I'm so looking forward to Ginny and Gabe's wedding although a bit stressed about my trip to Chicago and then to Carolina. Mainly because I want to pack too much. Every woman will know what I mean. I always take a back pack it's very useful, but now I don't put quite as much in. On one trip a few years ago I actually took out fifty items, including four sets of china. I feel weak just thinking about that now.
Every time I plan such a long trip, I think to myself, 'Am I too old to jet off on such long trips.' Then I think, 'What the hell, if I pop off on the way there I won't know and someone else will have to sort it out.' Selfish or what! I have a friend who still travels on cruises and looks after her friend who goes with her. My friend is in her 92nd year, in fact when her husband passed on, she learnt to drive at over 70 and passed her test first time. Then drove over to Europe, she is one very bright and brave lady! She is an inspiration to me and when I start to worry, I think about her and get on with things. Life is an adventure and has to be investigated. When I'm asked how did you do this or that, I just say, 'I didn't know I couldn't.'
That's enough about me. I was watching the church service on television on Sunday, it was in the Liverpool Cathedral. They were celebrating the anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. Afterwards they showed Liverpool harbour, which was filled with many ships who had come from all over the world to be there for the occasion. On one of them there were a small group of men who had served in the navy during WW2.
One of the old sailors was telling a story about being at sea in 1943. He was talking about how they would often be short of food, and that when they had a very quiet time they would drop a depth charge. It would stun the fish, and they would float to the top of the sea. Then the sailors would collect them, and they would have fish and chips for dinner for a couple of nights.
Another man who was there, was talking about the sinking of the Bismark on the 26th May 1943. He had been a pilot in the Airforce, and was one of the fifty planes who went out on that night to try to sink the ship. He was presented with a medal in 1980 as it had been proven it was his torpedo that had hit the ship, that sank it. He filled up and said. 'I will never forget all those German sailors we had to leave in the sea. they were just like us and only doing their duty.' He was so sad even after all those years had passed, he made me cry
The ships were in Liverpool to celebrate the anniversary because it became the main port when the Channel had to be closed.
572 boys aged 16 to 17 years old lost their lives during the war, serving in our Royal Navy. Now we we look at our children and think how could that have happened!
I started to write my blog just before I left for Chicago and was sure I would get it finished before I left. So many plans don't go how you think they will do they? Several things had to be sorted before hand so I never had time to finish it.
My son Paul and grandson Ben took me to the airport and came in to see me off which was very nice for me. Of course I thought I would finish my blog on the plane or in a day or two in Chicago.
I had no problem getting through customs in Manchester and soon settled down on the plane. Although the plane was something else! It was only three seats on each side of one aisle, and it was like travelling on a road with pot holes all the way to the next stop. As it was an eight hour ride, I just took a couple more travel pills and drank wine. Didn't use my computor! I have travelled on many the size it was, but only on short journey's to Europe, and internally in the States. The two men sitting on my row both commented on it. How the United Airline staff managed to serve us food and drinks so well, I don't know. They were one of the nicest and most helpful group of airline staff I have met on my travels.
I had to change in Dulles and I had asked for help. I thought it would be on a buggy, but they brought a wheel chair and the man taking me through didn't understand my foreign language! He had only been in the USA three years. He was very nice and really wanted to help me. When we got to the arrivals the suitcases had been taken off and left in heaps to pick up. I had bought a new suitcase a couple of days before I left and we couldn't find it. There I was, being pushed up and down the aisles and no suitcase in any of them. As I couldn't see them all I wanted to get out of the chair to look, but this poor guy get pushing me back in.
'If any of you remember the comedy show where one of the characters was always in a wheel chair, but jumped out as soon as his carer turned his back.' I felt just like that!
He even took me to a desk and they checked it had been off loaded, so it had to be there. Still we couldn't find it, then finally a couple of other porters came to look, and of course there it was! if I had been able to stand up I would have seen it.
Then we went to go through the check out and I was stopped by a very serious guy who brought my handbag to me and asked, 'Have you any containers with fluids in you shouldn't have in your bag.' I had put my plastic bag with make up, etc into the container seperate from my handbag. I had to think, what it could be, so went to open my bag. He immediately took it off me and snapped, 'Dont touch it.' I realised I had cleaned my teeth on the plane and told him, it could be my toothpaste. He then opened my bag and took the plastic bag with toothpaste and brush out. Then my next container stopped because my helpful chair man had put my notebook in the same container as my back pack, so we had to go back to put it into a container on it's own. So much for getting help to get through quickly. We had to rush to get to the next flight, I felt stupid, the poor man puffed away as he pushed the chair. I usually give them a tip of about $5 dollers but felt so sorry for him pulled $10 out to give him. Bad idea, when my back pack slipped on my knee I'd forgotten I had the money in my hand so had dropped it. All I had in change was $7 so we both lost out, as still he was happy, I didn't feel so bad.
It was going to be plain sailing when I finally sat down on the plane to Chicago as I was going to meet Pat when I arrived there. She was flying in from Charlotte around the same time. Not quite to be. After rather a long stretch on the ground the pilot announced, that we could be quite some time as all flights to Chicago were being held up as an important person from the White House was flying into Chicago and all planes were grounded until he had landed. We found out afterwards that it was President Obahma. We were grounded for nearly an hour but the pilot caught up and we were only half an hour late and as my friend Pat had been held up as well we practically bumped into each other.
Chicago was something else, a very beautiful city. Pat and I stayed overnight at an Inn, the family were coming in the next day and we are all going to stay in several apartments on the same floor which will be fun.
As I have only managed to get to Chicago in my blog so far and I don't want to bore you all to death. I'm going to say bye for now and will write about the wedding and the city next.
Love to all