Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sabbatical Part One

Saturday 28 June
This has been a long day! After 45 minutes at school in the morning, a final check of the packing and a last walk around the track I finally took off from Whakatane at about 2.45pm. The first half of the flight was great, but the last half was very bumpy.

I had a couple of hours to kill waiting for Terry so read the paper and hung around. Ran into Mathew Lack and his Dad who are on the same flight heading to ian nternational disabled athletics event.

Terry turned up and after check in we had a couple of beers, bought some water and boarded the plane. We had great seats – the back row set of 2. Plenty of leg room and no others in our row and right by the wharepaku. Terry has picked up quite a cold so was a bit miserable and I developed a mean headache. Flight was uneventful and long (12 hours) with restless dozing. We had one screamer of a kid a couple of rows in front of us, but managed to block him out for most of the trip.

It was bedlam when we arrived in L.A. We got three different sets of instructions to find Terminal 7 and eventually walked our way there. We then tried to check in which was a huge hassle because it is self-check-in and the helping dude wasn't very helpful. We finally found a woman behind a desk who helped us. There was some issue with a security check on Terrry.

We then went through security to the gate area for our flight to Boston with a 6 hour wait in front of us. We were both selected for a thorough search (it happened to me in Auckland as well!) so were patted down and our carry bags searched and tested for explosives.

We're now sitting in the gate lounge and it is only 5.00pm Sat 28 July! We board in just over 4 hours for a 5 ½ hour flight to Boston where we will arrive at 7.00am Sunday morning! My head still hurts and Terry still feels miserable! We want our money back.

Sunday 29 June
It's now 6.00pm on Sunday night and still haven't slept in a bed. We finally boarded our flight to Boston and found we were seated separately on a full plane. Hadn't eaten since a pizza at about 4.00pm to discover you had to buy your food on the plane! Bugger that!

It was a 5 ½ hour flight and I dozed and slept most of it though it was quite bumpy. Much less chaos at Logan airport. We quickly found a taxi and arrived at our hotel shortly after 7,00am to be told our room wouldn't be ready until 3.00pm, but that they would try to get it ready earlier. We really wanted and needed a shower!

We walked into Harvard Square (about 2k) along the banks of the river where there were heaps of runners and cyclists and rowers (on the river). We went to Peet's Coffee and had an average coffee and tea and Danish. Lots of academic type people as well as runners ending up there. We then spent a couple of hours walking through the grounds of Harvard University. It is certainly impressive. Brick work everywhere and lots of acknowledgement of history and tradition.

We decided to head back to the hotel at about 11.00 to see if room was ready. We walked along the other side of the river. The fog/mist was starting to lift and it was now warming up. Thankfully our room was ready. We decided we would freshen up and head by train into downtown. As soon as Terry lay down after his shower he was asleep! He woke himself up snoring at 1.00 so we headed off.

Our room is quite flash which is great considering we are here for 9-10 days. The beds are very small, but we have a nice lounge and plenty of workspace for our assignments!!!

Downtown we had a horrible feed in a food court and wandered around down to the port checking out a few historic sites (Paul Revere) until we found a seedy Irish Bar for a couple of beers while watching the soccer final. With bladders bursting we made it back to the Hotel where we are now relaxing and starting to think about our Harvard course which begins tomorrow.

Headache's gone but Terry is still struggling with his cold and cough.

Phone works as Lucy has texted me a couple of times. The EEE PC is great because of its portability. It has successfully found wireless connections at airports but you have to pay for them. I have just found that there is free wireless in Harvard Square so will try there tomorrow.

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