatshirt?
Stuff unpacked it was Leanne’s turn to be the hero again, taking advantage of the move-in food supplied by the servicing company to prepare our first dinner in England: penne pasta with sauce; choice of OJ, water or tea to drink; shortbread biscuits for desert. Not fancy, but very welcome.
A bit of relaxing time, a shared came of Puerto Rico, and now everyone is in bed. And though I’ll need to give them up in only two months, I have keys once again.
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