Our taxi was waiting to take us the 20 minutes to the Greyhound Bus stop and I held it up whilst I took a final photo of Beyzano, looking rather bare without her sails and canvas. We managed to put cases inside one another to cut down on the luggage. It is always on the way back we need the extra space.
The bus was late by half an hour but we still got into Washington DC on time as the 2 changes of buses caught up with the schedule and we still had plenty of time between buses. We wondered at first if we’d done the right thing going by bus due to a screaming child and people talking to themselves but it was actually far better than we imagined. Comfortable seats, plenty of stops to stretch the legs and people watch. Rob managed to sleep whilst I looked at the countryside in the dark as we sped through Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia. There was WiFi on the bus and a toilet! For less than 160 dollars for both of us, it was pretty good value too.
We had 3 hours in the capital to quickly whizz around to see a few of the main sights but I want to go back for several days in order to visit the Smithsonian museums and see more of the city. We left our luggage at the Union Street train station. The hourly rate was the best option. I was surprised that no trains go from there to Dulles Airport and had investigated ways of travelling. Uber and shuttles make the trip but the cheapest option was another bus, leaving from near the metro station. We took a taxi to the bus stop rather than use the metro, due to the cases but it was only 12 dollars. The bus runs every half hour and takes about an hour if its the express one. You need the exact money of 7 dollars to feed into the machine on the bus but no special travel cards, like you do on the metro.
We walked to see the Capitol and government buildings nearby but didn’t get to the White House or museums. Next time.
British Airways proved to be a bit of a pain this trip. We tried to check in online 8 times to choose our seats but the system just said ‘go to the airport’. In addition, having dreamt of going on the A380 for years, since I worked on it at Airbus in 2006 and 2007, BA changed the plane to a Boeing 747. Not impressed! We got to the airport and had seats almost next to each other but the passenger in between us kindly offered to move as soon as we arrived.
A 7 hour flight is short in our book and we were soon in London being met by our friend Steve. I had a haircut booked that afternoon, a year on from the last, bought my wedding outfit and shoes the next day, had optician’s appointments the following day and a variety of meetings and socials are scheduled for the next few weeks. Kym came over this weekend to go through all her wedding plans, which was lovely to see. There is a lot to do but she is well organised and I’m sure it will be a wonderfully happy day. The weather needs to cheer up a bit first, as it is cold, wet, windy and grey at the moment. Not what we want at all.
On Saturday I attended the final reunion of my outstanding school, Whyteleafe Girl’s Grammar, in its 110th year. 11 girls from my year, the 1973 intake, were there, 5 from our class and it was a decade since we last met, 39 years since we left the school when the government axed the Grammar schools in most of the UK. 200 attended in all, the maximum capacity. Several teachers were there too and we had the chance to look around our old science labs and classrooms. So many happy memories, especially playing cricket, lacrosse and tennis. We sang our school hymn, recited the school prayer and reminisced about our days growing up together. It was a poignant occasion but great to see everyone again. Hopefully we will meet in the future and continue to keep in touch on the Facebook page.
We miss Beyzano still but keep an eye on the weather in Brunswick to make sure she isn’t in any danger. Our annual insurance has actually dropped considerably this year just as I was doing my usual muttering about it being outrageous. Guess there is less risk in the USA but our Third Party liability has been reduced from 3 Million to just half a million due to the way the US courts award payments.
Apart from feeling cold and getting a nasty cold with chesty cough, all is well with us. I’ll next post after the Wedding on June 10 as I’ve promised a lot of people to share the photos. There won’t be too much to say until then.