So this is going to be a long post cause the day, er few days, were super long – I was up 31 hours – with a small restless one hour nap on the flight over. Flight was about 9 1/2 hours, direct from SFO – but had to take a shuttle from my house.
The shuttle driver showed up 20 minutes early so luckily I had pretty much everything packed up kinda had to jam a little bit – I have three check-ons and when he found out he said I’d have to pay for the third, $5, that was fine… I went back and got the third bag that was sitting on my porch. If you know me then you know that sometimes I get kinda paranoid about forgetting things – cause I do forget things periodically… so I asked the driver “I gave you the third bag right?” and he says – “oh yea”. Then we make one stop at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory to pick up a passenger and the driver gets out to load the dudes bag and says to me “Hey there are only two bags back here?” So of course I start to freak out and I say “seriously” and start thinking about how I’m gonna get back down to San Jose, blah blah and then he goes “just kidding man.” hilarious. He pronounced Michael Phelps name Fills… He’s like “Fills is going to be at the Olympics again right?” haha nice guy though.
I was all freaked out about my carry-on because on all of my previous international flights they have weighed the carry-on and the airline I was taking Virgin Atlantic had super strict weight – 13lbs! Considering my Think Tank Rollar bag which I would normal take on as a carry-on weighs about 9.5 lbs then that didn’t leave me much weight. So I took my TT backpack and stuffed it with stuff, and stuffed my pockets with stuff so that the backpack weighed 13 lbs. I wanted to carry on at least two camera bodies and a few lenses in case a bag got lost. Anyways, long story short, they didn’t weigh it at all… oh well!
I watched three movies on the way there 21 Jump St (that’s the only time I slept – about an hour during that movie), Tower Heist and Hunger Games. They were all alright. Also watched a two Showtime TV shows and the Office.
I sat in an aisle seat next to a very chatty guy from Wales… he turned 21 years-old on July 4th, had spent the last three weeks touring the US by car. A kinda stocky guy, amateur rugby player, with a super raspy voice… his favorite city in the US – St. Louis – favorite spot – Niagara Falls.
After arriving in Heathrow took a long walk to baggage – and then I got my credential laminated. We were given our credential a while ago but it was a piece of paper – so once we got to the airport we had to officially check in – didn’t take more than a few minutes, then went through customs, which was easy – they had an Olympics line. Along the way there were a ton of volunteers to help direct and answer questions. After grabbing my gear I made it to the Heathrow Express – which is connected to the airport. It was a decent jaunt over but worth it. I hadn’t been very good about doing research on how to get from the airport to the place I’m staying. Luckily Elliott Almond (the Olympics reporter) and Karl Mondon (video/photographer) filled me in on how to get to UEL (University of East London) where we are all staying.