So today involved a hop from New York to Ann Arbor. I had a lovely breakfast this morning with Carmel and her mum, in which I ate a sumptuous amount of strawberries (and made a mental note to give myself strawberries for breakfast more often). I was very sad to leave Carmel’s – I had a fantastic few days with her there.
She dropped me off at JFK at about half twelve, so I only had two hours before my flight left at 14.25 (actually I think we were delayed a little bit, but I was on the plane by then). It took a very long time to check in my bags and get through security, though – there was a big family, quite young parents with a gang of six or seven kids aged from about ten all the way down to a tiny baby, who were ahead of me in the queue and the fact that the children were clinging to each other and their parents seemed to bewilder the security people, who were ordering them to come through the scanner one at a time, which frightened the littler ones. It was sort of cute, but I did not envy those parents.
Anyway, I got to the gate and pretty much sat down and read Good Omens (a book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman that is basically an apocalypse satire, and it’s one of the funniest books I’ve ever read), got on the plane, read Good Omens and got to Michigan. It was a glorious flight, actually, because the air was so clear. I took a couple of photos out of the window of the plane that were pretty cool:
And this one was a little bit later on:
And I saw a wind farm, which made me think of my dad. You can just see it on the right-hand edge of the first picture, just up from the coast.
One of the things that’s strangest, for me, seeing America from the air, is all the squares. All the fields and the cities have straight lines, where everything in Britain is rumpled and scattered like a duvet that someone’s been sleeping restlessly under.
Anyway. We landed pretty much on time, but I got a little bit lost inside the airport, and ended up on a very long pilgrimage to the luggage pick-up (and realised that they had an indoor train when I was nearly at the far end of the enormously long building. AN INDOOR TRAIN. It was pretty cool, actually.) Tony, my mum’s cousin, picked me up from the airport, and we took a scenic route to Ann Arbor. His wife, Amy, who’s a great friend of my mum’s, was home, and just starting to cook when we got there; and so was Sophie, their younger daughter, who’s now eleven. Mary, who’s 17, was still at rowing practise, so she got in a little later. She’s a lot taller than she was the last time I saw her! It’s so great to see them all again – they lived close to us in England for a year or so when I was about 15, and we saw them quite a lot then, so it’s really lovely to catch up with them all.
After dinner we went for a walk into town and all got ice creams at a Ben & Jerry’s place. Sophie was my tour guide, telling me all the cool places that I had to go. And she showed me some fairy doors – little doors about four inches high on some of the streets. Apparently there’s a fairy door map, so I think I’m definitely going to have to get one and take pictures of them all!
Anyway, I’d better get to bed now because I am pretty tired. I don’t know what it is about planes, I’m always exhausted after I get off them! And I need to get plenty of rest so that I can explore more of Ann Arbor tomorrow. I also have to arrange when to meet up with my dear friend Anne, which I am very much looking forward to, so I think it is definitely time I let myself recharge.