August 28: Our first night away we checked into a hotel in Richmond which was not without incident. We arrived to find our reservations here and in NY had been canceled. Once we sorted that out we went out for a last dinner with Sarah, James and Adam. It is really hard to be leaving them all behind.
August 29: Landed in New York, again not without incident. We were up at 4:30 am for a 5:00 shuttle, which arrived only a few minutes late. It sort of rolled quietly into the parking lot. We should have suspected something. The gentleman driver was great. He went to great length to very carefully sort and load the luggage, domestic here, international there, us somewhere in between because I still had no idea. At this point I was not at all frantic. I was relaxed, calm and pretty much just still asleep.
He was so fastidious that again, we should have suspected something from his lack of enthusiasm for jumping back into the driver’s seat. Then we were off and (sorry Adam) but he reminded me of your recent driving practice. I wanted to prompt him to not ride the clutch. Just give it gas and ease off on the clutch. Then I realized the bus was not a standard shift. Clearly the transmission was dying rapidly. But we rolled on and coasted in to the passenger pick up at the Hampton Court Hotel just down the street. At least we were headed in the right direction.
We picked up a couple more people so 10 of altogether in this little early morning run to the airport. Several headed for 6:30 am departures, at least one couple expecting to also get through customs. But, there was a hill in our way. So our valiant driver took a run at coasting up the hill. Didn’t make it but reverse worked well. Unfortunately his second run at the hill was started from a dead stop closer to the hill than the Hampton Court parking lot and so we didn’t make it up even as far the second time. Someone suggested he should radio for taxis, which he did…. or at least a taxi, while he reversed back down Bridgeport Road, through a red light at the intersection at the bottom of the wee hill, and back into the Hampton Court parking lot. But to his credit, he did miss the pillars. We scrambled off, taxis arrived and in four more minutes we were delivered free of charge as promised to the airport, Robert, Hannah and I in two separate cabs because of all our bags.
Thankfully we were flying from the domestic terminal and with now an hour to wait had just time enough for a first coffee, a bathroom break and reorganization #1 of our luggage.
August 30, Today we trained into Manhattan to show Hannah the sites, or at least to start with it all. It was fun to watch her reaction to the tall, tall buildings, the swarm of people, all the stores, the ads, and the food. It was a great start.
August 31: So the news of the day is a complete hard drive crash requiring warranty replacement of my brand new computer! As of yet I still don’t have it back but hopefully it will be up and running before we fly on to London. Thank heavens for good friends who have been willing to drive us all over tracking down service people to do the repair! Hannah and I both have cold sores from the stress, but we’re in NY with our good friends, being well taken care of, so it isn’t all bad. Tomorrow we move to a Manhattan hotel and go to a Broadway show after a meal out. It should be fun.
If you want to read more of our trip, carry on to the Sept Photos.