Traveling in the time of COVID


I know it’s been a long time since I’ve done a post, and a lot has happened since then, but I’m just going to focus on the now for now.

Early Friday morning, like 3 am after falling asleep at 1am early, it was time to get ready to leave for our vacation to England. I had poked my cousin with a couple of questions so I could do our passenger locator form for the UK government. I quickly finished mine then I had Fiks fill out his. We downloaded the forms for that and our covid tests to our phones so they were easily accessible. During this time Poppa showed up, so once we were done we loaded up the car with our suitcases and took off for the airport.

We did the drive to San Francisco International Airport and got all checked in and went and got some breakfast. Well, Fiks had breakfast. I had salad… With chicken… For breakfast… Because they didn’t really have anything else I could eat. Wasn’t super into salad at 6am.

Our first flight had been getting pushed back since yesterday, and it got pushed back two times this morning. The last push back gave us 9 minutes to disembark and get to another terminal that you have to take a train to. So it was basically impossible.

So we went to our planes gate and talked to the people there, and told them our problem. They were helpful and understanding. We got switched to a completely different airline and had to go switch terminals, but we had plenty of time. We climbed the stairs and went to the proper terminal via train/tram, and then we went to where our check in was. Well they didn’t open up until 945. So we went to the hotel and had a Ghirardelli’s hot chocolate with a croissant, while Fiks had a green tea. We sat and read books and rested until it was time to go back to the check in place was. And waited, waited, waited, waited. They were meant to open at 945, no one showed up until 1015, and I think we got seen at 1030.

After we got our new tickets and found our terminal, I called my parents to give them an update on what was going on. Then I jumped on my computer and talked with my Cousin, giving them an update and charging my computer so I could, in theory, use it on the airplane. So we waited for a bit and then the terminal started getting full, and they started calling seat sections. We were in section 4. We got settled in and I sent my Cousin a few photos, one of us on the plane and one of Fiks’ leg (more like lack there of) space.

We took off and started our journey. We watched a TV show of David Tennant’s that we hadn’t seen before, called Deadwater Fell. Its dark, but good. Do not watch with wee one’s about. We tried to get some sleep on the plane and were unsuccessful. Well, I know that I was, I think that Fiks managed to get some z’s. I kept looking out the window to see if there were any Northern Lights, because its the right time of year for them. But no, there weren’t any. Fiks watched Lethal Weapon, so he knows lines for his new D&D character, Loka. I watched a Anna Kendrick movie that I can’t remember the name of and I didn’t get to finish it because I started it too late in the flight.

After landing in Amsterdam we went to the next gate, D8. Well, turns out that was where everyone for the UK had to go. So we had to go through a screening process, and once Fiks and I had been cleared, we literally ran to our connecting flight which was at gate D27. So running with a backpack that was full and I couldn’t catch my breath for ages. I downed my bottle of water on the flight to stop the coughing.

We did our short hop back to England and landed at Heathrow airport. We got went through immigration and then went and grabbed our luggage. I saw one of our suitcases on the conveyer belt, pointed it out of Fiks and made him run and grab it. Then we waited for our duffle bag to come around, which it did. So we grabbed that and made a quick pit stop and then we made our way through customs. Our luggage got sniffed by a dog as we rolled by, then we got our Oyster Cards for the London Underground. We made our way to the proper tube and hopped on with all of our luggage and made our way to Kings Cross station.

We got to Kings Cross in one piece, yay! We went and sat outside for a little bit. I was doing fine until a gentleman came by with a stereo (yay!) and then he started smoking something that made me start coughing again. So we went and looked for somewhere to eat. We ended up at a pizza joint, Fiks said he wasn’t super hungry but he ended up eating most of the pizza!

Then we went down to Platform 9 3/4. The line wasn’t huge to stand at the gate, but it didn’t state prices, so we didn’t do it. Maybe on our way back? But we did go into the shop and waddle around for a little bit, ended up picking up some butterbeer. I can’t wait to try it. We waited for our train to Leeds to show up, and then ran and jumped on that. Fiks got some sleep on the train, and I might have too, not 100% sure. We stayed on until our stop, made our way through the gates and waited for my Cousin’s husband, N, to arrive.

N showed up and we went and put our luggage in the car, saying hi to my Cousin and my nephew, before running into the mall and getting a new sim cards for our phones. Then we went and hopped in the car and made our way to ASDA, ran around and picked up some groceries and sweets, and then made our way to their new house. We unloaded all of us and everything, and I started to crash and burn. N made some dinner for us, chicken fajitas, which were amazing. Then I went and took a shower and crawled into bed.

Fiks and I passed the f out, I don’t remember what time we went to bed, but I didn’t wake up until noon, and made my way downstairs and made some toast for breakfast/lunch, and turned on the TV and watched some Futurama. My Cousin, Nephew, and Mum came back from the party they were at, said hello, then took off again. N went and got his parents car so there was more space for Fiks and I in the back with my nephew later in the day.

When it was time to head out for dinner we took off, after a quick stop at Starbucks for some coffee. Then we made our way to Halifax to stop at Mum’s, then when everyone was together we went together and got dinner and my Cousins friend’s restaurant, The Copper Cow.

Oh my gosh, the menu was amazing. The food was amazing. The drinks were amazing. It was all amazing. If you are ever in Halifax, I highly recommend it.

After dinner we made our way back to home base. My nephew went to bed. Fiks, my Cousin, N, and myself stayed up and watched some Strictly Come Dancing for the night. I started crashing around 1030, so I went to bed. But do you think I could sleep? No. Like I would nod off and on until 4am. Then I tried to take some more medicine and couldn’t find what I wanted, so I just turned on my audiobook again and listened to that while I tired to sleep. I slept off and on again, and then my alarm went off at 9 so I got up and came downstairs.

