The Plan (the whole Plan)
Day #0 : Thu 8 May : Three fat bastards fly Heathrow -> Chicago-> Minneapolis, arriving 20:33
A day of airports.
David kindly drove Patrick and Mark to Heathrow, dropping his hire car back at the Dutchman's*. This particular car had one of those devices that talks to you and tells you the way as you go. For some reason, the woman with the rather officious tone who provided the voice for this device seemed to want to take us to Colliers' Wood, whichever way we tried to go. So we just let her chunter quietly in the background - "in 200 yards, do a U-turn ... turn left now ... yes, now...." - while we went our own sweet way.
David handed the car over slightly nervously, wondering whether the hire company was going to ask about the speed camera that he had caused to flash a couple of days earlier.
Strange are the ways of the Humble
as he speeds across England's North-West.
He's rather a prat, so
he'll trigger a Gatso
and the Dutchman will not be impressed.
But no sign of a ticket as he handed the car back. Still, plenty of time for the plod to catch him up....
In the post-September 11 world, it was necessary to check in two and a half hours before the flight. This was done quickly enough, so we settled down for a long wait in the bar. After the dire experiece of two years ago at Heathrow, we were ready to endure nothing but nasty rank Bass once more. But in fact, they did a perfectly acceptable drop of Boddington's. Meaning we were in a suitably cheerful mood on theflight.
That is to say, we were cheerful enough until the previous night's curry started to have an effect on Patrick, who was wedged between Mark and David in an air-tight tube 11,000 metres up....
Chicago airport has been done up a bit in the last few years, and the staff were briskly efficient. So even with the (very detailed) security checks,we had nearly three hours to kill in the airport, even before some further hanging around as the connecting flight was late. So there was onlyone thing to do. And we probably would have done more if it if it hadn't been so expensive.
So finally to Minneapolis-St Paul Airport, where Rupert was waiting to complete the party. We spent a long evening trying to get the computers to talk to each other so that we could produce the pages you are reading now.
Oh, and we had some more beer as well. Some of Rupert's rather good Old Ferry Bridge Mild, to be precise. And the holiday awaited.
* Hertz van Rental. Do keepup.
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