Greeting Old friends
Touch down at San Francisco International airport was on time, but the pilot had
to wait until they had found him a place to park his plane. By now my nervousness
was running at fever pitch. I thought of the wwwomen waiting there to greet me
well I hoped they were still waiting. Our cases were the last
off the conveyor (the disadvantage of the "Rapid transfer" sticker meant
they were first on at Heathrow) so we waited and waited. Whilst waiting in a line
(see I'm a fast learner) to clear the customs we were treated to a 'show' by the
US Agricultural Service: a cute wee Jack Russell was encouraged to clamber over
our bags and sniff for goodness knows what. Smuggled haggis or Highland coos,
perhaps? Amidst all this confusion of 'missing' bags and performing dogs I didn't
manage to blow up my distinguishing purple balloon, before I was spotted by a
group of eagle-eyed women. They correctly deduced which of the arriving passengers
I was - the only woman to arrive with 3 boys and 1 hubby in tow. Thank you ladies
for waiting so patiently for my arrival one hour later than expected.
I immediately recognised Harriet from photos of other gathering and she was the
first to rush forward to welcome me with a big hug. But the others were a sea
of faces. Help! In the excitement I couldn't remember who had said they were short/tall/skinny/plump/redhead/blond.
Sadie, Christy, and Ione greeted me in turn. Cindy and Anna-Marie left me to guess
who was who; this would have been a simple enough task if they would speak. Eventually
I put faces to the final two names and I was surprised how quickly they had 'gelled'
as a group. I found out later that their long afternoon had been shortened by
a visit to the airport bar. I'm not saying the two are related
I'm not sure if Neil and the boys were reassured by meeting the ladies, but they
seemed happy enough to leave me as they set off for their week of adventure
A taxi from the airport to a nearby motel should be an easy thing to arrange.
Not in San Francisco it seems. Armed with the address of the motel, Anna-Marie,
Ione and myself grabbed the first available cab we saw sitting in the rank. The
driver turned out to a) have no idea where the address was and b) didn't want
to take us there as it was outside his patch. We persevered by repeating the address
slowly to him (that's a British trait if someone doesn't understand you
speak loudly and slowly) and it was more by pure luck and the sharp eyes of Ione
that we found our abode. We whiled away a long wait for the others, who had a
similar cabby experience, by sending a quick message to the wwwomen boards, and
Ione by questioning the motel receptionist into working conditions in California.
No sooner had we grabbed beds, kicked off our shoes and put our feet up than Sadie
started unpacking a strange looking package. Oh my! I was given my very own tiara!
A beautiful blue beaded affair that I immediately loved. I put this atop my bonce
and swirled around the room admiring myself in the mirror. There was also a beautiful
green 'Emerald Isle' one for Anna-Marie, an original LOL silver one for Ione and
a funky 'wheel' one for Christy. HRH Sal, the tiara Queen phoned and we all dashed
for any available phone to thank her.
Thanks again sal. sal's tiaras. Click
the picture for a better view of sal's handiwork.
Although most of us were tired from travel and not particularly hungry, it
was dinnertime and we had to adjust to the new time zones, so a trip out
to a nearby restaurant for something to eat was decided on. A round of applause
greeted our entrance into the local fish restaurant this, I was to find
out, was the usual reaction to seeing the arrival of the Queens of the Universe.
The tiaras attracted admiring glances and comments wherever we went. By the time
I hit the sack that night, I'd been up for about 28 hours, but I still had time
for a wee chat with Ione. Sorry Harriet if we kept you awake.