August 13th, 2014

NASA_bighead

A LONG 2daze

Tuesday 9:30 am at the parknfly, no line at Security Theater, 3 hours to wait for boarding. Gate person did not call my group (1) but it didn't matter, had to gate check the bigger carry on because they lied and put me on a Canadian puddle jumper instead of an American shuttle to LA.

LONG ride from LAX terminal to international terminal. Unlike SJC, had to go through insecurity again. Palatial check-in area, tenement-size and feel TSA section. Body scan AND idiotic back pat down.

2-floor British Air Airbus, we were all aboard and in seats 5 minutes early. Crew had it down. Sat on the runway for 75 minutes as air traffic out-of-control kept bouncing us.

So many little stupid engineering mistakes on the Airbus. Will enumerate some other time.

Very bumpy flight most of the way. Thanks again to air traffic boobs.

On the ground 45 minutes late, 25 of that circling over Buckinghamshire.

Long walk to border control plus 90 minutes in line, but lots of people-watching. When I told the woman I was here for Woldcon she said "another one!". Loncon3 PR works.

Another long walk to No Customs At All.

Found Heathrow Express fairly easily. Had a 1st class seat, comfortable and roomy but lots of chatter in German and something resembling English.

Paddington station is a zoo. Took forever to find the toilets, but not long after to find Starbucks. Very dehydrated by then.

Four Underground trains to get to the wrong side of Excel. Google maps is upside down. Crown Plaza Hotel is two stops before Worldcon. Bad signage got me on the wrong train, but there are lifts.

My room wasn't ready, but in 7 minutes they assigned me the one across the hall. Lovely room. Got undressed, took a shower, and a 90-minute nap.

Discovered I had taken 3 Euro adapters but only 1 UK adapter. I thought UK was two round prongs but no, it's  3-prong Neanderthal plug. No worries, a mobile phone booth down the block had the right ones. About 100 of them.

Walking tour of the neighborhood got me to Loncon3 registration. No line, no hassles, my badge was there, fan name only. :-)

Excel center has lots of food outlets, most of them closed at 5:30 pm. Subway was open. :-(

Saw figmo at a table, chatted for a little. Took the elevated underground 2 stops back to Crowne Plaza neighborhood. Love that Oyster card.

Bought some diet Cokes at a nearby mini mart. Dinner at a Lebanese place across from the hotel. Delicious, perfectly cooked lamb shank. British gravy. Brown rice, 3 cups of it, spiced with bits of oregano branches. Gave up after 1/4 cutp. Baklava - 7 stale, dry, almost nut-free pieces. Left 6. Maybe a wrap is a better idea there.

Almost 10 pm. going to take evening meds, and try to sleep. I am mostly asleep as I type.

Texts from Viv, Yay!

Plans for tomorrow:
Worldcon. Opening ceremonies, etc.