Monday, December 26, 2005

Day 200 - Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Day 200 – 25th December 2005 GMT Total Miles 45228

Merry Christmas.. Woke up at 4am and could not sleep, so had some tea and decided to catch up on my blog. Christmas was a very quiet day with just the four of us, Jill, myself and her parents. We opened up our presents and then spent the day lounging around watching TV and not doing an awful lot really. Their neighbours Bill and Liam turned up for half an hour to say hello and wish us a merry Christmas. We had a late Christmas dinner around 5pm and then carried on the Christmas tradition of lying on a sofa in front of a TV.

Day 199 - Leeds - Stonehouse, Scotland

Day 199 – 24th December 2005 GMT Total Miles 45228

Woke up really early again so sorted out a few more photos until everyone was awake. Then had some breakfast and some tea said our farewells and got back on the road. We drove up into Leeds and then the A1M north stopping at Weatherby to refuel and here we saw a Police box, also known as a Doctor Who Tardis, so had to stop and take a photo for my best mate James.

It's Cold In Wetherby

The Tardis for James

We carried up the A1M until we reached Scotch Corner and took the A66 to Penrith and followed the M6 and then M74 up into Scotland to Jill’s parents who live just outside Glasgow in a village called Stonehouse.

Welcome To Scotland

We arrived around 3pm and said our hello’s and were then shown around Jill’s bother Scot’s new house which has been built next to her parents house. The house is huge inside and the upstairs has a bar and pool table, which every good house should have. We chatted for a while and then Jill’s Aunt turned up so we all sat around and had some tea and chatted.

Jill with her Parents and Aunt

Then Jill and I went out to get take out for everyone, Jill and I had Curry’s and the Rest had Fish Suppers. I was very tired by now so had an early night and passed out around 8:30pm.

Day 198 - Gravesend - Leeds, Yorkshire, England

Day 198 – 23rd December 2005 GMT Total Miles 45098

Did not wake up until just after 8am today, so Jill and I got organised and packed our bags again and took the car and set of around the M25, which we had only done 20 miles and we were stationary. The M11 had been closed at Junction 5 and they closed the M25 whilst they coned off the intersection. There was also a crash on the opposite side of the road, so the start of the Journey was horrendous. We eventually got onto the M1 and stopped off at Dunstable to visit my old work colleague Martin, who’s wife just had there second child on 15th December and named him Jack.

Hannah and Jack

Martin, Abi and Jack

We stopped in for a cup of tea and to see Jack, who is adorable. We chatted for an hour or so and then got back on the road and drove all the way up the M1 until we reached Leeds. We found my brothers house on the outskirts of Leeds and arrived just before 6pm.

Tim and Sophie (My Brother and Sister-In-Law)

We caught up and had a drink and some Chilli and watched a film chatted some more and then slept.

Day 197 - Gravesend, Kent, England

Day 197 – 22nd December 2005 GMT Total Miles 44838

Woke up at 7am, it’s getting better, Jetlag must be wearing off. I spent a couple more hours looking at the computer and then my parents neighbours popped over and said they had the same problem. The easiest way to fix It is to upgrade to broadband or Windows XP, preferably both. Jill went to the station and caught a train into London to visit her friends for the day. I drove the opposite direction down the M20 to Maidstone visit one of my oldest friends Louise. She was heavily pregnant when we left and I found out she went into labour the day after I last saw her, so she has a beautiful son called Enrico who is now 6 months old.

