Friday, May 2, 2014

Hitting the Ground Running...

...smack into a brick wall.

This may come as a surprise to you, but Keith and I are having problems.

To catch you up:  Keith and I flew to London on separate flights.  Because, like the President and Vice President, we shouldn't travel together in case of a catastrophe.  Or maybe it's because we have different frequent flier programs.

Either way, we booked our flights so that we would land at Heathrow at the same time.  With his flight being delayed, we were certain that I would arrive before him.  As my plane was readying for takeoff, our pilot came on and said, "We need to go have a look at something."  Then they towed us back to the gate and fixed things.  For over an hour.  To distract us, they fed us this thing...

This is not food. 

...but wine probably would have worked better.

Anyway, despite their best efforts, my flight somehow managed to land first, and after exchanging pleasantries with Border Patrol (where I did not mention Jedward this time) I began my journey to meet Keith at Terminal 5, where his flight had just arrived.  The plan was for me to go to him while he went over the border line.  (Where he was going to lose his mind?)  

This plan was flawless and should have been super easy:  I mean, I was in Terminal 3 and there is a train that shuttles people to and fro the terminals...and everything is in English.  So, despite my terrible sense of direction (coupled with my general lack of awareness of my surroundings) I actually thought this was something even I couldn't screw up.  I was going to win!   I was mainly psyched because the last time I met Keith in London, my flight was three hours late, and he had this look on his face:

Photo Courtesy Stabbey Road Trip (2011)

This time, I was determined to find a happy, smiling Keith!  So, I found the train.  I got on the train.  The conductor announced that we would be at the terminal in seven minutes.  I texted Keith saying I was on my way!  Then, one eighth of one second later, the conductor chimed in and announced that Terminal 5 has problems, so no train can get into it.

We were told that there is a bus that will take us there.

I went out to find this alleged bus and discovered, to my horror, over twenty bus stops at the terminal--each with various posted destinations...None of which said "Terminal 5."   I asked for help a few times and eventually found my way to the proper bus stop.  As I was staring at the bus schedule, trying to make sense of it (and my life in general) a nice old lady asked me if I was trying to get to Terminal 5.  "Yes," I replied.  She smiled warmly, "It's a popular destination today!" She told me which bus I needed to get, and then went on to explain that she wrote a letter to the mayor to outline the myriad issues plaguing the public transport.  As she rattled them in detail for me, I mentally wrote my own letter to the mayor asking to add her to the list.

But I'm getting off point.  My "easy" seven minute journey to Terminal 5 turned into a 90 minute trek through hell.  When I finally found Keith, the expression on his face was vaguely familiar:

Eventually, we made our way to the flat we are staying in.  It's lovingly decorated...

...and I'm very, very thirsty.  And super ready to actually begin the trip portion of this trip.

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