I’m home again.

I got back into Canada on Saturday, but drove pretty much immediately out to my parents’ place. See, it’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, and on top of that, my brother and sister-in-law were out at the farm with my nephew and niece. So I couldn’t miss the chance to see the kids.

I’m pretty tired. The trip home was long, and made doubly trying by my head cold. I was wide awake at 4:00 AM on Sunday morning through a combination of jet lag and the cold, and spent last night sleeping in a sitting position so that I could breathe. Not a lot of fun.

But I got to spend time with my niece and nephew. He’s seven, and she’s five, and they’ve just decided that they like Star Wars1, so all of a sudden all of Uncle Rick’s weirdness2 has become cool. My niece has a Darth Vader costume for Hallowe’en, and I found a Luke Skywalker costume for my nephew online, and ordered it to be waiting for him when he gets home.

But enough about that.


Man, that was an amazing three weeks. I saw so much cool stuff, and met so many great people. And found so much more cool stuff that I didn’t get a chance to see. I really need to go back. We’ll have to see when I can swing that.

Tonight is the first night I get to have a shower in my own shower and sleep in my own bed. I’m looking forward to that, though I wish my cold was gone. Tomorrow, I’m back to work. Before bed tonight, I want to rip the CDs I bought to mp3s that I can put on my iPhone and bring in to work. I also want to hit up TripAdvisor and enter some reviews for the great places I stayed and tours I took.

In the next couple of days, when I get a bit caught up, I’m going to put up one more post here. It’s a product of my obsessive tech writer mind – a Lessons Learned evaluation: what worked well, what didn’t, what I want to change for next time. At that point, this blog is going to go dormant. It won’t come down, but it won’t be updated.

At least, not until I start planning my next trip…

  1. Well, the prequel trilogy, anyway. What do you expect? They’re kids. And the prequel movies are a great kids’ gateway to some really good science fiction. []
  2. Okay, maybe not all. That might be expecting too much. []

Beyond Toronto

The flight from Toronto to London was kind of surreal. I sort-of dozed through the flight, but I didn’t really seem to sleep. Uncomfortable seat, the obligatory crying baby1, and the fact that every half-hour or so the plane would run into some turbulence or the flight attendants would ask if I wanted anything or something. I must have got a little sleep, because I jerked awake when the cabin lights went on about an hour and a half before we landed so that we could be served our light continental breakfast2. Still, I made it.

Heathrow is huge.

Heathrow is bigger than the town I grew up in, both in area covered and population.

Heathrow scares me3.

I had been bemoaning the fact that I was going to be stuck at Heathrow for six hours before my fight to Dublin. Ask my friends; they’ll tell you how much I’ve been complaining. I was so certain that six hours would be enough for me to find my gate once I got there.

The place is a maze, but a well-run maze. Staff all along my migration route were quick to point me in the right direction in a friendly, helpful manner4. They made sure I got on the right bus to take me to the right terminal, and then through the right customs line, and then to the mall where I spent the rest of the time waiting for them to announce which gate I had to meet the plane at. I wound up spending about three hours in that mall area – much less than I had guessed.

Still, it was plenty of time for me to finish the book I was reading – The Magicians, by Lev Grossman5 – which was very good. I started my next book – Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey, by Chuck Wendig – on Kindle on my iPhone. His psychotic profanity and good writing advice have helped to keep me awake.

Eventually, they announced my gate, and I found it, and got on the plane, and then spent the fifty minutes or so it took for the flight trying not to nod off.

And so I am arrived in Dublin, tired and smelly, wearing the same clothes I put on twenty-seven hours previous. Shower time, then go find some food, then I will write a quick post about my first impressions of Dublin.

I’ve got a couple of pictures I want to add to this post and the previous one, but something’s not quite working with that, and I’m hungry. So, I’ll work on that later.


I’ve added the picture below, mainly for Michael. I had flashbacks, dude! I wanted to go in, straighten shelves, and count paperbacks!

  1. While it is regrettable that there was a baby crying, I can’t get too upset about it. I mean, it’s far worse for the parents, who have to deal with it. []
  2. I didn’t eat the muffin they offered, despite the fact that the dinner had actually been pretty good. My stomach knew that this was not breakfast time, and that the offer of a muffin must therefor be a filthy lie. []
  3. Okay, maybe not scares me, but it is pretty damned intimidating. []
  4. One even called me darling. []
  5. I really wanted to finish it, but I made a mistake bringing the trade paperback on this trip. Now I have to lug it around. []

On The Road

So, I’m here in the airport in Toronto. I’ve got a couple of hours to kill before my flight to London. The walk from where I arrived to my departure gate ate some time1, and was a good test for carrying my luggage. It worked great, but I think I’ll use the backpack straps when I get to Heathrow.

Grabbed a bite of lunch – got to try a Cuban sandwich, which I quite enjoyed – and had a bit of a look at the sculptures around the gate area. Maybe I’ll take some pictures of a couple in a little bit.

But for right now, I’m at a pretty interesting part in the book I’m reading: The Magicians, by Lev Grossman. Highly recommended.

More later, but probably not on this side of the Atlantic.


Added the picture of the sculpture below. Well, half the sculpture. It was mirrored on the other side, but people kept walking through the middle so I gave up on trying to get a shot of the whole thing.

  1. Though the express moving walkway was both scary and fun! []