Diary Gallery Kit
Saturday 19th July - Manchester UK Previous Top End Next

A fairly simple day this one. We got up at a reasonable time as the flight to Chicago was late morning. I had breakfast but Dave didn't bother, he didn't miss anything spectacular. We got a ride to the airport in a large Chevy SUV with blacked out windows (the paint work was black too), so now I know how pimps and rap stars feel as they cruise about the place... I spent almost the entire flight looking out of the window to see the ground below as Dave had been in this position during our inbound flight. On arrival in Chicago O'Hare, we were faced with a three hour gap to fill, so we decided that lunch downtown was the bright thing to do. This involved first finding our way to the railway terminal, which is easier said than done as the signage is somewhat confusing. Then a half hour train ride into one of the underground stations in the downtown area followed by a walk to find a place to eat. We turned up outside another supposedly famous place, the name of which escapes me (no, it wasn't Burger King). Dave made the mistake of ordering a menu item purporting to be a turkey sandwich. What actually arrived was a turkey in a bun, or a close approximation thereof. At least they'd seen fit to slice it into thin slivers and remove protruding bits like feet and head. Once again, Dave was thoroughly outfaced by his choice and left a sizable proportion on the plate.

Time, we noticed, was passing us by and we needed to get back to the airport pretty quickly else we would miss the flight home. We retraced our steps having seen all of half a block of central Chicago, a little disappointing but needs must etc. etc. The timing turned out be just right as we arrived back at the airport as I was starting to fret about being late, which I do when my permanent twenty minute margin vanishes. Boarding was taking place as we arrived at the gate so there was no hanging around and we were flying shortly thereafter. The journey was as boring as an eight hour stint in a flying aluminium pipe is apt to be, punctuated only by Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant hamming it up in Two Weeks Notice and a couple of plastic concoctions masquerading as food. I managed to read a couple of chapters of The Skunk Works before drifting off to sleep for a short while. We arrived at Manchester airport at 7:30am as scheduled to find that our lift had not arrived. We stood outside the terminal building for twenty minutes then rang home to check that he'd actually got out of bed. 'He's on his way', was the reply. Eventually the automotive equivalent of an arthritic donkey on speed hove into view and proceeded to go screaming straight through the pickup area and out the other side in a frenzy of squealing budget tyres and rasping blown exhaust. Dave and I just looked at each other and laughed 'He's a knob isn't he!', was the comment if memory serves correctly, but you would have to know Jasper to appreciate the scene fully. So, a ride back to the house in a mobile scrap yard made for quite and amusing finish to our trip...

Saturday 19th July - Manchester UK Previous Top End Next