Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Road Trip to the UK

We will catch those rascally rabbits yet!

Later this evening I will board a plane in Chicago and wing my way to London so that I can attend a weekend gathering of gamers in Warwickshire, as we did last year at this time. I will spend a couple of days in London before taking a train to Coventry on friday and meeting up with Graham Cummings, the major domo of Crann Tara Miniatures. Along the way we shall stop in at Griffin Moulds to catch up with our friends there and then make our way to Kenilworth where our group, The Wild Geese, is gathering.

There is nice variety of games offered: GNW, Zulu War, SYW Imaginations, and the Franco-Dutch wars of the 1690s. The four games run for the full day on Saturday and then we get another chance to play in another of the games on Sunday. In between there will undoubtedly be a meeting in the local pub where we will solve all of the world's problems.

The trip has already had some excitement, and I haven't even left my house yet. Yesterday, I was informed by British Airways that my flight from Chicago had been cancelled (no reason given for the cancellation). I was to click on a link that would lead me to a new itinerary. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I read the schedule change. They proposed having me catch a flight from Chicago to Boston (arriving at 1AM) and then having a six hour layover in Boston and catching a BA flight from Boston to London arriving around 7PM local time, on Thursday instead of the planned Wednesday arrival.

So I got on the horn and had to do quite a bit of sparring with the airline in order to get a better replacement flight. The first idea was to have me fly from Chicago to Manchester, then have one hour to catch a flight to London. I would imagine that just getting my luggage and processed through customs would take an hour, so that wasn't the optimal flight schedule.

Then finally, BA found that there was a flight from Chicago to London that left about an hour later in the evening than my originally scheduled flight (the one that was cancelled). This would get me into London around noon local time rather than 9AM, but that was OK because my hotel generally doesn't have the rooms available until after the noon hour. So it looked like an acceptable flight plan was available...

... but wait, the BA agent decided that I had only paid for the flight to London, but had not done so for the return leg. Of course this was not the case, so at one point I had two telephones operating with the BA agent on one phone and my travel agent on the other phone.

In any event, we finally got things sorted out and it looks like I will make it to London without too much disruption in the schedule. But still, my stress level was fairly high after all these shennanigans and not having immediate access to some good single malt scotch, I visited the local ice cream shop and ordered a chocolate milkshake for comfort food.

Everything should be all tickety-boo now.

I will try to post some pictures on my blog during my travels. However, the Blogger mobile ap is a piece of junk that makes it nearly impossible to post anything at all whilst on the road. Blogger is owned by Google, which is only one of the largest tech companies in the world, and they can't fix their mobil ap for Blogger (which used to work just fine, thank you very much). Come on Google, get your stuff together and fix this!

We shall see.

While in London, I want to make a point of visiting the Guards Museum this time. Last year, I arrived there around 3PM and found that the museum had just closed. Doh! I'd also like to pay a visit to the National Army Museum, which was closed for renovations last year. A visit to Hatchards' bookstore is always a must on any visit to London, so hopefully I can add some new ballast to my suitcase with the inclusion of a few heavy books.

Hopefully all of the stress and out of left field changes are behind me and I can relax and enjoy the actual travels this week. I'm looking forward to seeing the Wild Geese at Kenilworth this coming weekend.


Der Alte Fritz


  1. Looking forward to meeting you again Jim. see you Friday.

  2. Jim,
    Looking forward to the catch up

  3. Best wishes for a safe journey and an enjoyable visit to the Old Country.

  4. I'll see you Saturday, Jim, have a safe journey

  5. hope you make it to the national army museum, the 3rd of foot, the mighty 'Buffs' collections got placed there when ejected from Canterbury's Beaney gallery & museum (apart from one large wall length display case) rumour has it the articles have been lost in the general collection of artefacts. will be interested to know your thoughts on the re opened museum.

  6. Safe travels

    I usually have really good experiences with BA international but every now and then they really go off the rails. Sounds like that happened to you. I do know the algorithm the agents are forced to use prioritizes options based on preset revenue sharing (whichever is cheaper for BA) and not what's most effective for the passenger. You don't have to agree with the initial suggestion which are often silly. See it pays to be nice to harried reservation agents!

  7. Have a blast, Jim!

    Best Regards,


  8. Have a good time over in Blighty! Sadly, living in Northumberland I will not be able to ambush you while you are here!

    Enjoy your stay!

  9. Are the flights to Birmingham International any better?

  10. Have a great time Jim. Hopefully we will cross swords at another event in the future.

  11. Have a safe trip Jim and see you on Friday.

  12. Well so far things are going rather rocky at the airport. I was told to go to the international Terminal 5 for British Airways. BA told me that no, I was on American Airlines over at Terminal 3 . How do I get there? Go downstairs and catch the shuttle bus. I do that. The bus takes me out to some Timbuktu called Lot G and the driver tells us to get the eff out of the bus, because he's going out of service. Next bus will be along in 20-30 minutes. Gee thanks for not telling me ahead of time. I finally get to Terminal 3 and check in for my flight. American Airlines gives me a complimentary pass to the Admirals Lounge. Food is disappointing, but at least they have a single malt scotch - Glenlivet 12- year. Meh, it will have to do. I finally get on the airplane, business class for a change. Things are looking a little better. The stew gets me a Diet Coke. They have a decent looking dinner menu for our flight leaving at 10:30 PM. I'm hungry anyway, skipped dinner at home. Things are slowing down now and I have time

  13. Time to tap out a message here. I look at the drink menu. Glenlivet 12-year is still the only choice offered. Bah! I think that I will stick with Diet Coke.

    Looking forward to landing in Ole Blighty soon.

  14. Jim, after all the drama, I hope things settle down with some excellent visits, meeting the chaps and good gaming. Please give my regards to Graham and any of the others who may know of me from your blogs. Cheers, Rohan.

  15. Hope you have a great trip, a warm welcome, a warm beer & great games in fine company.
    Best wishes,

  16. I landed at Heathrow a couple of hours ago and checked into my hotel, with the room ready right away, which was nice.

    I'm watching some World Cup - Portugal versus Morocco in my room and it hit me that im in London and I'm watching TV. Doh! I think that I will head over to the Guards museum before it closes this afternoon.



  17. See you tomorrow Jim, Glad you are safely in the Uk.
    Will Harley.