Wednesday, 11 July 2012

All gone to look for America

The last couple of weeks I've been playing in my head the Simon and Garfunkel song America as it sort of sums up how I feel about this trip to Chicago and the West Coast. It's going to be a bit of an adventure for my beloved, children 3 and 4 and me, of course, and as I can't take you along, I thought I'd blog my way round...

As I frequently point out to my children, travelling anywhere with their father is never dull. Already we have made the train at Knaresborough by the skin of our teeth and really only by virtue of the fact that our singing-dancing doctor drove us there. Then we managed to catch the wrong train from York to London - to clarify, the train was the earlier one but it arrived precisely at the time our slightly later train should have arrived had all trains not been temporarily derailed - time-wise rather than literally - by trespassers on the line at Durham.

We arrived at Kings Cross having been scattered through the carriage as our reservations were for the original train rather than the one we actually travelled on and - I can't believe I'm saying this - ate in the fabulous new concourse. Kings Cross station, so grim and grotty of old, sitting next to the very smart St Pancras, seems hardly to know itself and the new roof is really spectacular. I can't help thinking that there must be money to be  made if they lined up the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 and 3/4 and ran a daily excursion into the countryside but then HP is dear to my heart so perhaps I am not entirely rational where the works of JKR are concerned.

Finally outward bound on our Virgin flight, disappointingly not skippered by our pilot pal who works for the airline and regularly flies this route but nevertheless in comfort having made the flight by the skin of our teeth - this appears to be a recurring theme already. First, number 4 child thought 'someone else' was bringing her luggage down from the hotel room - that would be the unspecified someone other than the three of us presumably, and so had to go back to collect it. Then it took forever to check in though we were entertained to see the imposing rear (and front) end of Serena Williams' mother also checking on to our Chicago-bound flight. I have seen her and I wouldn't mess with her! Finally, number 4 (yes, again) had to go and look for magazines and disappeared for so long that the trek to gate 20 had to be done at speed - not easy for me as my beloved (who may in future be known as the man who does not travel light) had had overweight hand luggage and consequently all his books were now in my hand luggage. Anyway, we're safely on board and 3 and 4 are happily glued to the screen in front of them - just like being at home then! - and my beloved (TMWDNTL) is on his fourth drink and deciding what treats lie in store later in the trip.

To be continued...

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