Fairly Symmetrical

England debriefing

10:43 AM by Eric: England debriefing Personal

So yes, we've returned from England, though neither of us wanted to. (I might have been a little more willing to had we been going straight to Austin, but that wasn't the case…) It was a great trip, a wonderful break from the stresses I've been under lately. (Click more to read the full report.)

It was very nice to see my aunt, uncle, and cousin in Chicago again. We almost never see them, so there's lots to talk about. Unlike Jen, I'm not so intimidated by horses—I just think they're neat. So meeting Teegan's horse was very nice. John and Julie's wedding was good, if in some ways very surreal. Good seeing Grant and Renata, John and Julie again, all those college friends. (Not my college, though you couldn't convince Butler of that…)

The flight over to England was pretty much just the way I like them; quiet, empty, and relatively luxurious. We flew on a nicely appointed Airbus which had individual video screens for every seat and which played a variety of movies and TV shows on demand. The headphones were free, too. The only disappointing thing was that US Airways didn't manage to get our meals right on any leg of the trip (over or back), and the dinner option we did have was some bizarre pasta with a cream-and-salsa-based sauce (no, I'm not kidding).

Hanging out in Bristol was pretty fun; the last time I was there we didn't do much random wandering, for a number of reasons, but I ended up basically on my own on two different nights: the hen night (think bachelorette party) and the wedding shower. The hen night I wandered around Bristol for a few hours, then had dinner at a great restaurant called Aqua. (Other good restaurant's: Wagamama and Renato's Numero Uno.) For the shower I ended up taking a 45-minute walk across Bristol to Wagamama and Borders, then another equal walk back to the hotel. Great exercise.

Fiona's wedding was, dare I say it, as much fun as our own (more, in some ways, since the bride and groom don't have much freedom at their own wedding). Leslie was hysterically tipsy (though not embarassingly so), there was good dancing, and we got to hang out with Fiona's brother and his girlfriend. And while he was infinitely annoying at the time, Zippy the Drunken Royal Sailor™ is now a vastly funny anecdote. (Picture a very drunk sailor, trying desperately to be suave and failing miserable. He would literally try to grab hold of any woman who looked alone for more than about two seconds. I would turn around to get a drink, turn back fifteen seconds later, and he'd be trying to dance with Jen. I mean, seriously. Then he decided it was a good idea to wave his sword around in a crowded minibus, nearly stabbing me in the side. Oh, and he almost got into a fight with Fiona's cousin's fiance, after he grabbed said fiance's hand while trying to grab hers—while she was sitting on her fiance's lap!)

Then we hung out in London for two days, checked out Covent Gardens, went to the Victoria and Albert Museum (which is larger than any museum ought to be; it's impossible to do it all in one day) and to Harrod's (where Jenny promptly crashed an Internet Refrigerator, quite amusingly). Thence to Absolutely {perhaps}, a great show about how people construct their own public personas, tell stories about themselves, etc. We had third row, center seats, which were beautiful.

Then we got up and traveled for 25 straight hours to get home. I don't really recommend that. The bit where we sat on the runway for 90 minutes in a plane loaded with a soccer team of 14-year-olds was fairly irritating.

And now there's less than a week until Jenny and the dogs go to Austin, and I'm still stuck here. It's starting to get a little discouraging, though I do hear reports that the job market might be improving.

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This page was last updated Sun 23 September 2007 at 09:00 AM CDT