Monday, January 31, 2011

Highlights from Day One in Bath

The old Hotel Argyll (left) and Royal Hotel (right) while looking up at the architecture on Broad Street, just across from the Train Station.

 The James Bond Taxi Cab!

My room with a view of my bed.

I even have a couch in my room!

The Fish and Chips we went out for tonight.  The food was great and it allowed the seven of us to bond more here at Northampton.


So as of 1300 GMT this afternoon, I am now a citizen of Bath, United Kingdom.  But getting here was a hard road.  The red-eye journey from Newark to London was a bit of a nightmare.  I could not get sleep for the life of me.  Every time I seemed to get comfortable, the pressure in the cabin would change causing me to wake up and start all over again.  I was lucky in that I was paired up with a fellow with a similar issue.  Zach was on his way back to Capetown in South Africa after studying abroad at Skidmore this past Semester.  He too could not get to sleep.  At one point I almost was asleep 15 minutes when the pressure changed.  Thats when I noticed Zach and his grin.  "Hey Nick, the movie channel on board has a Tarantino marathon on, wanna watch?"  How could I say no to that?  So that was basically how I passed my time.  It was fun however and Zach was a nice guy.  It ended up being enjoyable.
 From Heathrow, I took a train that connected me to Paddington Station in London.  After picking my railcard and discounted tickets, I was on my way to Bath.  I arrived at one o'clock in the afternoon here and had moved in shortly thereafter.  The seven of us living here spent most of the day getting to know each other.  Every on seems to be really nice.  We have already walked to the center of the get fish and chips.  We also walked through the famous Circus this evening.  It is truly astonishing and I will return to get photos of it later.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Scenes from a Mexican Restaurant (Inside Newark-Liberty Airport)

So this is a live word-picture of what I am seeing here in Newark-Liberty.  As I write this I am sitting in a small Mexican Restaurant inside the C-Terminal in Newark, New Jersey.  The flight from Syracuse went well.  I have never been on a turbo-prop before.  It was an interesting experience.  After talking this past fall to a riding mechanic of PBY Catalinas during the Second World War, I have a greater respect for prop-planes.

While in Syracuse waiting with my parents to depart, my dad and I took notice of the TSA's video explaining new screening processes.  One of the things was about not making jokes about terrorism or anything else while in line.   While this makes sense, it would have been better if it was all in bold print.  It instead read "Don't Make Jokes" in bold print with everything else smaller.  I feel this brings up interesting morale questions.  Are there designated joke-making areas like the smoking areas at the airports where one can make jokes without penalty? What happens when a Comedian wants to fly, does he take a private jet instead?  Is a blonde joke grounds for tazing if the TSA officer is blonde or is that profiling?  Interesting questions but sadly no answer.

Here in Newark, things are calm.  Travelers seem to have a mutual respect for one another.  We are all pilgrims together...even if our destinations are different.  Newark is Huge!  I am greatly entertained by the shuttles Continental has that consist of Stretch-limo style golf carts.  I must admit that I would love to get an opportunity to drive one of these on a golf about style.  Everything seems to be on schedule and it looks like I will be in the air for London soon.  The next time I write, I will finally be on English Soil.  Until then, this has been Newark Calling.