Saturday Mar. 25th, 2000 - London to Ipswich
21 C/70 F degrees & Sunny in the morning
Woke up to another glorious day. Dressed and down to breakfast about 7:30.
Continental this time, which was good. While my body clock has made the
adjustment, the tummy clock was having trouble with the idea of food at that
hour. Went back to the room to finish packing and find our way to the Liverpool
Street Rail Station. Ugh. Lugging the bags up and down steps again. Can't
wait to see Matt!
The tube ride was uneventful aside from having to get off at Barbican and
take another train to Liverpool Street Station.
From there we got our SouthEast rail
passes validated and looked at the recently painted iron work. I'm seeing more
MacDonalds than Burger King this time. Also more graffiti around the rail
yards in London. Bought a ring for Adri and a coin/change pocket for Mikel.
The train was on time (My, how jaded we've become this trip - we expect the
trains to run on time and the tube to be hassle free :)
Made it into Ipswich Station just a bit before noon, and by the time we'd
gotten ourselves clear of the station and regrouped Matt came striding across
the street waving. (OK, wiggling his fingers, but it was something).
He grabbed a bag (He threatened to grab them all and leave us behind,
making a clean getaway with the trading cards, but had second thoughts after
hefting 2 of them.) Boy! Are we glad to see Matt!
Checked the bus schedule, next bus was about 45 mins. So,
lucky us, there was a pub right across from the rail station and a few feet from
the bus stop. Popped in there (bags and all) for a quick round and to get
reacquainted. And flash the signed Bab5 card.. :)
It was just starting to sprinkle a bit when we got on the bus (top deck as
you can see more) to get our first look at Shotley Gate and environs. We also
purchased our 10-trip bus tickets, Though it was put into (mangled into?) a weekly
holder and wasn't the amount we expected. So there was some confusion over what pass we had,
which lasted all week, depending on which driver we had.
He's given us his room which is twice the size of the
one in London.
Dumped the bags and he took us round to his 'local' for a pint (or 3 halves
for me and 5 or 6 for them as it turned out) and for dinner as it ended up. The
Shipwreck is past the tourista pub (the Bristol Arms) and a part of the marina
and yacht club. Aran would love it. I had the nummy salmon in hollandaise, Len
had the Shipwreck (mixed) grill, and Matt had the Cajun Chicken. A wonderful
meal, and my tummy was ready for it this time.
Somehow the line "You can pick
your nose, and you can pick your friends, but you can't
pick your friends nose"
came up, and Matt had to prove us all wrong. We were discussing TV shows and
stereotypes, and got to the Simpsons, and the episode when British teeth are
mentioned. Matt hadn't ever heard about that stereotype! And insisted that on
the whole the English have better teeth than the Americans do. Uhm, yeah.. :)
When we popped back the the flat it was dark and the wind had picked up.
Boy oh Boy! The wind coming across the water was quite chilly. Were our ears
freezing by the time we'd finished the short walk. We watched a few Bab5
episodes and an "Eddie Izzard" tape while warming up with lots of hot tea.
Eddie Izzard was a comic we hadn't heard of before, but quite good. I'm
surprised he doesn't have more recognition in the states.
We all went yawning off to bed about midnight. So far Matt's managed NOT to
kill us in our sleep, wonder how he'll be able to stand it.. :)