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I'm back, and I'm tired!

It's good to be back, I had tons of fun. Things didn't go as planned but really they never do but I really enjoyed myself. The hardest part was the lack of internet and a reliable cell phone. We had so little time to do all the things on Wendi and Michelle's lists that stopping in at an Easy Everything cafe wasn't going to fly. I had my laptop and wrote a few entries when I had downtime, I don't want to overload people so I am going to stager them a little. It's going to take me a while to get back into the swing of things, I have a huge pile of mail to go through, one caught my interest though, a package from Naomi Neale AKA drood. Perfect timing since I just finished "Chloe Queen of Denial" by Naomi Nash, mere hours before! It was the perfect book to read on my trip, jumbled French/English/Spanish, lots of things going wrong, lots of things not being what they seem and I really identify with Chloe. So often I feel as if I am just pretending to be smart, brave, and cool. I never was until I started pretending for others who didn't know me, interesting how it works that way.

So here's how things started on my trip...

Everything was so chaotic before I left the good old USA I never got a chance to post a "I'll Be Back-with lots of photos" farewell. It's (03/12/05) Saturday morning in London and I have some time to write to the dueling sound of snoozing Wendi and Thomas.

I thought I would have more time to do things on Thursday, I normally spend hours double checking I have everything before a 4pm international flight. This time however a phone call from Michelle would eat up my "double checking maybe I'll make a post" time. Michelle was going to pick us up and drive the three of us to Tom's sister Barbara's house and Barbara was going to take the three of us to the airport. Michelle would leave her car at Barbara's since there was no street cleaning. So when Michelle called saying her car battery was dead and couldn't be jumped, we knew it was going to eat up some of our extra time.

In retrospect we should have done things differently. Tom and I drove to the auto parts store in Patrero Hill, bought the battery which took far too long and headed to Michele's. Michele started to change the battery, She was tightening the clamp on the new battery when we both noticed it wasn't really getting any tighter. The clamp had snapped. Michelle got it as tight as she could and tried to start the car. It was a no go. Her car didn't even make the usual dings or lights. This was not good. I messed around with the cable on the broken one and managed to get the car to at list ding and little up for a second but it still wasn't making enough contact to start.

Michelle exclaimed out in a staccato manor, "I got it!" and bolted down the street. Tom wandered after her and I decided now would be a good time to make a few phone calls, Barbara should know we were running late. When Michelle returned with some electric tape I finally realized what her plan. As she finished wrapping it all together I asked her where Tom was. "He got tired of waiting for me to find my electrical tape so he ran to Walgreen's to buy some," She said as she tried once more to start the car. It still wouldn't start.

I started to mess with the wires and told her to try it again. She calmly stated, "You made it worse!" I gave it a few more tries each getting bolder. I have a fear of being electrocuted, people used to tease me in my photography classes. But we needed to get the car started to I grabbed a hold the wire, held it tight and said, Try it now. There was a zap pop sound and then the car started right up. I didn't feel any sort of shock at all, whoohoo!

So the car was started up, Where the hell was Tom and why didn't he have his cell phone! Eventually when Tom did show up we learned that Walgreen's does not carry electrical tape. As Michele and Tom began to load up her car I told Tom I was heading back to the house to put the car away, bring our luggage downstairs. They arrived just as I was bringing the last few bags down the two flights of stairs.

We were finally on our way! We managed to make it to the airport with enough time to not be in a panic as well as pick up a lovely snack of bananas, sour cream and onion Pringles and a big bottle of water. One that I had refilled four times on plane.

The plane was packed. In the row in front of us was a pregnant mother and her two young daughters. All three of us were worried about having two under little girls two years old screaming while we were trying to sleep but they were little angles and I was unable to sleep anyway. I actually fell asleep for maybe half an hour. Trying to sleep on a plane is hell for me. Michelle slept for about an hour and Tom was asleep practically the whole time. After we landed we had about hour and a half wait before Wendi arrived, of course Tom was asleep in his seat while waiting within five minutes and Michelle tock a nap as well.

After Wendi arrived we took the Heathrow Express (Tom fell asleep) to Paddington, caught a taxi to our hotel, checked in an went anxiously to our room. I was actually starting to not be tired and this scared me, I needed a disco nap because I didn't want to get sick again. Almost as soon as we got settled, Tom was asleep again! I can't believe he was still sleeping, he had been asleep for at least 10 hours already! Michele and I soon joined him.

We awoke a four hours later to a light tapping on the door. I answered the door to see Wendi's smiling face. She had gone exploring while we were napping. Tom gave our friend Alex a call and we got ready to meet her at S&M Café. The S&M stands for Sausage and Mash. We ordered the Desperate Dan which is 12 different sausages, four kinds of mash and three gravies. My favorite one were the S&M special, Traditional London, and the Wild Boar! Alex caught us up on all the happenings over here. I guess Evie's son little Iggy Blue has Nakamichi's disease (or something similar sounding) the poor little guy can't get a break. They have him on steroids and he is improving.

We then went for drinks at Pelicans before going to sleep. Once again Tom was the first to fall asleep, I was surprised that when Wendi started laughing she didn't wake him back up. Michelle and I were next to fall asleep and Wendi decided to look at some of the books on London.

Normally when I first get to London I wake up around 7am and wait for everyone else to wake up around 9am. This time was different, I woke up at 5am! I tried to go back to sleep until 6 when I gave up, got up and took a shower. Michelle was awake at 5am too she seems to be on the same schedule as me but she is trying to sleep. So now at 7:45 I am sitting here typing and waiting for et_blackbird who should be here at 10. I hope these sleepy bastards get up soon.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 24th, 2005 06:05 am (UTC)
Welcome back to this side of the pond, dude.
Mar. 24th, 2005 06:18 am (UTC)
Mmmm.... three gravies....

Mar. 24th, 2005 06:56 am (UTC)
hurray you're back! i was getting the shakes due to monkey withdrawal...
Mar. 24th, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC)
Welcome back!
I haven't even read your post yet. I have been waiting to see your smiling face.

Onto reading..


Mar. 24th, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Welcome back!
I could feel the excitement reading your post. Can't wait for more. Over load me buddy! LOL



Mar. 24th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)
Blah-buh-dee blah blah
Welcome back Mr Monkey. And even though I know we will be giggling like little school girls on the phone about all your adventures, I still want to flex the LJ muscle (hot).

I am so sorry about michelle's battery, remember the crazy taxi driver when we went? Not to mention the OTHER cazy taxi driver you have on video!

Oh there's to much to talk about-- I'll call.
Mar. 25th, 2005 12:23 am (UTC)
I'm glad you're back. I was beginning to have withdrawal symptoms.
It's really good to have a monkey on your back. Hmmm, maybe I should rephrase that, wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )