Since my last blog post on Sunday, I left Philadelphia, drove to Allenstown Pennsylvania, saw a drive in movie there, flew home from Newark Airport and then drove to Michelle’s. So a busy few days!
After breakfast at the hotel in Philadelphia I drove to an outlet mall for a bit of retail therapy. Well, I had space in my bags so it would have been rude not to fill the bags. I went to Philadelphia Premium Outlets Mall which is not actually in Philadelphia, but is about 40 miles away!
These outlet malls are a rather good way of getting clothing cheap. For example Timberland selling t shirts @ $8 i.e. about £5.
One thing there that amused me was the labelling on this Banana Republic Shirt.
A slim fit shirt – what’s wrong with that? Well, its a slim fit XXL size shirt. Its surely only the Americans who can have an XXL size and call it a slim fit.
I then drove the 40 miles from the Mall to Allenstown. Well when I say 40 miles, I mean 60 miles as I got hopelessly lost going down some minor roads and eventually found a road that I knew took me to Allenstown and followed that. The map I bought is not detailed enough to cover anything other than major roads. A fail on my part.
I eventually got to the hotel which was not the poshest I’ve stayed at. It appeared to be in a layby on a main road. Still, the room was clean and the air con worked. So who was I to complain- especially as I chose a cheap hotel. Also it was near the drive in movie at Orefield that I was going to and only 85 miles from Newark Airport.
I will post separately re the drive in visit.
A late night ensued though as after the movie, I had to repack my bags to ensure that all fitted into my 2 bags and that I had in my hand luggage items I would need on the plane. I also had to find things like my passport and the phone number of the car park @ Heathrow etc..
After breakfast in the hotel, I checked in online for my flight. I was unable to printout a boarding card as I hadn’t got access to a printer. I am sure I had same issue last year.
I left the hotel at 0800 as i had to have the car back at airport by 11am. In the first hour I managed to drive 5 miles – not a good start, but after that the roads were clear and I was at the airport in plenty of time.
I had driven 1250 miles in just under 8 days. Driving an automatic car was easy. It makes me wonder why we drive manual cars in the UK
To get to the airport from the car hire terminal you have to take the air train- a light rail service. So here I am with 2 big bags, my rucksack and bike box all balanced on a trolley. All good until I get into the terminal and find the life from the platform down to the terminal is out of order. So, how do I get all my luggage down the escalator without the benefit of a trolley? I asked the terminal staff who said to take it down a bag at a time and leave the rest of the luggage unattended whilst doing so! So much for those notices saying about not leaving luggage unattended.
I now had hours to kill at the airport- thankfully there was Wi-Fi and I had my book to read. Its amazing how long you can make a cup of coffee last. As it came nearer to check in time, I was following the progress of the Ash cloud, especially when the incoming flight was delayed. Was I going to be stranded in Newark?
Fortunately the delay was not due to the ash cloud, but to a baggage problem at Heathrow delaying the flight leaving. I checked in and managed to get an exit row seat, so was happy. I went through security, including the new body scanner device. Now it was 18:00 and time for a meal, a bit of duty free shopping etc. before the flight.
No it wasn’t. The part of the terminal we were in was undergoing modernisation so there were no bars or restaurants, only a grumpy lady selling cold sandwiches and the tiniest duty free shop I’ve ever seen. Oh well, four hours of surfing the net then.
The flight was fast – only 6 hours after taking off and we were in London. A quick drive home and it was time to drive up to Newcastle to see Michelle. Where was the traffic? I have never had such a simple and smooth drive to Newcastle. It was good to see Michelle. Its funny how it is so much harder being apart when you are abroad than just at other end of the country.
I got up – erm that’s about it really. Time to catch up on sleep and to walk the dogs oh and have some wine.
Actually, I acted as Chauffeur for the day for Jack, Michelle’s eldest son. I’d have brought my hat if I had known!