Louise And Enrico

I spent the afternoon with Louise and caught up with everything. I drove home late afternoon and my grandma was over so we started looking at our travelling photos. In the evening I carried on wrapping presents and Jill got back just before 9pm so picked her up from the station and then crashed out for the night.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Day 196 - Gravesend, Kent, England

Day 196 – 21st December 2005 GMT Total Miles 44798

Woke up at 5:30am could not sleep, at 10am Jill and I drove into Gravesend town centre in the morning to complete our Christmas shopping. Now Gravesend is famous as Pocahontas the American Indian Princess is buried here, You have probably heard of her from the Disney Film. She got very sick whilst on her ship and it docked at Gravesend and this is where she died. So there is a statue and memorial to her outside St.George’s church which is where she is buried. Anyway town was not actually as busy as I thought, after 2 hours we had bought everything we needed and a new modem for my parents computer. We got back home and started to wrap up presents and then my Aunt and her Grand Daughter Tierney turned up. Now Tierney is 5 years old and spent the whole day happily singing to us all we sat and all chatted and distributed presents. We had a good meal and then Jill and I collapsed.

Day 195 - Gravesend, Kent, England

Day 195 – 20th December 2005 GMT Total Miles 44792

Woke up at 4:30am not being able to sleep, so we got up made some tea and started to sort out our holiday photos. We had managed to take just over 4700 photos so we decided we would try and cut that number down for developing. We put on Lord of The Rings while we were doing this and had finished the 3 hour film before anyone in the house stirred. At 8am the tiler turned up to Tile the new Conservatory which has just been built at the back off the house so by 8:30am every one was up. Jill and I stayed in the house all morning and I spent several hours looking at my parents computer as it will not connect to the internet. My father insured me on his car, so I then drove down to my Grandmas house to say hello. We spent an hour or so with my grandma and then went back home. Did not do much for the rest of the day other than try and rest and recover from jetlag.

Day 194 - Gravesend, Kent, England

Day 194 – 19th December 2005 GMT Total Miles 44792

Our flight landed just over 10 hours later at 3:15pm UK time. We said goodbye to Reece who went off to catch a train home and Jill and I collected our baggage and I phoned my parents who 10 minutes later were there to pick us up. The drive back to my parents house took just over an hour around the dreaded M25 which is often referred to as the car park due to amount of stationary traffic. So It took 28 hours from leaving the hotel to getting to my parents house, I managed to get about 2 hours sleep on the plane but Jill got none. When we got in the house we chatted and ate for a few hours before crashing out.

Day 193 - Waikiki - London, England

Day 193 – 18th December 2005 GMT Total Miles 44788

Got up at 4am showered and got ready, checked out of the hotel and caught the shuttle bus to the airport. Arrived at the airport just before 6am and had to wait until 6:30am before we got check in for our flight.

Keita, Reece and Me at Honolulu Airport

We went through security and had some breakfast. We boarded the flight just before 8:30am and we took off at 9am. The flight was 5 hours and 12 minutes, I watched the Christmas movie Elf on board and read my book. We landed in Los Angeles at around 4:15pm and made our way from one airport terminal to the other as our London bound flight was leaving from Tom Bradley International Terminal. We got through security and did a bit of duty free shopping before proceeding to our gate. The 5pm flight for London was leaving from the gate, unfortunately we were on the 8:50pm flight to London so we had to sit at the gate for 4 hours. I played on my PC and did some puzzles passing the time. We then boarded around 8:30am and sat in our seats, the entertainment system on the plane was not working properly and needed to be rebooted several times before it was working, I started to watch the film Skeleton Key but it was pretty awful so read my book and tried to sleep. I watched a few comedy programs between food services trying to pass time.

Day 192 - Waikiki, Hawaii, USA

Day 192 – 17th December 2005 -10:00 GMT Total Miles 36730

When Jill and I were up and ready we walked to Ala Moana Shopping Mall to finish our Christmas shopping, we got a bite to eat and shopped for a few hours. We then headed back to the hotel and Reece and I went to the beach for the last time, we sunbathed and I read my book which incidently is now “The Life of Pi” by Yann which won the Man Book Prize in 2002, I had a swim and when we dried off we went back to the hotel just before sunset. We relaxed in the hotel for a couple of hours then we all went to a local bar just down the road from the hotel and had a goodbye beer and some food, a quick game of pool followed for Reece and I, which I walked away triumphant. We then went back to the hotel packed our bags and got an early night.
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