Travelling has become less enjoyable for me lately, not quite sure what it is but I think it's a combination of, tiredness, crampedness, dread at what I might have forgotten or might go wrong, and massive guilt about the amount of carbon I'm releasing.
I was tired, and I was terribly worried about the US immigration, but after a drive down to London, a Taxi to terminal 4, check in, a drink and some duty free shopping, we crossed the threshold to board our flight to Seattle and settled into NWA's comfy and well appointed seats. Each seat had it's own media player so you could pick from around 30 movies to watch at your leisure, pause and rewind too.
When NWA released "Straight out of Compton" I thought they could do no better. But since Ice Cube and the boys have started their airline they've gone from strength to strength.
The real fun started when we got to the US border. For those who haven't visited the USA in the last 5 years, they now use both fingerprints and a photo of your face to make sure they know who you are. When Cat (my wife) scanned her finger the computer raised it's eyebrow a little and went hummm. Soon we had a large red card stuffed into Cat's passport and were sent to go and sit in the naughty kids room with the other dodgy looking characters.
Security Officer Webb found the situation quite amusing which is a good job really or we might have just been turned around. The story goes like this. Last time we visited the USA was in August last year, we travelled with my Brother and his wife Clare. At the immigration desk Cat and Clare's finger prints and photo had been mixed up. So when we arrived at Tacoma International Cat scanned her finger, and a crack anti terror squad was put on high alert. It took a bit of explaining and a photo of Clare on my phone to convince Officer Webb that we weren't a threat to National security and it was in fact one of his Boston based colleagues that had ballsed up royally.
Our stay in Seattle was brief but very enjoyable. Our hosts Al and Xumin, are friends of Steve and Alli, and made us all feel very welcome. We had a trip to an American Dinner, and a drive around Redmond, home of Microsoft. I have a love hate relationship with Microsoft, but it was very cool to see the campus.
We entered a Top Gear style race from Seattle to Vancouver. Steve and Alli were catching one bus and we were on another. Both buses were timed to leave and arrive within 10 minutes of each other so we had a "loser buys the beer" bet which we lost by such a massive amount that Steve was already supping his third pint with a smug Jeremy Clarkson face on when we arrived.
Our Quick Shuttle to Vancouver was neither quick or capable of orbiting the earth, but give me chance to have a good chat with John Liddicoat from Australia open. Fascinating to hear his opinion on Aussie chances, Japanese threat, North American tactics etc.
UBC is a dream university Campus, watch the show for a guided tour. There is secure Wifi everywhere and kick ass net access in every room. A better venue for our needs is hard to imagine.
Last night we had more sushi than 4 people could eat, for $49 dollars. That's ridiculous. Awesome value.
Its a big day today, I'm so excited to see GB Mixed play Canada. We are also doing the commentary and interviews for the live webcast on Ultivillage. You need to register but that's free.