The weather was gorgeous, 70 degrees, brilliant blue sky, no wind. However, I found myself (and wife) headed to the airport to have Thanksgiving Dinner with Kurt and Nic, and a few fortunate friends. By now, my readers know that Kurt and Nic live in Evesham, England and I live in Round Rock, Texas. And, yes, we were just popping over for dinner. Well, perhaps a slight exaggeration, but not much.
Traveling with Ms. Platinum is so much better than the average peon. We always get seated right after first class. But for this trip, Ms. P got us up-graded to First or Business Class all the way there and back. On one of the flights I was actually the first person down the jetway. No fighting for overhead space, spacious seats that reclined all the way down to flat (which I didn't do), all the alcohol I could drink. I will say this now, I stayed extremely moderate in consumption, both on the planes and at Kurt's, so the amount I turned down would boggle your mind.
We left Thursday, Austin to Dallas to London Heathrow, arriving Friday morning. Kurt met us and we drove the two hours northwest to Evesham. Conventional wisdom indicates a nap in the afternoon usually sets your body-clock, and that is what Marilane did. Kurt had arranged for me to have a massage with his super-therapist, Sara, so that was my afternoon relaxation.
The afternoons are short, with the sun setting just after 4pm, and it gets dark early. Nic had fixed Marilane's favorite (favourite) dinner, steak and ale pie. I did the best I could, but had to call it an evening at 7:35, went upstairs and was asleep by 7:45. Marilane held on 'til 9. The sun woke me at 7:30am, but I hadn't really had 12 hours sleep. More like 10 hours, with some awake time around 2am.
Nic had all preparations well in hand, so we had time this morning for exercise. Nic went for a run (which was at least 10k, probably longer but that account escapes me). Marilane did some exploratory walking all over Evesham, and Kurt took me on a 5 0r 6 mile hike, around Evesham (like circumnavigation). After lunch I laid down for a nap, but my body-clock thought it was 8am. The rest of the afternoon's activities were house-prep for the ten guests.
This is a sought-after invitation, restricted because of space, so I felt badly that we took the place of two of their friends. But, Thanksgiving is, afterall, about family and friends. It originated while Kurt was at school in Edinburgh (Scotland). He and a few American friends (with help) put together a Thanksgiving dinner and voila! a tradition was born. Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin (which, it turns out, was butternut squash) and pecan pies, potatoes. No greenbean casarole (thank goodness, I'm not a fan). Guests started arriving shortly before 7pm and last one left somewhere around 12:30am. We did a fair amount of cleaning up, then I fell into bed.
The next morning, Sunday, we slept late (7:30 for me), and after breakfast and additional cleaning up and getting the house back together, it was time to leave for the airport. We did a side-trip to Stratford for a short stroll and lunch at one of their favourite places, Lambs. Then it was off to London and the Heathrow Hilton.
We up-graded to the executive floor, which includes snacks, lots of alcohol (available, not consumed), canapes, and breakfast. Wanting to be sure of ourselves when sherping luggage, we did a dry-run to the check-in. You can walk to the terminal from the hotel, then take a train to whichever terminal your departure is from. Early to bed, early to rise, have breakfast, hang around, fly home. We were home at 10pm Monday night.
Now, it is time to get back to cycling.