|photo by Global Jet||via PhotoRee|
So, as with all great road trips, this journey began with a beer. An ice cold beer. Designed to smooth out the vague remnants of a hangover from last night's office sending off party, the 12 ounces of Sam Adams Light eased me into the initial stages of my 8-hour journey to London. I've headed to England's Capital, sometimes known as The Big Smoke, to see Saturday's Champions League Final pitting the underdog English Champions Manchester United against the favored La Liga winners, Barcelona.
As the wheels of the farlieonfootie Corporate G-5 left Miami terra firma, I tilted back the last of my beer to consummate the silent toast I had just offered, and pointed in the general direction of where I thought farlieonfootie's crack Correspondents Ed, James, Tom and Scott were. Part of the farlieonfootie "Champions League invasion" of London, we'd only yesterday finished our staff planning session regarding responsibilities for our extensive team coverage of the weekend's festivities. What we hadn't planned was a raucous office party that spiraled hazily out of control, leaving me as the only one of our five intrepid reporters still standing, with two of the others hospitalized with debilitating hangovers, one arrested (I do believe you're innocent, Tom, but couldn't wire the funds in time for you to make bail!), and the fifth man still missing in action (names have been withheld to protect the innocent, but if Correspondent Ed's wife is reading this, please shoot me an email through our completely confidential office system to let me know where (if?) he eventually turned up. Last I saw Ed, he was looking slightly the worse for wear, with no shirt or belt, and only one shoe still on his person).
But that was then, and this is now. A now in which I find myslef hurlting toward London to cover the final. To amuse myself on the journey across the pond I popped a DVD into the player showing highlights from United's FA-winning sides of the past 30 years. I found myself inspired all over again by Giggsy's slicing run that left Arsenal defenders flailing in his 1999-era wake, and praying that the Welsh Wizard has at least one or two more memorable moments in store for the current season.
After a ridiculous 45 minute wait to disembark my plane -- is the financial crisis in England so dire that the largest airport in the country can afford only one staircase? -- and an even longer wait to clear customs (note to the British Homeland Defense Department: please contact Disney World for some helpful hints on how to process thousands of people quickly and efficiently) -- I found myself aboard a helicopter (a "chopper," as we refer to them in the States) bound for The City.
Quickly changing clothes in my luxurios suite at the Hyatt Regency Churchill Hotel -- the very same suite which had most recently been occupied by a certain politician from Chicago, by way of Honolulu; I'm not sayign who, but he has the initials B.O. -- I ventured out of the hotel to soak up the London atmosphere. Which is a long way of saying I went out for a beer. A Hoegaarden, in fact.
More on that later, and more on the atmosphere I found as I ventured around the City, fully clad in red and black, in my next entry. We'll be bloggin steadily but irregulary, if that makes sense, as the schedule dictates.
TO BE CONTINUED.....