Showing posts from May, 2019

Friday bullets, the travel version

I am finally awake enough to write something. After two nights' sleep, I think my internal clock is starting to readjust.

We had a great trip. Aside from the momentary concern of how to get back to London, everything went exceedingly smoothly. We also had terrific weather. Sunny and warm-ish in countries not necessarily known for that kind of weather.The car we rented was kind of cool. First, on certain roads if you drove too close to a solid white line, the car would automatically readjust. J. found it a little disconcerting at first. Also, whenever you were stopped, the engine would shut down. The first few times it happened, I thought, "Oh no! The car has broken!" Instead, it was just to avoid idling engines and the minute the gas pedal was pressed, it would start back up.D. has become a connoisseur of hamburgers across northern Europe.We really enjoyed Amsterdam. Outside of the center area that was incredibly crowded with tourists, it is a very pleasant city to be in…

And we have wi-fi!

I posted on my Facebook wall that we had breakfast in Amsterdam, lunch in Brussels, and dinner in London. It sounds terribly world-traveler-ish, doesn't it? In terms of mileage, it is the equivalent of having driven from our house to the IL-IA border (our drive from Amsterdam to Brussels) and then taking a train from the border to Omaha (the train ride from Brussels to London). The European trip just crosses more international borders and bodies of water.

It turns out that it was a very good thing we rented the car. For a brief moment yesterday, it seemed that the Amsterdam-Brussels train would go, though significantly delayed. This wouldn't have helped us as we would have missed our London train. Upon arrival to Brussels, we heard ticket agents repeat over and over that no trains were arriving from or departing to Amsterdam, so it looks as though the train didn't go after all.

We are now in our hotel across from Heathrow Airport so we can catch our early flight home tomor…

Planes, trains, and automobiles

First off, I'm still using my phone, so I apologize for the higher than usual number of typos which my nearest and dearest have pointed out to me. Someday I'll be able to type on a regular keyboard again.

On this trip, we've used a lot of different types of transportation... the above mentioned planes and trains as well as subways, buses, and trams. You may be wondering, though, about the automobiles.

Those of you in the U.S. are probably not aware of the scheduled transit strike that will happen on Tuesday. I didn't know about it until I received a notification from the Anne Frank House about it. You know, that time I discovered I had bought out tickets for the wrong day. (Friends of P.'s can use them, so that worked out alright.) But other than figuring out how to get to the train station, I hadn't given it much thought.

Well, two days ago, as we're  reading and hearing more about it, we discovered that there was a significant chance that regional trains,…

So many emotions

The 2018-2019 Class Afloat year has ended with their commencement ceremony. We have been so impressed with the whole program. P. had an amazing, life changing experience, and is very sad for it to have co.e to an end. If we were wealthy, J. and I both agree we would pay for her to do the fall semester later this year. Alas, we are not.

Here is a photo of the entire group... floated (what the students are called), teachers, and maritime crew. P. is on the right kind of hidden by the very right hand motarboard. (The reason some are in graduation gowns is that the program offers both high school and college classes. These students completed 12th grade on board.)

I'm still typing on my phone, which is frustrating because I have so much tonshare and say. Brace yourselves for when I get workable internet.

Modern problems

We made it to Amsterdam and all is well. The only hiccup is that no matter what we do, we cannot get my laptop to connect to the Wi-Fi. So, until we have a moment to go find a cafe with Wi-Fi where I can write some blog posts, I'm stuck. (I'm writing this on my phone which is less than ideal.)

I'll share a couple of pictures, but extended typing and story telling will have to wait.

P's ship arrives tomorrow morning!

Stepping back in history

Over the course of my life I have read a lot of British fiction. A lot. I have also always loved British history, choosing to do projects in grade school on castles, taking all the elective English history classes I could in College, and reading history for fun as an adult. It probably all equals thousands and thousands of pages when put together and that's not to mention the movies, music, and television shows that are added on top of those pages. Yet I had never been here.

I have now spent two very full days in London. In a way, it is like meeting a long time pen pal in person. In one sense you know all about that person, yet when you meet, you realize that on another level you don't know them at all. London is so very much what I thought it would be yet so very different all at the same time, and I love it.

Much of it is the history. How can you not love a city full of all the different layers of history that London is? So much of the historical periods that I love are here…

Power touring... or beating the jet lag beast

We made it to London without any difficulties or drama. As I sit here are write this, both J. and D. are sleeping and I am going on 32+ hours without any sleep. We are all pretty exhausted.

This morning our flight arrived on time at 6:40 am. Being the intrepid (and cheap) travelers that we are, we decided to forgo the expensive, fast train into the city from the airport and decided to take the underground. No problems there, except we were on the train right in the middle of rush hour on a Monday morning and it was a bit of a crush. We were able to check into our hotel right away which was nice because we could dump our bags, and get on with one of our two days in London.

First a comment about our hotel. It seems clean. We have beds and a bathroom. It's in a pretty decent location. And it was less than a hundred dollars US a night. This would be a deal anywhere, much less London. Well, we are hardly living in the lap of luxury, but as I said, we have beds, which at this point in t…