By Marcy Pearce
Editor's note: Islander Marcy Morrison Pearce is performing with Alameda's Dance/10 in London during the Olympics and is also visiting extended family in England. You may read her earlier reports here, here and here.
I tried blogging earlier this evening but so boring was the script that I fell asleep in the midst of thought, and I felt I should spare you that particular final product. But now after a swim and dinner, let’s give it “another go,” as the tireless British say.
It has been a tiring few days for my family. In four days we have visited with three aunts, one uncle, nine cousins and one new boyfriend as we traveled through quaint Stratford-on-Avon, bustling Oxford, Salisbury (where my husband was disappointed not to get a steak), Stonehenge, Reading and Sonning.
But today, it was a shot of adrenalin when my dancing friends arrived! The official Dance/10 European Tour has begun. When I greeted my usually peppy pals at Heathrow this morning, I found my tiredness paled in comparison. They departed SFO at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning and arrived at 11 p.m., California time. Then, it was straight to the tour bus to see Runnymede, where the Magna Carta was signed and the breathtaking Windsor Castle.
Back on the bus at 2:30 p.m. to head for our hotel in Watford, I realized that my mates really had missed a whole night’s sleep. That was one tired bus. Heads were dropping, conversation was slowing and snores were startling. I never see this group with their mouths closed, never mind their eyes.
Once checked into the Watford Mercur, we were looking for a home away from home for six nights, a refuge from a trying journey, a touch of comfort in a foreign land, but it was not to be found in the conveniences of a typical American Hotel.
Washcloths? “Oh, here they’re face flannels and we don’t offer them.” Drawers in the room for unmentionables? More like IKEA open shelves. Scotch and soda? “Oh, here, soda means a soft drink, like Coke.” Ice? “No, not in the room. You’ll have to go to the dining room kitchen.”
The inconveniences of travel loom. We are at hotel where the nearest outside food source happens to be a McDonalds. Olympic tickets, despite the empty seats seen on TV, are extremely hard to get and extremely expensive. Tomorrow we have an early call at 7:50 a.m. to board the bus for a whole day of sightseeing in London, but the hotel is too far from the City to be able to rest and change clothes before going to the theater district in the evening to see Singing in the Rain. We’re looking at a 15-hour day … and did I mention to you that most of us are over 45? Wa, wa, wa!
But we are here to dance … to represent our Island, our country on a world stage. The dream is big! The living is big! And living the big life rarely comes with comfort and convenience.