England: Day 1

Today we traveled from San Antonio to London by way of Atlanta. This was the first time several of the kids had been on a plane, so the fear and nerves quickly gave way to novel excitement, which kept the young ones entertained for the first leg of our flight. The trip to Atlanta took about two hours, the trip from their to London about eight. Unfortunately, none of us did a particularly good job sleeping on the plane, the effects of which we felt rather strongly the next day.

We arrived about 6:00am GMT, loitered around the terminal for a few minutes until [Mom McMains->] arrived, and then made our way through customs, etc. (The big bit of drama at this point was that of our three checked bags, exactly none of them had made it to the airport.) We loaded into the Gatwick Express — our first genuine English rail trip! The kids weren’t as immediately impressed with the mode of travel as I’d hoped, but enjoyed peering out the window, seeing some farmland, factories, other trains, and lots of row houses. We took a few short naps, went to a nearby park, the notable feature of which was one of the longest slides I’ve ever laid eyes on, met up with [Dad McMains->], [Lana->], and [Meara->] a few hours later, rummaged through the stuff that Gordon had kindly left us in the fridge, and rustled up some dinner.

By the end of our meal, I was fading quickly due to the fact that I hadn’t napped earlier nor slept on the plane, and ended up drifting off in my chair a few times, much to the amusement of the assembled audience. I later moved to the couch in front of Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, nearly all of which I missed, to continue my snooze.