Day 1, Part Two
Posted in Travel
First watch, 3 bells (9:41 pm)

Our first stop was to rush to Earl's Court Exhibition center, where we met with Richard Bartle (read Richard's post here) to see the Doctor Who Exhibition. One of the best parts was seeing all the kids playing at being a Dalek: they had a model Dalek you could stand behind that had a microphone that changed your voice to sound like a Dalek. You could also move the laser and plunger hands up and down 🙂

Richard then took us to one of the very few remaining Police Call Boxes in London that inspired the TARDIS. I'll include a picture with this post.

We had a great time with Richard as our personal tour guide. He treated us to lunch at The Mermaid's Tail where I had an excellent plate of fish and chips, my London staple, and also tried mushy peas for the first time. They were quite good, and much easier to eat than non-mushy peas.

Richard also took us to Covent Gardens where there are a lot of craft-type shops. We walked to Trafalgar Square and that's when I found out the secret about Admiral Lord Nelson's column. When we were in London for our honeymoon, I took a picture of this famous column. Little did I know that if you take a picture from a slightly different angle, you see not only Admiral Lord Nelson, but you also see Little Lord Nelson as well.

Richard was a wonderful guide, and we really appreciated his coming to meet us in London. We had a great time chatting with him, he's a very cool guy with a great sense of humor. Thanks again, Richard!

After parting, we walked around a bit more but were really losing energy fast. We took the 4:30 train from Victoria Station down to Crawley and had a short walk to the George Hotel, where we showered and promptly crashed on the bed and fell immediately asleep.

Here are a few pictures from the Doctor Who Exhibition.

The Face of Boe

Clockwork Robot

Exterminate!

A Cyberman

A Scarecrow

The Real TARDIS

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Vacation Day One
Posted in Travel
First watch, 2 bells (9:15 pm)

You would not believe the day (or two) I've had. Let me start it a little early so you get the whole background. On Wednesday, Lorien and I went to Ellie and Wade's for a dinner and game night. We ended up staying until a little after 1am. I had a busy day of work Thursday, and made some last minute changes on the network excactly like I know not to do.

To make an undoubtedly long story somewhat shorter, I'll leave out the details and tell you I got off work around 6:30pm, and started packing as soon as I got home. I went to bed before midnight, but because of night-before travel jitters I didn't fall asleep until much later, around 12:30am. I awoke at 3:30am when Lorien's mom called to make sure we knew she was coming. We added the last few things to our luggage, closed it up, and headed to the airport at 4am. We got to the airport around 5:15am with our flight leaving at 7am. We decided to pay a little extra money and get upgraded legroom on United.

We flew to Chicago and that's when my phone started ringing. The last minute changes seemed to have broke something at work, and after several phone calls we got it sorted out. Then we flew to London. The flight was a miserable 7-hour baby-screaming and puking ordeal that I'd rather not go into detail on.

Now I normally have a problem sleeping on planes, but when there are several screaming children I find it even harder to sleep. So I didn't. I finished Alastair Reynolds' Diamon Dogs, Turquoise Days, two short novellas set in his Revelation Space universe, a 300 page book I started on the way to Chicago.

So the count is: Vacation Day -2: 6 hours of sleep
Vacation Day -1: 3 hours of sleep
Vacation Travel Day: No sleep

We arrived in London Heathrow airport just before 8am. Got through immigration without any trouble. We lugged our luggage (good name, that) to Victoria Station, where we put it in Left Luggage to store for the day while we did some sightseeing.

More coming up in part two!

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