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Michael’s Travel Diary

Monday, 27 Oct 2008

Location: London, England

MapSaturday I spent most of the day recovering, and then the Saturday night was the end of daylight savings… a sad day indeed. It also caused problems. My super smart phone changed the time by itself, after I had already changed the time, and as such I was running and hour late yesterday morning as we headed into London to go see the NFL match at Wembley between San Diego and the ‘home team’ New Orleans Saints. It was a good day, with Stef, Andy and I heading into London and catching up with Spen. A couple beers in the pubs on the way towards Wembley, before we bit the bullet and decided to head all the way to the ground. The ticket tail gate party was nothing like a tailgate, but there was plenty of beer and bad food for sale, along with a stage with some sell out wannabe rapper doing a Reebok rap.

We decided not to stick around at the tailgate party and instead decided to wander off and look for a local pub. Wembley clearly isn’t like most sports arenas, and there really weren’t many bars nearby. We got lucky and stumbled upon the Green Giant, and it was packed. The actually bar was chockers, but they had their own party set up outside with Marquee, DJ spinning hip-hop tunes, chili dogs and beer for sale. It really was pretty good. So many people there with the gridiron jersey’s on too, many of them pro-replica’s, but plenty of amateur and UK university teams too.

The game itself was really good this year, especially compared to last years’ 13-10 struggle. Two offensive teams, both without a defense, leads to plenty of scores. With plenty of beers, and more burgers and garbage food for dinner, Stef and Spen were both a little lost to what was going on, but Spen admitted enjoying the whole spectacle. Twice we got up to leave, thinking all was over, and returned to our (or someone else’s) seats to continue watching. With the game going down the very last play, Phillip Rivers letting go on a 40 years Hail Mary touchdown attempt as the clock expired. It was batted down and the New Orleans Saints won 37-32.

That was when the struggle began. It was 830 pm when the game finished, and after 9 pm by the time we’d made it to the tube station. There would be no last ferry home tonight (AGAIN… grrr). Not a problem if I was living on the mainland (soon to happen… more later…). In the end we caught the 1000 pm train from Waterloo, getting us in to Southampton Central in time to sneak into the KFC up the road before KFC shut at midnight. After a late night feed (again, not one I needed), we wandered down to the ferry terminal and waited for the slow ferry to get in. At 1 am we set sail for the Isle, falling asleep, and arriving at 2am. Thank the lord for small miracles, and Kate was up and offered to give us a lift from the ferry terminal and back round from East Cowes to West Cowes, avoiding an 8 mile walk or 30 quid cab ride. But still not doing much for my lack of sleep of late!