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.. :)

Matts House 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.
Matt's place is great. He's given us his room which is twice the size of the one in London.
His Room
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 onepick 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.. :)

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