August 31, 2023
Monday, July 31: Another driving day. I always appreciate it when highway rest areas have extra features to explore. One we stopped at in Ohio on this day had a pollinator garden, which seemed to be well used by bees. We laid our heads in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
Tuesday, August 1: Continued our drive east, culminating with navigating around/through New York City to get to our hotel for the night in Jamaica, New York, where the window shade in our room had a picture of the New York City skyline while the view was of a parking lot full of garbage trucks.
Wednesday, August 2: I thought the hardest part of this day was going to be the very early wakeup to make it to our 8 a.m. flight. Nope. When we got to the airport, the check in machine wouldn’t give us boarding passes or luggage tags, so we went to the desk to find that while we had a reservation for the flight, we didn’t actually have a ticket. This was bewildering. We’ve flown a lot over the years and never had an issue like this. It eventually got sorted out but took so much time that we got to the gate just before boarding started despite having arrived at the airport two hours ahead of time. We ended up in middle seats, me in the row behind Mr. Karen. It wasn’t the start I’d hoped for the transatlantic flight, but at least it was only 6 hours or so from NYC to London.
Thursday, August 3: What with the whole jet lag thing, we opted to stay at an airport hotel after we landed the day before. I think that was a wise choice. After checking out, we made our way back to the airport to get on the underground for London proper, where we checked into a hotel within easy walking distance of the train station we’d need to get to the next day. We managed that early enough that we had time to wander a bit and see things that weren’t tourist attractions as such but which attracted me because London is so different from home. For instance, we don’t have any hotels that look like this in north Idaho:
Friday, August 4: We wheeled our big suitcases to the station and when it was time, boarded our train to Birmingham. We’d paid for the middle class, which got us an assigned seat but no meal service (which was fine, as it wasn’t that long a trip), and I found it much more agreeable than being on an airplane.
Saturday, August 5: Time finally for the main event, the thing we’d planned this trip around: the IO Earth and the Orchestra of Sound & Emotion extravaganza. As VIPs (no reason to come all this way and not pay for the upgrade), we got to sit in on sound check in the afternoon, which was followed by an informal discussion with the band. After that, we grabbed dinner before returning to the theater for the show that night.
Sunday, August 6: Next up on the IO Earth Extravaganza was a meet & greet with the band at a pub next to one of the canals in town. I quite enjoyed the variety of ciders on offer, and they probably helped me enjoy making conversation with a bunch of folks I didn’t know. I was feeling so sociable that I joined the big group dinner after the meet & greet.
On this date in 2021 and 2022: No journal entries
2020: Zoom and Baseball Tank
2010 to 2019: No entries
2009: Goldilocks and the 17 Condos
2007 and 2008: No entries
2006: More Mushrooms
2002 to 2005: No entries