Monday, June 20, 2016

Glastonbury Trip, Day 1, 20 June 2016

When I started writing this, it was 2 pm and we're on our way to Toronto. From Toronto, we're flying to London, England, and from there heading to Exeter by train to meet up with our great friends Andy and Caroline to begin the adventure of a lifetime - and something I never thought I'd do.

We're going to the Glastonbury Music Festival in Somerset, England.

We left the house around 12:15 pm. The entire city of Cleveland was in the midst of celebrating the Cavaliers' NBA Championship that ended "The Curse" - a 52-year drought of a Cleveland sports team winning a national championship. We'll be missing the parade and revelry of the week, but I'm ok with that.

Glastonbury is on my bucket list.

As we drive, I tell Jim "It's too late now to worry about what we forgot to pack." In the back of the car is a huge duffel bag containing our tent, sleeping bags, camping pillows and lamps and tent stakes. It also contains two new pairs of rubber boots (known by the English as Wellingtons, or "wellies").

The last time we did a festival was way back in 2004. We were young(er). It was the Coachella Festival in California. We went to see Radiohead. And the Pixies. The crowd was 55,000-strong. It was great. But we said: "Never again."

Coachella suffered from being in the desert. It was hot - 106 degrees F at midday. As soon as the sun came up, our tent turned into a sauna. Jim and I almost killed each other to get out of the tent at 7 am. I got sick from tainted festival food and spent almost the entire return trip - six hours of flying - in the airplane loo (yes, using the English slang now).

The Glastonbury crowd is more than double that of Coachella - over 100,000 people - and the weather is usually the exact opposite. Cooler (70s) and raining. That's why we bought the wellies. For the inevitable MUD.

But you may ask: why did we decide to do another festival? 

The answer is quite simple. Glastonbury is legendary. And we got tired of the constant prodding from Andy to "please come to Glastonbury and let me show you the greatest place on earth."

And Turin Brakes are playing.

It was time. Time to say yes. Time to experience this thing while Jim is still in his 40s and I'm... Well... Not getting any younger.

After my comment about forgetting something, Jim says: "The only things I'm worried about are getting there and getting our tickets."

He's more practical than I am. We can BUY a toothbrush. We can't buy tickets at the door.

The tickets are being shipped to Andy's house to arrive the day before we leave for Glastonbury. And, as I said, we're flying out of Toronto (it was half the cost of flying out of Cleveland, for crying out loud!) - a five-hour drive. We're flying into Heathrow and taking the train. We have two and a half days to get to Exeter. We know that giving ourselves extra time is no guarantee that everything will happen on time. I trust you've seen the movie "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles."

So, why worry about forgetting my underwear or sunscreen? 

And thus, the adventure begins. Stay tuned.

Day 1 photos:

Which way to Canada?

First (short) delay:

Tent and luggage has been checked, sitting down, relaxing and celebrating with airport hops - our waiter said "yay Cavs!!"

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