The wee one was at school already, so I made myself some toast, had some tea, sat down with my cousin and watched some junk TV while just waking up. We hung out for a while, N going and doing some meeting while my Cousin started cleaning for their house inspection. N helped too when he wasn’t working. I went up and woke up Fiks around 1130, finding out that he wanted to get up with me at 9. Whoops. But he came down and had some tea and all was right with the world. We stayed on the sofa and watched some YouTube for a while, and then we watched….something. Oh! Only Murderers in the Building, we introduced my Cousin to that before going for a walk to a priority post box to drop off our 2 day COVID tests. We got there and were deciding which box to drop it into when the post man showed up, so we just threw them in the bag and made our way back.

We are currently watching Night at the Museum and Fiks is playing Breath of the Wild and my Nephew is watching him play that. Nephew was telling Fiks what to do, and Fiks was very patient with him and just kept playing along. We decided on sushi for dinner, and after much allergy scanning and looking we found a restaurant that was safe for me to eat at, called Yo sushi. So when we all got hungry we squeezed into N’s car and off to town we went.

When we got to Yo Sushi they didn’t have enough room for us, so we put our name on the list and started waddling around the mall. There was a cool car sitting on one of the floors and then we headed into the Lego shop and looked around. Nephew ended up getting 3 little men for Halloween. Then it was time for our reservation, so we headed back. Fiks and I ordered what we wanted and it all came around on a little conveyer belt. You just ordered through the app. My Cousin and her family did the same. Some of the dishes took longer than others but otherwise it was good.

After sushi we came home, Nephew falling asleep in the car on the drive home. Once he was in bed we all watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Fiks for sure hadn’t seen (most) of it, I think that I had seen it because most of it was pretty familiar for me. But it was a fun movie, a different sort of fun from the Robin Williams original Jumanji, but still good. Then it was time for quick showers and then we hopped into bed.

I slept alright, Fiks not so much. So I let him sleep in an extra 10 minutes before waking him up to get him ready for the spa. Cousin and N got ready at the same time that we did, and N’s mum came over to take care of Nephew. Once we were all sorted we piled into the car (less cramped this time, no car seat for Nephew) and headed over to Rudding Park Spa.

We got there and I found it super cool and interesting. We waited for a little bit, so I poked my head into the gift shop and saw a couple of things that I wanted. I found a (very expensive) horse painting, a stuffed horse, and a little foal necklace. Big surprise that I found horse stuff. We filled out the required (cyber) paperwork, then it was our turn to go into the spa.

The hostess took us back and told us how our wrist bands worked. Fiks and I ended up getting ours mixed up (boys lockers and girls lockers have a different number system), then it was fine. We got into our swimsuits and robes, found the boys outside and joined up with them. Fiks and I decided to go into the pool first, Cousin and N decided to stay dry before their treatments. We goofed around in the pool for a little bit, N hanging out in the sauna near the pool.

I saw this bucket hanging up under a faucet outside with a rope attached to it, and my mind went back to Bill the Nun’s bachelorette party, where we would stand under the cold water bucket and try not to scream. Fiks did it first.

We went into the sauna for him to warm up for a little bit, then I went and did it.

I was totally expecting cold water, not hot. So after that we went into the sauna again and then we wandered around the spa.

We jumped into the hot tub for a bit, did the foot spa a few times, did the oxygen room, did the infinity pool even. We ordered some drinks and then we went and sat out in the sunshine for a little bit, waiting for my Cousin and N to come out of their treatments. They eventually found us and we all went back to the infinity pool. Fiks and I went to the lounge chairs just below the pool, and hung out there until it was time for us to go for our massages.

It ended up being a couples session, so we were both in the same room getting massaged at the same time. It was possibly the best massage I have ever gotten. They used their full arms (elbows included) to get rid of all the knots and tight spots all over my shoulders, back, and legs. It was really wonderful. Then Fiks and I went into one of the recovery rooms to, well, recover.

Then we saw what time it was and we ended up going and finding my Cousin and N. We sat and chatted while Fiks finished his tea, then we all went and got dressed. While we were waiting for Cousin and N, I went into the shop and bought the stuffed horse and foal necklace I had been eyeing. Then we put our rain jackets on (because now it was raining) and made our way back to the car and headed home.

We got home in one piece and just in time to pick up Nephew from school. Mum (Cousins Mum, but she’s my mum too when I’m in the UK) came in shortly after us getting home. She went to go get Nephew in the down pouring rain and back while we all chilled out and had something to eat. The afternoon was fairly uneventful. I called my Mom so that Mum and Mom could say hi to each other, then we had a quick chat and hung up.

Fiks and I were trying to remember what website it was that we saw had Pony Trekking on it near by where we are staying while we are in Northern Ireland (Belfast). We found the website and half to talk to my Cousin and N about what they want to do, if they want to join us or do something different. But first we went for Fish n Chips a few streets away.

We went to Skyline’s restaurant, voted best Fish n chips in Yorkshire. And they did not disappoint. The portions were huge and tasty. We all got fish n chips, even Nephew (but in kids size). I should have done what Mum did and ordered a small set of fries instead of going with the regular portion because I feel like I barely made a dent in it. I ate probably 3/4 of the fist tho, so that was pretty good for me.

That’s it for right now. Its time to head to the shower then to bed so we can get up before the dawn and catch our plane to Ireland!

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