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Lancs & Cornwall 06
Day 1 - Arriving in the UK

Friday, 15 Sep. 2006 - I landed at the Manchester Airport today after a long night on the plane sitting beside a five year old girl who's family was returning to England after spending two years in Canada.  She took an instant liking to me and decided that I was going to be her playmate for the remainder of the trip.  This didn't bode well for me since I was really looking forward to getting some sleep before arriving in the UK.  Fortunately I did get some sleep on the plane despite the excitement of traveling on my own and the attentions of the five year old. 

I was served dinner and breakfast in-flight that made it a lot easier to adjust to the time difference in the UK.  Fortunately, we had a really good tail wind so the plane made it to Manchester almost an hour early.  Unfortunately there wasn�t anywhere for the plane to dock so we had to wait on the tarmac for nearly an hour.  I quickly realized that it would have been better for us to still be in the air as the excitement and drive to get off the plane and stretch out is infinitely worse when you are just sitting there staring at the airport.  People start to get grumpy fairly quickly at this point. 

Finally the waiting was over and it was time to disembark the plane and go through customs.  This went fairly smoothly as we were one of the first overseas flights to arrive at that point and there wasn�t a very long line-up for the customs counter.  I had just gone through customs and made it to the baggage claim area when the luggage from my flight started coming in.  Of course my luggage came near the end and I got to watch everyone else from the flight head out before me, but at least I got my suitcase and was able to go call Andy to find out when he was going to be at the airport to pick me up. 

As luck would have it, Chris and Andy had just arrived in the parking lot when I called him so I didn�t have to wait around the airport for any longer then I already had.  We loaded my luggage into Chris�s car and I enjoyed a nice ride to Andy�s house without having to worry about driving and getting lost in Manchester as happened when I went to Scotland with my mom the previous year.  However I was a little quieter then normal during that trip and if Chris and Andy hadn�t been talking to me constantly I would have quickly and easily fallen asleep.  No matter how hard you try, it�s impossible to get comfortable enough on a plane to sleep well.  Before I knew it, we were at Andy�s house and unloading my luggage.

Once I got settled in, I unpacked the presents I brought over for Andy as I really wanted to his reaction to it. Andy and I have a long standing joke about why he doesn't want to come camping in Canada  due to the abundance of bears in the woods were I normally camp.  During one of my walks in the woods near my mom's place we came across some bear bones and were able to salvage the canine teeth from it.  I brought one of the teeth over for Andy to see what he thought and he was fascinated with the  at the size of the tooth and the fact that I found it fairly easily. 

I had also brought some maple fudge and chocolate fudge to share while I was there, so Andy and I went into the kitchen where I proceeded to cut what I thought was an adequate sized slice off the maple fudge for Andy to try.  When I looked at Andy, I saw the disgusted look on his face as though he was thinking that the slice I cut for him was way too small and I was being extremely conservative.  I wasn't about to settle for that type of look so I said to myself "Fine, I'll teach him!" and proceeded to cut a slice three times the size of the first one and kept the first slice for myself as I knew that's all I could eat in one sitting. When I handed the new cutting to him I asked "Is this slice more to your liking?" to which he replied in the affirmative.  After sitting down to enjoy the fudge, Andy quickly realised that his eyes were bigger then his stomach and that the fudge was a lot more filling then he thought.  He had his fill of the maple fudge, so much so that he didn't touch any more of it even though he liked the flavour.  After that he stuck with the chocolate fudge and I noticed that he only took small slices similar to the size that I was initially going to offer him.  

We took things easy after that, more because we weren�t going to get the rental car until the next morning then from anything else.  Shortly after arriving at Andy�s I called the car rental place to find out when the car was going to be delivered so we could plan for the next day.  During the conversation with the car rental agency, I was asked if I would mind a �free� upgrade on the car from a Renault Clio to a Honda Coupe.  We agreed to the free upgrade without really knowing what we were getting.  Since neither Andy nor I know much about different car models we quickly went online to find out more about the car and couldn�t believe what they offered us.  We thought there was some sort of mistake but were going to wait until the next day to find out for certain if the car we saw online was indeed the same car we would be driving around in for the next couple weeks.  Of course we were a little excited about that prospect, but didn�t really believe the really nice sports car on offer.

Andy and I ended up chatting for the rest of the afternoon and evening, mostly about what we would like to do the following week before heading to Cornwall where the �real� (according to Andy) vacation would start.  For me that afternoon and evening went fairly slowly, despite the company, because I was tired from having very little sleep the night before and the five-hour time difference.  

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