All work and no play…..
Tour – Day 1
Welcome to the first post from America! Apologies in advance for the quality of this post as the effects of sleep deprivation and the crossing of far too many time zones is starting to take its toll.
We assembled at Albion Place, Oxford at 5.20am on Wednesday (some more bleary eyed than others) to leave for Heathrow. Amazingly all were accounted for in good time…except the coach! However, the coach did arrive eventually only a few minutes later than scheduled and the ensuing journey to Heathrow went without a hitch. Once we’d checked-in and gone through security we were left to our own devices. A number of the Lay Clerks, as is our wont, had a fortifying full English Breakfast in the best imitation of Brown’s Cafe (in Oxford’s Covered Market) that could be found in Heathrow Terminal 1, whereas some of the more health conscious adults decided to go for porridge and compote at Pret a Manger. (Before you ask, this second group only included two members of the alto section!).
At the gate we treated the assembled crew and our fellow passengers to a performance of ‘Steal Away’ from Tippett’s Five Negro Spirituals which was met with rapturous applause and set a lovely atmosphere for the long flight ahead. (See video)
The Charlotte change over allowed time to do the usual things one does at a major hub airport. For instance, it was our first chance to sample real American food on American soil – the Chorister parents may not be surprised (or, indeed, pleased!) to hear that many of the boys decided to sample the airport’s branch of Burger King for their dinner…
The main atrium at Charlotte airport is a beautiful space where you can lounge on one of the many rocking chairs placed around the area and sit back and relax to live piano music played on a grand piano in the middle of the concourse. I was very impressed with the young pianist’s playing but according to Mr Hickman “for some reason he did only seem to be playing in two keys” – there’s no pleasing some people!
The flight from Charlotte to Los Angeles was slightly more subdued than the first flight due to our extremely early start. After landing in LA we were met by the coach which took us to Casa Romantica where we are based for this leg of the tour. The Gents are kindly being hosted by a number of families from around the area and are looking forward to the ‘rest day’ tomorrow!
Thanks for reading and God Bless America!