Hello, friends! This entry begins another entry into my travel bloggings and I apologize in advance for the absolute lack of any pictures taken outside of my hotel room. I haven't gone ANYWHERE today, save for the hotel restaurant for breakfast and then outside for some fresh air. I was mainly holed up in my room today, shaking off the jetlag and doing some work.
I left the States at 10:40pm Saturday night. Ari was very emotional at the airport, but Mommy was all but forgotten when I convinced Ron to give her back her DS for the ride home. Security was quick, being the time of day it was when I arrived, and soon enough I found myself sitting outside the N terminal Burger King with my laptop and a Red Bull. I finished up some work for a presentation I'm giving on Tuesday, then boarded my red-eye flight for Washington, DC.
I arrived into Dulles around 6:45am Eastern time. I didn't sleep much on the flight, just dozed off here and there. I was pretty exhausted once I deboarded, but stayed awake for my entire three hour layover. I met up with one of my colleagues that was on the same flight. Finally boarded the flight to London at 9am Eastern and strapped in for the ride.
The chick in front of me reclined her seat almost all the way as soon as we were in the air. I had to ask her to move it up when breakfast was served - and then she dumped it back in my face before they'd even come back to collect our trays. Ugh. I started and finished the new Sophie Kinsella book, "Remember Me," on the flight and watched some movie, "Love Happens," which made me think my sleep-addled brain that Aaron Eckhart is kind of good-looking when half his face isn't burnt to shreds.
The flight arrived into Heathrow around 10:30pm London time - 2:30pm on Sunday for you folks back home. I met up with both colleagues that were on the same plane while we were in the customs line. Customs was a breeze, baggage claim was not. One of Ross's checked bags didn't make it here from DC, so we waited around while he made a claim with United. After awhile, Duane and I decided it was a good idea if I went out to meet our driver so that he didn't leave without us. I did that and also converted some dollars to pounds - $200USD became $115GBP. Sadness. As Ross quipped, it was like going to Vegas and leaving with less than you came in with.
At the car, I made my first faux pas of the trip - I tried to get in the driver's side door. Oops. Force of habit, I suppose. It's even funnier when you consider that I don't drive at all.
We were to the hotel by around midnight or 12:30am. Thus began the snafus. First, my card decided to stop working. I think I may have forgotten to call my bank to let them know I was traveling - I used the card once at the airport to get out some cash in case the currency exchange booth was closed by the time Ross got his luggage issue sorted out. I need to remember to call them tonight. Thankfully, my hotel was already paid in full, so the card was only being used for any incidentals. I actually prefer to pay for those things in cash, thank you very much.
I got to my room on the seventh floor and started to unpack. I figured I'd plug in my laptop to charge and was in the process of doing this when I noticed two things. One, the desk chair was broken. Two, my laptop was NOT charging. I took off down to the front desk and explained these things. The gentleman there offered to either move my room or have someone come up in the morning. I chose to move rooms. I headed back up to my old room, packed up what I'd brought out and then headed over to my new room. I immediately plugged in my laptop. No dice.
This time, I headed down to the front desk with my laptop power cord to see if they thought there were any problems with it. There shouldn't be, since there's a US outlet on the wall and the AC adapter works for 100-240 volts. The gentleman said that he would send someone up to take a look at the outlet. Turns out, the switch for the power supply was turned off at the breaker box. One flip and I was back in business.
After some phone calls home via Skype, including a video chat with my mother on the new webcam that she bought me for the trip, I collapsed into bed around 3am. I barely woke up in time for breakfast this morning - unshowered and a bit unkempt, I made my way downstairs around 10am. Breakfast was filling and the coffee was super strong, so I woke up pretty fast. Then it was back upstairs for work - which was not without complications. My internet connection had become wonky overnight, logging me off every five to ten minutes. Finally, it just stopped altogether and told me that my access code was invalid. That was the second time in one day, so I had to call the front desk again for a new one.
So, there's your boring recap of my day. I'm sitting here, showered and ready to go, in my hotel room. I'm meeting some of my colleagues in the hotel lobby at 6:30 to head out for dinner and bowling. Then, back here for sleep - tomorrow starts at 7am!
Onto the pictures already?( ...i know this is all you came here for... )