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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Tuesday, August 6 2002 

Journal of our vacation journey - 1

En route with sons Mike and Kevin. I've decided to write something about every day of this trip, even those on which I don't send Jonal entries normally (David's and Judy's days) and collect them to mail on "my" days.

Saturday, August 3: Sitting in the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) ready for our departure time. Getting through security was relatively painless, not much different than before, but we allowed three hours before departure rather than the two I've usually allowed (and which has been the rule, though most passengers in the past didn't try to keep it strictly). I'm in the Virgin Atlantic waiting area; found an outlet for my computer power supply (though it has a fully charged battery, I'm always the "economizer"—maybe with the emphasis on "miser"). Our plane is a huge two-story 747. Mike and Kevin and I are seated together. Hope to write more on Sunday, from London.

Sunday, August 4: We arrived early but had to keep in a holding pattern over Heathrow for most of the saved time and even then when we did get down our normal parking spot was still occupied so we had to be trucked into the terminal, all of which ending up no net time savings. Still, despite some air pockets, it was a good flight. But I didn't fall off at all while trying to sleep, depite being too tired to keep my eyes open.

On checking in at our reserved hostel, in an exciting neighborhood of London (Leinster) I hadn't been in before, we found we had been assigned a fourth roommate and it was a young woman. Both she and we were chagrined and felt it was inappropriate but the management said they were booked solid and it's what happens in hostels (in truth, the biggest hostel associations have policies to prevent this).

While walking in the nearby Hyde Park and a gorgeous sunken flower garden at Kensington Palace (birthplace of Victoria, England's most successful monarch ever, IMHO) a thunderstorm came on. It turned into a downpour, which I was able to get out of in a partially enclosed bus stop along with a dozen or so other people, and the boys ran to escape in a hotel parking structure. This is my first time, in five visits to England, when the weather had turned out to be "typically English weather," never having been seriously rained on here before. After the storm passed, the rest of the evening was beautiful.

Had a less-than-mediocre meal at a fast-food style "Mediterranean" restaurant for dinner. A cockroach falling from the ceiling in Mike's clear view as we were nearly done our poor food was the piece de resistance.

Monday, August 5: I stayed up until 10 or 11 last night, meaning at least 30 hours of waking time since Saturday morning in California. Because of the roommate situation and the fact that the hostel doesn't have towels available even for rental use and neither Mike nor I brought towels along, we weren't able to shower before taking off for the day. Then we got so involved in the touring itinerary (taking the Big Bus doubledecker guided tour service and paying to get the Beefeater guided tour in the Tower of London) that we didn't get back to the room until around 11 p.m. And, oh yes, we spent the last two and a half hours of our day on a guided walking tour of "ghosts and gaslights" in one of the city's most historic districts. Back in the hostel neighborhood we went to a relatively posh restaurant (a Greek restaurant with an Italian-sounding name, Santorini) for dinner to overcome the previous night's disaster. This time it was excellent, if too pricy for our wallets at 73 pounds for three.

Back at our room, we found our fourth roommate had been able to move into a more private room after some of the weekend crowd moved out today, so that's good. We'll be here another day and night after Monday night. It being after midnight after I write this, I won't go out again to try to email it, figuring all the cafes will now be closed, so you're no doubt receiving it later than usual. We're hoping that our room for four will be able to be occupied by us three, only, until we move on to Ireland on Wednesday.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Things my mother taught me (series)

My mother taught me about LOGIC #2
—"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me!"

Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together....

Carl Zwanzig

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