Whew...Back Home. I Need A Vacation!
Trip Start Jul 28, 1998
17Trip End Aug 13, 1998
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Where I stayed
At Paddington, we caught the Heathrow Express to the airport. I loved how convenient this service was. Twenty minutes from central London to Heathrow was a dream. It made me want to stay near Paddington on my next trip to Great Britain.
We checked in and waited for our flight. At 10:00 a.m., we boarded the plane for San Francisco. We left London at 10:30 a.m. The flight turned out to be pretty good. The pilot never turned on the seat belt sign other than at takeoff and at landing. At 1:30 p.m., (isn't travelling across time zones weird?) we touched down in San Francisco. It was a clear day, with a typical strong breeze blowing in off the Bay. Everything was familiar again. Yet, I was already missing some of the idiosyncrasies that I had seen over the last few days. But, the draining of adrenaline from my body took over and I started getting very sleepy.
We were picked up at the airport by the uncle of one of my friends. After some swapping of luggage, we were on our way back to the San Joaquin Valley. We stopped to eat along the way. While I was munching on my cheeseburger (yes, I recognize the irony of having avoided "the full fry" on my trip only to have a cheeseburger when I returned), I marveled at my good luck for living in this time. I am living in a time where I can have breakfast in a nice hotel in London, and dinner that same day at an In-And-Out Burger in Gilroy, California. That's simply amazing.
For something that was put together on the spur of the moment, this trip was one of the most fun experiences I've ever enjoyed. Sure, it had its little potholes, but what trip doesn't. What I mostly remember is the variety that I saw. I saw a lot of things that I hadn't seen before, and returned to a lot of places that I had enjoyed in the past. It turned out to be a great balance of old and new (appropriately weighted 70% new/30% old).
The best part of it all was that I got to share the experience with some great friends. It just adds so much more to a trip when you see someone you know is going through the same emotional response as you are. And my friends are the best sharers in the world. We laughed a lot, fought a little, and shared one of the best times of our lives on this trip. We all complement each other so well that the sum of our interactions is truly greater than the parts. So, to the friends that accompanied me, I say thank you. You've given me a great experience to cherish. I can only hope that I've given you back a portion of the good will that you've given me with your presence.
I hope you've found this travelogue to be entertaining and informative. Thanks for reading!!