28 September 2014
The adventure begins.
We arrived in Newark, New Jersey after a more or less uneventful flight of some 6 hours or so. Now the fun began. There was a more or less two hour wait in a snaking queue of people to get through immigration. The officials were friendly and were efficient enough in doing their job of photographing and finger printing you. Then we were through and in America.
Alan’s friend Brec was there to meet us and he must have had a two hour wait too. It has been some 12 years since they last saw each other. They had parted in Gibraltar, Brec to sail across the Atlantic alone, to complete his circumnavigation and Alan a little later to sail north to complete his. They can be forgiven, therefore, for not initially recognizing each other, Alan now with a beard and wearing glasses. The hearty bear hug welcome they gave each other when they finally did meet was an indication of how close they had become crossing the oceans together in 2000-2002.
Introductions were made and then we were off in perfect sunshine to drive past New York to Milford CT. The talking and catching up that needed to be done was clearly a distraction for the driver (Brec) as we missed the turnoff for the motorway we should have taken and so ended up driving through part of Manhattan. The scenic route one might say, but the down side was that we ended up in the Friday night rush hour traffic and a journey that took Brec, earlier in the day an hour and twenty minutes, took some two hours or more.
Brec and Alan did not stop talking the whole way. George, Alan’s chum now in the back seat, took the opportunity to catch up on some much needed sleep. Had the roles been reversed Alan would have fallen asleep in the back too. Alan remarked that he now understood why they these motorways were called "Parkways", because the cars spent most of the time bumper to bumper parked up instead of driving!
We arrived at Brec and Sandy's place in the dark, but Sandy was waiting eagerly for us and had prepared a nice evening meal. George had had enough for the day especially with all the stress he had had with his wife falling and being admitted to hospital. Now he was here it fell off him and he just had to go to bed. It was after all 2330hrs according to his body clock.
Alan stayed up talking and eating with his friends until his body clock now told him it was 0400hrs when his eyelids began to droop and he too had to go to bed. So ended a wonderful day where life long friendships were revitalized with being in each others' company after 12 long years.