Emancipating wanderlust travel blog

Meeting Grandpa


I am finally in London - a bit outside of the city, actually - and doing ok with jetlag. The flight here was fine except for the woman next to me with serious overhang. She was incredibly nice, it just made for a very uncomfortable 7 hours to Manchester.

For the first few hours of the flight from Calgary I kept waiting for someone to come around with pop and water but they never did. Finally I had to go back looking for some and found out I had to pay for it. £1.50 for a half litre! Good thing I got a seat sale or else I might have to complain about the service.

The one hour stopover in Manchester turned into two hours. The plane was all but empty. The few of us remaining had a bit of a party, wandering around the plane and talking with each other, helping ourselves to refreshments. Everyone was anxious to get to Gatwick. I was exhausted so after a few drinks I curled up in the row I now had to myself and had a wee nap. When I woke up we were in the air. Nobody came to tell me to get my feet off the seats or take my headphones out. Sweet!

I didn't see any flight attendants or other staff between Manchester and Gatwick. When I finally got to Gatwick I kind of forgot that I had my UK passport with me and I could probably use it to get past customs even though it's in the wrong name. So I stood in line with all the other tourists. For 1.5 hours. Then when I did finally get to an official she was incredibly miserable and gave me a hard time for not knowing off the top of my head what sights I was going to see in London. I managed to avoid the rubber gloves by mentioning I was staying with family. She asked if they were there to pick me up and I said they were, so she stamped my passport, gave me one last unpleasant scowl, and off I went.

I went to find my luggage after my interrogation. I had been in the customs line so long that my flight information was cleared off the arrivals board and off the luggage carousels. I wandered around all the luggage and finally spotted my bag still rolling along the carousel with several others. Looks like I was actually near the front of our group in the customs queue.

By the time I got to Anne and Gary waiting for me, it was 12:30. It was so great to see them again! I have only met them a few times - when they came to Canada for a visit and at Ally's wedding - but they are so fabulous I am glad I may be moving much closer to them.

We came back to their place and I ditched my bags and changed before we went off to visit Grandpa. I was so excited to meet him! How weird is it to be an adult and never to have met a grandparent? I was nervous, I admit, but had no reason to be. He is the sweetest man and we had a great visit.

From Grandpa's we went grocery shopping. Gary was supposed to go but had lost his wallet last night so he had to bring Anne with him for money. So I am the first of my immediate family to experience the UK supermarket tour.

When we got back to the house Gary made us dinner and then cancelled his various cards lost in the wallet. Shortly afterward, the cab company they took the night before called and said they had found his wallet. He ran off to get it and when he came back showed us the condom that had magically appeared inside it. Anne says it's a good thing she takes money out of his wallet all of the time or she might be suspicious! We had a pretty good laugh at the look on his face when he saw it in there.

Alison came over after dinner and ate some leftovers and we had a good visit with her. Gary's son Tim came by too with a really big TV. He is moving in tomorrow and was moving his stuff out of his flat. He is pretty fun and we had a brief chat before he took off again.

I finally headed up for bed at 9:30pm. Not very late but not bad after a long day. I was pretty exhausted as I was flossing my teeth, forgetting about my temporary crown until it came flying out of my mouth. So now I have British teeth. Good thing the crown is way in the back of my mouth! And at least now I have a reason to go back home.

I managed to sleep through until 1:30am and then couldn't get back to sleep, so I made a cup of tea and tried to get on the computer but it wouldn't start. I really hope turning on a computer isn't part of my skills test in Switzerland because it seems to be beyond my abilities.



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