Finally, I’m at a place where I can write a proper update.
As I mentioned in my last post, we spent a week with my dad in Palm Springs. It was really well needed. Up until the day we arrived there, I had been working for three weeks without a day off, on top of trying to get all my loose ends tied and get myself ready for moving across the country and ocean. Six days relaxing in the heat without any expectation was really nice. I got to swim in the pool, just be warm, and chill with my dad, which is always enjoyable.
The day we flew out of LAX, we left Palm Springs early. Our flight wasn’t until much later in the evening, nearly 7 p.m.. SO we went to Venice beach and simply spent time with the Pacific Ocean, the palm trees, the art and the style of the beach. It was really quite nice, and something I knew my boyfriend would enjoy.
When we got to the airport, we were at the farthest end of the airport. Our gate was so small, there weren’t enough seats for the people waiting there by a third. Most people were sitting on the floor. I thought for a little bit that we were going to have to take a bus to get to the plane. But we got on eventually, sans bus.
We were flying Norwegian Air Shuttle, a newer airline from what I hear. But we were on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, one of three in existence. That was pretty cool. It had rainbow lighting, and no shades on the windows which had buttons to tint as you pleased. Plus, the guy next to us ended up being extremely tall, so they moved him to a seat with more leg room and we got some extra space. Win, win all around.
The flight was fine, though of course my anxiety was on high alert as it always is. Every time the hostess got on the intercom, every time there was slight turbulence, and so on. As a result, I didn’t particularly sleep. I rarely do. But my boyfriend was really good with me, did a good job of keeping me talking, which is what I really need. And I tried so hard to forget that he asked right as we were about to board on the plane, “Did you ever watch that show, Lost?” I also found that it was extremely helpful that I could watch the altitude and speed of the plane on my little TV. I had that going the entire time.
The main time that I really began to freak out, aside from during the take-off, was when we were getting ready to land. The seatbelt signs had just gone on, as they do during that time, and I was watching the altitude decrease rapidly, as it’s want to do when landing. The flight attendants were making their rounds, checking that the belts were fastened, bags were stowed, and tables and chairs were up. The gentleman in the seat in front of my boyfriend stopped one of them and said that the plane was leaking on him.
Horrified, I looked up, and sure enough, there was drips along the wall, and just above him. Then my boyfriend got hit with a drop.
The damn plane was leaking! If there was a place where the sheets of metal swere joining that were not tight enough to keep water out, was it strong enough to handle the rapid decrease in altitude and thus the rapid increase of temperature outside?!?!?!
Thus was my quandary.
As you can imagine, since I’m sitting here typing this out, the flight over was just fine, if only a little wet.
Customs was and easy process for me, since I was traveling on my British passport. It was long and tedious for my boyfriend, since he had to explain why he was going to be there for so long. We found our luggage extremely easily—I think it’s the least amount of time I’ve ever had to wait. It was getting the car that proved tricky.
As it turned out, the credit card I had booked the rental car on had been counterfeited a few months ago. I was notified and it was stopped. However, it was my credit union’s security company, rather than my bank proper that cancelled the card. Since I was trying to pay the card off, and didn’t want to put anything more on it, I never replaced the card. After a lot of debate with the lady at the counter (who was as nice as she could be about it), she took my card, and I was forced to use my Citibank card, which, instead of costing me $250 for the car, ended up costing me £699! Not at all impressed, but at this point, I had been up for 22 hours—10 of which had been with my buttocks firmly clenched, so I just handed over the card.
We were now in London, trying to get to Coventry, without any GPS since our phones weren’t working. This was a very long journey. We eventually, five hours later, found our AirBNB location. Our host was as lovely as you could possibly want. Really sweet gentleman. He made us tea, he was funny, and kindly welcomed us in.
Happily, we slept all through the night, got up fairly early, and our host made us tea and breakfast. Our goal was to leave in an hour to Southam to see my grandmother in the nursing home, but ended up staying a couple of hours because our host was just so lovely! He was kind enough to pack us a lunch to go, even! Very nice individual.
We decided not to stay the second night as initially planned. As it turned out, I was able to set up a job interview for the next day in New Castle Upon Tyne (which I’m currently waiting for), and so it made sense for us to drive straight up, get to New Castle, and get ourselves situated for a less stressful day. We stopped at a service station, mooched their insanely crappy internet, and managed to book a B&B for not too terribly much (though I thought it was just a hotel, the breakfast options were a delightful bonus), which gave us an address to aim for.
As we approached New Castle, I saw the first sign for Durham and I got giddy.
As my boyfriend gave me directions, I ignored them and pulled off toward Durham. I have been waiting far too long to get there to just drive past it.
We arrived at about 6, found a place to park and just started walking.
I am so terribly in love with it! It’s so beautiful and amazing! We had no problem finding the university at all, and wandered in and out a couple of different buildings, but mostly delighted in the river and atmosphere. I am going to call that place home very soon.
We finally managed to find the B&B in the dark, later than intended. But the gentleman who let us in was very nice, and helped us with our things. We happened to mention to him that we were looking for a place to live, and he let us know that the owners of the business had a ton of properties for let, including one right across the street, for our exact budget, and it’s furnished.
In the morning, we spoke to the owner, who was really reasonable and relaxed. He said it’s not available until the 10th of October, but he would be happy to arrange a deal for us in the B&B until then. It’s not ideal, but it’s also the first place that’s heard me say that I’ve not got a job just yet and is still willing to take us without six months of rent up front, so I’ll live in a B&B until then—sure!
So that’s where we are left: I have an interview today at 2:30, the possibility of viewing a flat today, and the sun is shining. Everything just might maybe be ok.