From Chicago to London to St. Lythans
We were ready to leave around noon, with a six pm flight. So killed time around the apartment, worrying about what we were forgetting. Lyft-ed in a nice SUV out to O’Hare and whisked through security. Better to be there early than worry.
We elected cheap seats because they were a bargain – well, we thought they were. Found we had to pay $50 per person to even get a seat assignment, if we wanted to know where we were seating before boarding. Oh yeah! The new British Airways. Fortunately, when we checked in, Ed was able to obtain a bulkhead seat. There is no way he could have even fit in the seats that Norah (Ed’s sister and our companion on the trip) and I occupied. You got into the seat and prayed you never had to move again. Fortunately, the lady in the window seat next to me was a petite Philippina on her way to Barcelona for a conference. And she never moved, the entire flight. Bless her! I took all sorts of work and knitting and books to occupy time. Other than grabbing a NYT on the way onto the plane, never used any of them. The entertainment system on BA is extraordinary. You could not want for movies, TV, music, BBC plays, games. This is what keeps people from screaming on flights. Even grabbed a few hours of sleep.
Arrived right on time and made our way top Enterprise Car Rental for our big Volvo D50 SUV. Lots of luggage room, but the passenger area is rather snug – the front seats in particular sort of “hug” you. But when we crash into a hedge row, we will be fine. Drive to Cardiff easy, but Ed is tired and driving on the left takes major concentration. He keeps drifting into the left lane. The Volvo does have an excellent navigation system and an annoying Swedish invention which enables to car to turn off every time you stop…really? Fortunately we can override this.
The cottage is lovely – a guest house attached to a beautiful country manor. We are in beautiful countryside. Our first venture is to the local Tesco. Oh, what a store! We go crazy in the yogurt aisle which is about 100’ long, the cheese aisle of similar size and a fab butcher with cooked meats, fresh and lots of fish as well. Joy, I find ½ kilo of lamb kidneys, a Boland family favorite and virtually unavailable in the U.S. unless you know an halal butcher. I find some nice tuna steaks that we sear for dinner. We manage to stay awake until nine pm, then snuggle in the cool evening air under a huge feather duvet.