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Wednesday, March 9

My last day in New Jersey. It had been a good trip and I felt ready to face the real world again. There is not a great deal to describe about the day that will stand up as interesting narrative. I packed. We had breakfast. A highlight of the day was heading to IHOP the "International House of Pancakes" (I doubt they're that International, but then the U.S. World-Series is open to U.S. teams only... etc... etc...) IHOP is the place where you go to challenge your arteries. I had a breakfast/lunch style feast which involved all manner of fats and fryings. There were pancakes (which are actually drop-scones, I think) and there was hash-brown. Perhaps we had coffee. The details blur. The important thing is that it was a multitude of food-based-bad-things-to-eat-but-nice treats.

During the meal, the small child at the next table took to mimicking my body language. I was amused by this, once it had been pointed out by the child's carers, and played up to it. I'm the one not due to have a child in the forseeable future. The father-to-be at my table seemed relatively unmoved. Oh... things are gonna change there!

I was dropped off at the airport by my hosts and I checked in in plenty of time. I had a lot of wandering around the departure area to fit in. Into this wandering time, I managed to fit a call to the UK, and various trips to mini eateries where I could enjoy food and treats to see me through the journey. I'm quite a fan of U.S. style take-away chinese food, where they package it all together into a carton from big tubs of noodles and main courses and the like. It's not just done there, but they do it well. There's a ruling in the New Jersey airport terminal that they do not hike their prices up above what you might expect to pay for food in a nearby mall... my remaining dollars looked like they were going to refuse to be consumed by this final eating session, so I gave up trying to spend every last penny of it.

Then it was time to take the flight. Somehow the flight managed to get compressed. This is because I dozed lightly under a blanket in between meals and readings of the book I had started. I don't think I've slept on a plane before. I think I must have slept on this one. It wasn't a very deep or restorative sleep, but it caused me to land in a state where I wasn't feeling deep fatigue.

So, somehow I got from a Wednesday morning in New Jersey to a fresh Thursday morning in Manchester. I don't know how it happened... but it just did. The holiday had sort of ended. I wasn't due back at work for a good 24 hours, though, so it sort of hadn't too.


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