Mrs Gump may have maintained that life is like a box of chocolates but for my money, you never know what you're gonna get when you pack a suitcase a) drunk or b) hungover.
After the Boxing Day birthday lunch, I returned home to finish the last of my packing and then watched “Sister Act” on TV. I cried whenever Whoopie Goldberg and her choir of nuns sang, and again when Harvey Keitel finally got arrested. I have seen that movie thousands of times and never cried, so I’m totally blaming the red wine and general holiday gluttony for this one.
To be honest, I really should have known better than to over-indulge on this particular occasion, because I had been looking forward to the next morning (December 27) for ages. Not only did that date herald a move to my new sublet situation, it was also the day I was leaving for my
On the day in question I got up quite early and was mercifully spared anything resembling a hangover. That said, I did enjoy a breakfast of Nurofen and Diet Coke, so perhaps that helped.
After a quick shower and a last cleanup of the bedroom, my car service turned up on time to take me to my new (albeit temporary and sublet) home. Lugging all my suitcases down the four flights of stone steps and into the car represented the only cardio exercise I have done in months, so even though it nearly killed me it was probably worth it. While my fledgling biceps were still warm (or at least momentarily stunned), I then dragged a couple of suitcases UP three flights of stairs into my new place, before locking the door behind me and driving off.
The car then took me out to Paddington Station, where I paused for a coffee before taking the Heathrow Express out to the airport. I arrived 5 hours early which I’ll admit was not really my plan and in retrospect was both unnecessary and kind of ridiculous. I am not really sure what was going through my head when I booked the car so early. It was probably a combination of fear that the car wouldn’t show up (or else show up late), and my worry that the airport train would be late (or not running at all), which would all ultimately result in my being late to Heathrow and potentially missing my flight. Totally irrational fears when you lay them out like that, but when you’ve had a couple of madcap weeks like I have, perhaps I was really sensible in the long run.
Things weren’t so bad once I actually got to Heathrow. I was one of the first people to check in for my flight when the gate opened and by that time, the thunder & lightning storms in
The flight was uneventful, for which I am of course grateful. I didn’t sleep a wink because I was so excited to be visiting
Once I arrived at O’Hare I was shocked and annoyed to be part of the longest passport control & immigration queue I think I’ve ever seen. It took me nearly 90 minutes to get to the front, all the while three Italian tourists behind me invaded my personal space every time the line moved. They poked me with their jackets, kicked my ankles a few times, and the guy even tripped over my roll-along suitcase in his haste to get as close to me as he could. And just when I got to the front of the queue, a customs official appeared out of nowhere and opened a brand new line that the Italians rushed to join. Turns out they got to the front of that line and cleared passport control a good 20 minutes before I did. Bastardi.
Once I was through passport control and customs, I caught up with LH in the Arrivals Hall at O’Hare – she was so good to wait for me that whole time! We drove to Target to pick up some supplies and then headed back to her place where the adorable
The allergy tablets I’d picked up at Target helped me coexist with the two Persian cats that populate LH’s apartment. The cats (Simon and Norman) belong to LH’s room mate who was visiting his family in
Tuesday morning, after a wonderful sleep, we got up and headed into the city for lunch with my friend, Courts. We met in this little Lebanese diner in the
Speaking of lovely, LH and I spent the rest of the afternoon just wandering down
For our evening meal I decided I wanted to have a traditional
The next morning we were up early-ish and I had coffee with a friend Downtown while LH drove
Afterwards, I went along with LH and LA to see “The King’s Speech” at the cinema that is part of the bowling alley building. Hmm perhaps the bowling alley is part of the cinema building. Ugh whatever, you get the idea. The movie was fantastic and we all really enjoyed it. Funny because only the week before at Christmas, Gus the Wonderdog’s parents had asked me whether I thought Colin Firth was hot. I replied that I was certainly in love with him as Mr Darcy (in “Pride & Prejudice”) but I fell out of love with him when I saw his dodgy kissing in “Bridget Jones’s Diary” – good kissing is a selling point, you see. Having seen “The King’s Speech” I can certainly tell you that I’m back in love with him, kissing prowess aside. I think he is amazing in that film and I don’t know whether acting ability wins Oscars anymore but in Colin’s case it certainly should.
It was really nice to just hide out and do relaxing things in
Sleep came very easily that night and I remember getting up the next morning so relieved that the day’s social engagements did not start early. We headed to Ann Sather's in LH’s neighbourhood for a delicious brunch, including a takeaway order of the famous cinnamon rolls that I had been mysteriously craving for days. They did not disappoint.
In the afternoon we drove to the
Early the next morning it was time to farewell my sweet home
But hey, that’s a story for another time. Or at least for Post #3.