We’ve discovered the perfect cure to jetlag – confuse your body so much that it has no idea what time zone it’s in. Yesterday was quite literally the longest day of our lives; it began in Heathrow airport as we tried to make a game of top trumps stretch from midnight to 5am. At roughly this point, we received the delightful news that somewhere along the line STA Travel had failed to book three bikes onto the plane TWICE. In the end we got them on, but it was quite a scare.
Fast forward two airports, many hours and lots of timezones, and we find ourselves queuing for permission to enter America with our Spanish-language visa forms in hand, hoping that we hadn’t inadvertently declared ourselves Nazi war criminals. Unfortunately, Neil had obviously ticked the ‘Si’ box next to the international terrorist question, causing him to be whisked away into an interview room for a while. In the meantime, Al had to have all his bags searched after he was caught by a sniffer dog trying to smuggle a ham sandwich into the land of the free.
While the others waited for Neil’s interrogation to be completed, I caught a bus across the airport to the National car hire centre. Knowing our problems with bikes, bike carriers and roof racks, and the fact we had significantly more luggage than any boot could hold, I enquired about an upgrade. For $16 extra each day, I’m now driving what I would normally politefully call a Chelsea Tractor. In Britain it would look huge, though it fits in quite nicely on the streets of Chicago. Sadly, our cycle carriers won’t fit onto the roof bars that come with the General Motors beast, so that’s still a problem to sort tomorrow.