Hurrah. I'm finally Stateside.
I'm struggling a bit with jet-lag - I do like sleeping. I did however get what I believe to be a couple of hours kip on the plane over, which was nice.
The films on the plane were so good, I hardly had time to eat or drink without losing concentration. Watched Total Recall, Batman and Avengers Assemble. I decided to leave Prometheus and Spiderman for the return journey. I also watched a rather random drama called 'Accused' starring Sean Bean as a transvestite who became embroiled in a murder. On paper sounds horrific - but it was rather good. So relieved that Sean only has one accent. Northern. Which he really pulls off to a tee!
As I'd treated myself to Premium Economy it was nice to be sipping my champagne as all the economy passengers were traipsing through the plane to their seat. Thankfully they didn't see me sit on my reading glasses (AKA 'me readers') as I was faffing about in the overhead locker and getting tangled in my headphone cable.
Lovely meals on board. Lunch was lasagne, served with chocolate sponge-type affair. Afternoon tea was sandwiches without crusts and a muffin. I did however break my no drinking rules, as I'd quaffed the champagne (well, sparkling wine to be fair), white wine (several) with lunch - and best of all a giant Baileys after lunch - perhaps these actions go some way to explain why I managed to sleep a bit. Oh and obviously I managed to spill quite a bit down my front. It's a nice look on an 8 hour flight.
Disappointingly not much by way of excitement on the plane. No hilarious passengers, no hot cabin crew. Mind you it was a bit choppy - the seatbelt lights were on for most of the flight - and you know its getting bad when they ask the cabin crew to take their seats...
So Dulles airport hasn't modernised itself it seems. The lines in immigration were ridiculous. How any of the athletes coming from the US to London for the Games had room to complain of the wait at OUR immigration is beyond me. It took me well over 90 mins to get through. GRR. At least I have finally learned to be more succinct with the immigration people. WIthout actually telling them my life story - eg occupation; work for a bank; what I am I doing here?; holiday. Tho I do hope that I don't either commit a crime here, or disappear as the photo that they take must look horrific; I'd hate that to be shown on TV/wanted posters - me without spectacles, looking in to the middle distance in slightly the wrong direction, after a long haul flight. Always a good look I find.
So happily Darren was already at the airport to collect me, whisking us to Silver Spring, and my home for the next few days.
I was a bit all over the place having been up for nearly 24 hours - so dinner was simple pizza at the Italian 'round the corner. It was delicious. I was v hungry and to be fair would have eaten anything. Early night for me thereafter.
It's a holiday weekend here. And today is Veterans Day.
Woke up starving again. And after spilling an overfull cup of coffee all over the bed, it was off for breakfast, slash lunch because it was so late to Great Eggspectaions. My favourite egg-based restaurant. Delicious omelette containing bacon, peppers and sausage set me up for the day.
After grabbing vanilla latte and the metro card it was in to DC to see the Martin Luther King monument (slight photo stream erratum means I cant get it on my iPad - I'll have to share that with you at some point in the future - but it's vg, and I'd say a must see if you're passing DC).
Weather is incredible here today - must be about 21 degrees with no humidity. So unlike my usual visits I could actually stay outside and enjoy the walk down the National Mall (see pictures above of Washington Monument and the WWII monument and reflecting pools) without having to stop for a frappucino every 20 metres.
Dinner this evening (I suspect a bit early for Darren - but due to my jet lag I was hungry again) was at Gordon Birsch brewery restaurant - a DC favorite of mine. I mainly had a raspberry based cocktail and chicken and avocado sandwich, which was VG.
Now we're back at Darrens apartment - and as I type this he's watching the Amazing Race. Once again a game show that shows Americans at their worst (ie no grasp that in Moscow perhaps they dont speak English). Perhaps Barack could make everyone here own an atlas so there is a basic grasp of geography. Maybe that's a bit unfair - but I remember last time I was here one of the waitresses who had done a trip to the UK and Europe replied "seeing Versailles" to my question of what was your favourite bit of visiting England. Or find more 'ordinary' ordinary people to take part in their quizzes.....
Oooh in other news if you look at google earth you see the info comes from the NOAA - which is just across the road from where I am. Darren says they also do weather forecasting - and they often get it wrong in Silver Spring. The answer? LOOK OUT OF YOUR WINDOW. Buffoons.
Tomorrow weather is also due to be good - and the plan is do either Baltimore or the Old Town. Right - bed for me now - it's 2040hrs but my body thinks it's 0140 tomorrow morning....
Also special shout out to Lindsay - It's her birthday today!!