Saturday, September 6, 2014

Four Cities, Three Countries, Two Days

Hello Novosibirsk
Except for the fire alarm (which turned out to be a false alarm) our trip was uneventful.  That's how we like it, although it doesn't make a very dramatic story.

  It took us several years to learn the hard way that I don't do well flying through two nights in a row with no sleep: I tend to get physically ill.  So we
usually try to overnight somewhere in the middle instead of flying straight through.  It's hard being the family "culprit," but in my weakness is a hidden blessing.  While it takes us twice as long to get there, we've gotten to see more of some of the countries we fly through than just their airports.  

Goodbye, Atlanta!  We'll miss you!
However, after flying through the night and arriving in London in the morning, we abandoned the plan to tour Windsor Castle in the afternoon.  We were exhausted, so chances are the trip to the castle would have been somewhat of a disappointment.  Cool pictures, not so cool memories.   So when we at last checked into our hotel in the early afternoon, we voted for family harmony and good dispositions.  We went to sleep.

To the owners of this house: We loved this house.  Seeing it brought us much joy.
In the evening after dinner we went for a walk in the neighborhood, the extent of our England experience this time.  No castle, but it's still England.  Our tickets have taken us through England before; about 6 years ago we spent the day in the heart of London.  It was awesome.  I would love to do it again.  And yeah, we did think about it - then, 6 years ago, and now..."Every street in London is Yours"*...even the ones on the outskirts.  If every street in London is Yours then these streets are just as much Yours as the streets that led us to the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace 6 years ago.  I say London - we were actually in Slough, I think, which I assume is London the same way Lawrenceville or Peachtree City is Atlanta.  Not exactly, but sort of, if you want to look at it that way.

It's a good thing they do this.  Looking left is automatic.
I like these streets in Slough.  I wish we could stay awhile.  

But we have "miles to go..."**

I was in the shower when the alarm went off.  At first I wondered vaguely what the strange noise was (it was competing with the sound of the water).  When Joey started banging on the door I understood.

Of all places to be when the fire alarm goes off.  I rushed to pull on my clothes over wet arms and legs...while the alarm stopped, blared again, stopped again.

Aleicia was yelling, "Mom, hurry!"

"I'm not coming out there naked!"

I've never really liked bathrobes, but I suddenly developed a new appreciation for them.  One would have been handy at that moment.

Goodbye, England!
I burst out the bathroom door and we started out into the hall.

Halfway down the steps a man in the stairwell was turning back the stream of folks flowing down from the upper floors.  False alarm.  Burned toast in the kitchen.  It was what we expected since the alarm had bellowed twice in quick bursts and then was silent.   I assume in a real emergency the alarm would continue blaring. 

I wonder, if I had felt it was a real emergency, would I have left the room in a towel?   


Embarrassment is too small a price for my kids to keep their mom.

I'm thinking about buying a bathrobe, a lightweight one, to take on trips with me.  Even if I never use it, I'll know I have it.  

Back in the room, I took off my soggy clothes - the ones I would need to wear for the next leg of our trip: all our luggage was checked through and did not leave the airport with us.  I finished rinsing my hair.  

"Every street in London is Yours..."*

...And every fire alarm.

We didn't sleep much that night.  "Miles to go before (we) sleep"** but we couldn't go our miles until the next day, and we still couldn't sleep.  Not because of the fire alarm but because of the time difference.  Mostly because we had slept too much of the afternoon.  

Hello, Moscow...just passing through...
The next day saw us leaving London early in the morning for Moscow.  We had a short layover in Moscow, but our connections went smoothly, and before we knew it (after another 4 hours of flying) we were in a taxi in Novosibirsk racing through the streets after midnight.  

Our chariot was definitely not a pumpkin.  We've all heard stories about crazy taxi drivers in other countries.  That's not really been our regular experience in Novosibirsk - and anyway, Novosibirsk is OUR it was kind of ironic that our driver was flying through the city and passing in turn lanes.  

He was a good driver, a hurry. 
But we didn't mind.  We were in a hurry, too.  We were going home.

Every street in Novosibirsk is Yours. 

Hello, Novosibirsk!!!
The night air was crisp and fresh as we unloaded our bags.  Our cat greeted us at the door.  Okay, really she fled when we opened the door, but the kids found her and dragged her out from under the bed and greeted HER.

It's a little weird to be here after being so far away just a few days ago.

But this is our home.  

And it's Yours.

* Stephen Curtis Chapman "Yours" 
** Robert Frost "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Aлена!!! I'm glad you like it!! It was good for me to think over the time trip. I want to do some thinking about the summer as well and you know writing helps me to think.
      Очень рада быть здесь с вами снова. :-)