Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Despite my planning, I woke this morning at 5:45 AM and couldn't get back to sleep. I scheduled myself for the later flight today (12:45 PM) so I wouldn't have to get up at the crack of dawn, but it seems my body had other ideas. I've been up for a while now, and I don't have anything to do until at least 8 AM, when Tesco opens and I can buy more Cadbury's chocolates to take home for Liz. So I've been surfing and planning the next two days, which promise to be busy as I get home and have only a few hours tomorrow to finish arrangements for our trip to Mississippi on Thursday.

On Sunday I went to Broadstairs to visit my grandmother and cousin. I had a good time seeing them, and it was a refreshing change of pace to get out of the city for a few hours and see rural England again. My grandmother is still in good health and looking forward to coming to California in a few weeks. I had hoped to get some work done or at least play around on my laptop on the train, but the train was crowded in both directions with beachgoers and the seats were far too cramped for me to do anything, even read comfortably. Amtrak it was not -- more like a commuter train. At least I had a seat both ways. After I got back to London I had to walk around Leicester Square for a while to stretch my legs out. I remembered Rob Truhn's comment about taking the bus from Washington, DC, to New York ("it's the train for my ass") and wondered how he would handle this particular train.

Monday was a mostly normal work day for me, albeit in a different city. I had lunch at a Japanese restaurant, Wagamama, where I had a chicken and rice dish with a thick broth of mushrooms and vegetables and some duck gyoza dumplings. After work we went to the Bishop of Norrich pub near the office for some Old Wallop, and then to a Thai restaurant for dinner. I had pork and prawn dumplings and a seafood stir-fry, plus some pad thai-style noodles. I also enjoyed enormous quantities of wine, so I'm glad that I don't have much of a hangover this morning. I don't think it would be too pleasant to get on a plane feeling queasy. But I did accomplish my goal of getting drunk on my firm's dime.

One other bit of news: my travel schedule has changed. One of my co-workers isn't able to go to Frankfurt at the end of July for that upgrade, so I'm going in his place. It wasn't entirely unexpected, though I wish it were Rome instead. Aside from the beer, I don't think there's much to see or do in Frankfurt. And I don't speak a word of German anymore (I had learned a little when I was in preschool, many years ago). Maybe now is a good time to go to the Heidelburg Restaurant at 86th and 2nd so I can get a preview of the cuisine I'll be eating for a week. At least I'll be done with my work on this project one week earlier, I won't have to go to DC for their upgrade, and I get the rest of August to enjoy the new apartment and prep for the NYC Century ride.

That's it for me until I get back to New York. Time to pack my stuff and get outta here.

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