London was my first destination and I only spent 2 nights there. I was hanging with Joe on Friday (the 17th) and then Joe and I met up with Mits & M at Marion's parent's house in Beaconsfield (sp?), and Marion's brother Richard and sister Angela were also there. Angela with new bo, who was very cool too.
Joe and I had a blast Friday, despite severe jet-lag. Well, I had jet-lag as I didn't sleep a wink on a red-eye (as I expected) and Joe was both tired and kinda drunk since he got to fly business class. I love being poor! Actually, I firmly believe it is pointless to fly business class on a red-eye as you have little choice but to get drunk! At least in coach you have a chance of 2-3 hours of sleep. I digress.
Joe and I stayed at Trafalgar square, the very spot where Clark Griswald & family got stuck in the roundabout all day with Big Ben and Parliament. We were worried this was far too touristy a spot but actually we had no trouble finding excellent pubs & nightlife.
We met a couple gals but of course I managed everything poorly. While I actually struck up the conversation (by asking for a lighter, since I once again lost mine at the security check-in) I found myself talking to the married gal while Joe talked to the cute single gal. This would be fine but Joe was just being a good wing man (and has a girlfriend) and didn't really care who he talked to. Even with the extra 1 or 2 percentage points of alcohol in UK drinks, my morals remained intact and I shot the married gal down. (I hate morals...really) Joe enjoyed my dodge and weave of the married gal's advances to make out with me. And I know what you are thinking, I only shot her down because she wasn't cute...and my retort is this: "you might be right". Actually let me add: "But I like to think not...and she wasn't all THAT bad you know...but I also had 20 beers")
In Beaconsfield Saturday, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Marion's parents. They are nice as can be and have a lovely house in what is apparently one of the more posh places in London. And Richard and Angela, Marion's bro and sis, are damn cool but I already knew that from when they visited NY. After a bbq at Marion's, we went to a local club and had a great time Saturday night.
At the club in Beacondsfield, there was this passed out drunk guy in a chair whom everyone was decorating with stuff (bottles, sunglasses, trash, etc...) and at one point someone placed a hat on him, a good Irish-looking hat like the one John Wayne wears in "The Quiet Man". I of course snatched it.
Though we painted the town nicely Saturday, it was somewhat tame all things considered. However, with my jet-lag, coupled with the fact Joe and I tore it up Friday and didn't sleep all that much, I slept FAR TOO LONG at Marion's house Sunday morning and was embarrassed when Marion knocked on my door wondering if I should get up. Thinking it was about 10 at the latest, she told me it was 12:30! God I am useless.
When I showered and descended down the stairs, her poor Dad had researched the best ways to get Rip Van Winkle to the airport so he didn't miss his flight. (which I appreciated. And made it to the airport early as I know myself and book as few early departures as possible!)
But Marion, if you read this, know I feel bad about that. At least I didn't pee in the fridge, like my buddy Shawn did to my parents. (You like that Shawn!?! Thought so)
And when I caught my flight from London to Ireland, I threw on said hat thinking I musta looked cool, either in the traditional Irish sense or at least in a counter-culture hipster kinda way.
I was wrong. I looked in the mirror after wearing the hat a good 4 hours as I traveled to Ireland and made it to the b&b, and I realized while I'm the same height and build of John Wayne (with a similarly uncoordinated walk) the comparisons stop there. Without hair, this hat made me look more like one of Rodney Dangerfield's goons in Caddyshack rather than John Wayne. (Whether I was Moose or Rocko, I don't care to know) Point is I was NOT a wild colonial boy, and Jack Duggan was certainly NOT my name.
I haven't worn the hat since...but I can't seem to throw it out due to sentimental reasons...and let me tell you it stinks terribly. Somehow I know I'll wear it again. (please send febreeze)