Travel Notes – Going Home Edition

It has been a long two weeks in Europe. A good set of meetings, and less hectic that trips to the continent commonly are (6 countries in 4 days, all by car is standard fare).

I got to spend almost a whole week in England, for the most part based in London. The last three days were in a itty bitty hotel room near Paddington Station. Convenient, but cramped (the bed took up the whole width of the room, there wasn’t a proper desk to work on). Fortunately I barely had time to sleep in this room.

There is nothing like getting a text at 3:00 AM telling you that your flight back is canceled. That gets the adrenaline flowing right quick! Fortunately, I am NOT stuck for another day.

Pro-Tip: Having status, and being a million mile flier means that even in these times of crappy customer service, and fees out the wazoo, United did rebook me automatically

This trip was chaotic, and changed several times while I was en route. From changing meetings and agendas, to different cities, and expectations, it wasn’t boring, but it did make it tight.

I originally packed with the intention to do some laundry on Monday. Unfortunately, I had two more hotel changes before that so I was a bit cramped for clean clothes. Finally, on Wednesday, I was able to get some clean clothes to finish the week, and to have clean jeans for the flight home. Whoopee!

I am a bit disappointed in the number of hotels that charge for internet. My cheapest room here was about $170 a night (up to $250) and two of the hotels gouged me for another $14 – $25 for internet (or had internet that was so slow as to be useless, thus guiding me to pay for the faster service.

I don’t know how people can afford to live in London. Not just the cost of a flat, but even a tube fare is like 4 quid (about half price if you have an oyster card). That is stupid expensive. Cabs? Fuggedaboutit. I will say the system is efficient, and mostly clean, even during rush hour. Meals are expensive. I tried my best to get to out of the way places, but it was not uncommon for a simple meal to be $40 or more without alcohol. Sigh.

Well, I am at LHR, waiting for my gate to be announced, and then to head home. Instead of arriving at 7:30 PM, I will get in at midnight, so I will be home late. But I will be home. Yay!

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