April 16, 2012:
Wow. When I scheduled a whole day for travel (every time I needed to travel) I was hoping it wouldn’t actually take the WHOLE DAY!
I was up at 7:30am for breakfast (bus to the airport was at 8:30am, according to the front desk guy who printed out a schedule for me that didn’t even have the nearby stop’s time on it, so I was wary). I said goodbye to BookCrossing friends who remained at the hotel. I passed Cinnamon-Quill & mum in the dining room on my way up to get my bags. They said they were heading to the airport in a few minutes and offered to let me split a cab with them! So it turns out I didn’t even need to worry about those useless bus timetables. The ride to the airport was lovely and pleasant and I was so grateful for it!
I went straight to the Aer Lingus desk at the airport to pay for a second checked bag, considering that I’d had to do that on the flight from Cardiff to Dublin. My bag definitely didn’t fit in the little tester bin thingy. But the people eyed my little bag and said it should be fine (and that the plane would be slightly bigger than the ones out of Cardiff) but that I should ask the people at the ticket desk. So I went to get my boarding pass and put my backpack up to be weighed as I demonstrated that my bag wouldn’t fit in the tester bin. The woman said it should be fine and when I turned back around, my backpack was gone. So I ended up having to throw away the pair of scissors I’d bought in Cardiff, not able to check it.
I sat around for a while. It was one of those airports where they don’t announce the gates until the plane arrives at it. Those places make me nervous. I kept looking over at the sign a bazillion times. I started reading Tipping the Velvet which I had picked out of that revolving sculpture the day before at Trinity. It had been wild released by a fellow BookCrosser and I grabbed it on sight because OMG I’ve had that book on my wishlist for 5 years now! I’ve seen the miniseries at least 8 times, maybe 10, so it’s great to have a chance to read the book finally. I love it so far. Aw, Nan :-) Anyway, yeah, my flight to Manchester (bottom of left-hand column in the photo) was delayed. I got to the airport super early because I was worried about the baggage situation (and, truthfully, I wasn’t at ease until I was on the plane and the bag just fit perfectly in the overhead). I probably could have slept in another hour and been fine, but I’m glad I didn’t.
The flight was about 45 minutes long. But because the flight was late, I just missed the train I wanted to take to Windermere by about 6 minutes. DOH! So I had to wait around for 2 hours at the bus station. Customs was great, though. Heathrow=1 hour wait. Dublin=2 minute wait. Manchester=no wait!
I went back into the airport to buy lunch and then back out again to the bus station to sit and eat and read. I bought another of those sandwich-drink-snack for 3 Euro deals (this time with a pack of apples and grapes- yum). I learned that though I LOVE cheese and LOVE onion and really, really like cheese & onion potato chips/crisps, I DO NOT LIKE cheese & onion sandwiches. I still ate nearly the whole thing, though. I also ate some neat Starbursts we don’t have in America. I especially adored the fact that they actually print “suitable for vegetarians” on it. I love the UK. “V”s on menus and notices on labels; I barely have to think!
I boarded the train at 4pm. What a beautiful ride! I arrived at Windermere at 6pm.
Google maps said that my B&B was a 15 minute walk from the bus station, and I had a map printed out. But I ended up taking a taxi instead. I’m glad I did because there were lots of hills and it was actually a little further than I would have liked to have walked with a suitcase and my heavy backpack.
When I got to the Old Court House, now turned into a quaint and beautiful B&B, the door was locked and a phone number was on the door. I called and the owner was away because it was her birthday! So the woman taking care of the place for her came in and let me choose which room I wanted. I went with #4, the Court Room (though it was much nicer than #4 Privet Drive).
I went walking around town (almost everything was closed) on a mission for scissors. I went to two grocery stores but neither of them had scissors (one didn’t carry them and the other was sold out). I was beginning to suspect that there were no scissors in the Lake District LOL! I found a few snarfs (well, one at least).
There was a movie theater next door to my B&B that used to be a town hall-how awesome! I considered seeing the Hunger Games a second time there. Now I really wish I had, because apparently it’s owned by relatives of my Kindred Spirit! If only I’d known! :-) But I was hungry and decided dinner was more important. So I went to the Italian restaurant literally across the street from my B&B (the photo is of the B&B’s gate, the bus stop I used 2 days later when leaving town, and the restaurant across the street). I had eaten a late lunch but still devoured a 9″ pineapple pizza. I got some writing done as I ate, so that was nice.
Because of the lack of scissors, I spent the night not catching up in the journal but reading Stargate: Atlantis Xanthefic instead. Quite a nice night.