Well, we’re off again.
Every year, we go on vacation at the end of June as that is the break in Yulia’s gymnastic team schedule. But this year we are going in the middle of August. The change is because we are going with a group of our friends for byt good friend Henry’s 50th birthday. [editor’s note: Henry is seriously fucking old. Holy crap. He’s nearly a month older than I am.] We haven’t done a vacation with friends in well over a decade, probably longer. So this will be exciting. Our total tour will be driving from London To Edinburgh, then a Castle on the coast of Scotland, then back to London for a week. We will have a couple of stops around the UK as well.
We’re also travelling with my Grandfather on this trip, or part of him anyway. My Grandpa Larry died last year at 98. So I’m bringing some of his ashes with us. He was a traveler and an avid scotch drinker, so I’m going to scatter some of his ashes at a distillery on the coast of Scotland. I think it’s a fitting place. His side of the family is from Norway, and this is pretty close to Norway, but with Scotch. Larry would approve.
At the moment I’m in Business Class waiting for drinks service. We did get some champagne on take off, and i had two Bloody Marys in the British Air Club Lounge, but those don’t really count. When the drinks flow on the plane, you know you are on vacation. Business Class in interesting, we have those pod-style seats where half face front and half face back. Everything reclines for your comfort, and you can open a footrest to sleep flat if you want. At my height its nice to have serious legroom.
Oh so much better.
Traveling east means that the airline performs the little dance where they try to get everyone to sleep off schedule in order to be closer to local time when we land. We’re in that now, we had dinner which was really excellent (tomato salad and a steak) and I’ve changed from whiskey cocktails over to a nice Bordeaux wine. The airplane entertainment system is actually pretty good, and I was watching The Italian Job from 1969 (You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!) and now I’m listening to some Tarantino inspired music. About half the plane is passed out now, but we have a little Galley bar that has wine, tea and snacks. The best part is they have real Cadbury chocolates, which go great with the wine.
I was talking to Yulia earlier about flying – she has a serious problem and fear of flying, and has had this for years. She’s done things like “Fear of Flying” courses, meditation, medication, whatever sounded like it might help. But this year had been a huge change, if for no reason other than we have lounge passes now. Bering able to relax somewhere quiet before the flight keeps her (and my frankly) stress at a controllable level. The flights can still be hard, but it’s so much more manageable. It makes me wonder if a lot of the people who fear flying are really having crowd stress reactions. You don’t solve that by learning about planes, you need to get out of the crowd. And that seems to be working for us so far.
The only real bummer is that I actually need to rest on the flight, as I have to pick up our rental when we land, and drive us to Nottingham (I hear the Sherriff there is an asshole). This also means I need to flip my brain and drive on the other side of the road. I’ve done it before, and it’s not that hard, but it ticks the difficulty level of our vacation up a bit.
At least I’ve got Larry along to help out. So long as he doesn’t lose the car keys.