I'm sitting in Starbucks off Union Square, its 6:30 here in Manhattan and I'm wide awake. I made it until about 9:30 last night but then fell soundly asleep until 2:30AM, 8:30AM London time of course. The relative quiet of my room at Seafarers International house was awesome.
The flight home was a Godsend as well. I went up to the desk to ask if I could change from a center to an aisle seat. The lady said no problem, she moved me to row 31 and said that it was likely nobody else would be beside me. So yes, I had a whole row to myself for the flight home. As it turned out we all could have had our own rows as the back third of the plane was pretty much empty.
Following all instructions we arrived at Heathrow three hours in advance of our flight, the Picadilly line was much more crowded that we expected it to be for 7:30 on a sunday morning. But when we got to heathrow, there was no waiting at the continental desk to check in for our flight, and there was virtually no waiting in the security line either. So, we had plenty of time to sit around the gate area and wait for our flight. I think we all spent more time waiting to get through passport control at Newark than we did in the security line at Heathrow.
We just missed the 3:15 train to New York Penn Station, so we ended up having to wait there for the 4:04. Every other hour of the day has an xx:28 train to Penn station except for 3pm. Once we got into the city we had to get subway passes for everyone. Unlike London, it is impossible in New York to use a credit card to by 26 unlimited passes. So, we had to trudge to the Herald Square station and have everyone line up to use their own cards to get their subway passes for the two days here in New York.
Finally, about 4 hours after landing we made it to Seafarers. It is midnight London time, but everyone was excited to eat some american food, and catch the end of the Packers, Bears game. More american football was to come with the Steelers and the Jets. Craig and I went to watch the end of the Packers game at TGI Fridays, and then headed out to Pete's Tavern. It was great to have an American hamburger, with blue cheese! I loved the fish and chips at all of the london pubs, but it was really nice to be back home. Although we are still a 3 hour flight from Minneapolis I feel like we are close enough to home to reach out and touch it.
Today we have a group meeting at 9, then a speaker from NBC Olympics at 10. Everyone is on their own for the day after our speaker, until we have our final group dinner tonight. Tomorrow will be a busy day as we have a meeting in Connecticut, and then by mid afternoon the group will begin to disperse for the various flights back home.