I just realised, 1 week later, that I haven't posted the final segment of the trip to England. Here you go kids.
Another quiet day of hanging at the house and relaxing. And by "quiet", I mean "manic". And by "hanging", I mean "helping". And by "relaxing", I mean "preparing everything we own for the big move in 2 days." So that happened. It's unbelievable how much stuff we had to pack up. It took all day, even with the help of Aunt Sue and Uncle Dave, and by the end of the day we STILL hadn't organised everything. I think we called it quits around 9pm, when we ordered fish and chips for dinner (thus keeping the kitchen clean). I couldn't keep my eyes open for much longer, so said goodnight and goodbye to my mom, as she had an early meeting up in Leeds so she had to get the train even earlier.
Wednesday was a quiet hangout day with Ali before I left that afternoon. It's always weird saying goodbye to her, not in a bad way but with the health problems she's had these last few years, you don't know how she'll be the next time you see her. I mean, philosophically, anyone could die before I see them again, but it's so much more obvious with her. It's not a nice feeling, but she's good with it.
Made my way with all of my luggage to London (incidentally, the handle on my luggage had broken), and managed to eventually negotiate the underground (said broken handle made it a challenge). There was a delay at one station so had to redirect all over the place, but finally made it to St. Pancras, where Jules met me. I dropped my stuff off and changed my now-sweaty shirt, and we headed out to Barrio Central, a Mexican themed bar/restaurant with some of the cheapest beer you're likely to find (albeit during happy hour). 2.50 bottles from 4 till 8 and a great menu. http://www.barriocentral.com/. The reason we ended up in a bar in Soho and not drinking in Jules' hotel is because we were meeting up with the other two Bolton kids (the first being Anna in Bristol). We haven't seen Guy and Hugo in years and it was great to see them again. It's funny how that can happen - after so long, you don't miss a beat. I informed them both of the impending plan for Anna's 30th birthday (Whistler) and they were pretty keen. Guy's girlfriend had spent some time out there when her brother did a season back in 2004-2005, so it seemed like a pretty solid plan of a plan.
Early morning the next day, so we headed back to the hotel and I triple checked everything so it wasn't left behind. (Like my birth certificate, for example.)
We now return to our regularly scheduled writing.