Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Luxury bus or laughable bus

9/9/2013

Feeling well-rested, I went for a jog in the cool morning air. The drive of Lora and Graham's house is about half a mile, so I grabbed my iPod and hit the trail, listening to music and taking a few scenic shots.
My running trail for the morning.

Train tracks just across the driveway.
It was ideal running weather, and listening to the new, convicting, worship-filled album by Audrey Assad ("Fortunate Fall") guided my thoughts. The combination of music and nature filled my heart with thankfulness and praise. There is no substitute for time along with the Creator...

After a brisk job, Lora and I feasted on quiche and blueberries. Then, I cleaned up and proceeded to wrestle with WiFi until finally connecting. I caught up on email and backed up some pictures on my laptop. We ate lunch and began to pack for our next adventure: a Megabus Sleeper Service to London (The Wheels on the Bus...). This overnight bus service will take us to London, where we'll meet up with a train that will take us to Newbury.

And the final destination?

HIGHCLERE CASTLE!!!

Later, we sat down to warm bowls of creamy tomato soup and ham/cheese panini's before heading down the road to Stanley Mills. At the mills, we toured the four-floor museum, complete with water wheel and cotton processing simulations. Attached to the mills were about thirty flats, which ranged from 130,000 - 450,000 pounds (upwards of $700,000.00), many of which serve as second homes for the wealthy and are only inhabited a few weeks of the year.

Upon returning from the mills, we reevaluated our packing jobs for the trip to Newbury, Lora fixed a quick meal of steak pie, boiled carrots and green beans, and mashed potatoes, and we headed out to meet the Megabus at 10:00pm.

Our plan was to arrive an hour before pickup so we would have our choice of seats and sit as far away from the restrooms as possible. When we stepped into the waiting area to check in, Lora asked if the ticket agent had any tips for us. He pointed to a young guy sitting in a nearby chair, saying he takes the sleeper bus once a week and would be the best resource.

The guy turned out to be Fraser Logan, a professional golfer in the UK and a very nice guy. He gave us some tips about the bus, and most importantly, he prepared us for what turned out to be our reality: a "double bed." Apparently if you book two tickets at the same time, you are assigned to share a double bed, which is essentially two 2 x 4's masked in seat covers and sheets, laid out right next to each other with no space in between. Yep. Now, the really unfortunate thing for Fraser is that he ended up having to share with a stranger one time. There really should be restrictions against this, but at least Lora and I KNOW each other!

Another thing we were not prepared for was the fact that this was a new bus, and a full bus, and the only option was a bed. If you check out the video link above, you'll see options of sitting up or lying down. Nope. We got on the bus and immediately had to lie down. Admittedly, it felt a bit like being in a coffin. Just in case you don't believe me...



So, once we got on, I wrapped up in the blanket provided, molded my ear plugs into my ears, and pulled on my eye mask.

Sweet dreams?

Favorites: Fortunate Fall, jogging, tomato soup & grilled cheese, meeting a pro-golfer

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