The Rain in Maine…

…was mainly on the Interstate.

The weather was pretty lousy when we drove down to Heathrow on Friday night and we took it steady on the M4 but several lunatics in BMW’s steamed past us at speeds that must have been in excess of 90 mph. We stopped at Reading services for a coffee and loo break before heading back out and getting to the hotel at a not unreasonable hour.

Saturday morning the weather wasn’t much better and the hotel hoppa took us to Terminal 5 through some pretty lousy weather and flooded roads. The bus drive nearly drove into the back of a broken down car, and I think he was the only person who hadn’t seen it.

We left Heathrow about 30 minutes late in very heavy wind and rain and the take-off was pretty shaky and the pilot didn’t waste any time in getting above the storm and most of the flight was quite smooth, apart from the annoying kid in the seat behind me who kept kicking and hitting the seat and whose parents didn’t seem to give a toss. I’d like it if when you book airline seats and they ask if you have special dietary requirements if you could also specify that you don’t want to sit next to, directly in front of, or behind, snotty little brats.

The captain told us that the weather in Boston was pretty much the same as in London and he was right, it was muggy and raining and despite us leaving Heathrow late we actually landed a little early. As we were walking away from the plane I noticed that a lot of the stands were empty and that there hardly seemed to be any planes around. The immigration hall was pretty much deserted and we were only standing in line for a couple of minutes. The immigration officer told us that it was “just a lull” but when we got down into baggage claim the place was pretty much deserted with no other carousels running and our luggage came out pretty quickly.

Then the fun began. We’d brought two bottles of alcohol into the country and the immigration officer asked us if we’d got foodstuffs etc. We said no and he scribbled things on our customs form. After we’d collected our luggage and we headed towards custom we were intercepted and the form looked at and the same questions asked and our form marked again. We were told to go over to one side where they asked us the same questions about foodstuffs etc. and then we had to put all our bags through a scanner.

But even with that we were still outside in a record time. It felt odd to be in Boston in daylight as we usually seem to arrive there late in the afternoon. The bus turned up and we got on and soon we were heading North.

The rain, which had been consistent but light turned heavier and heavier and it wasn’t long before the bus was the fastest thing on the road. I’m not sure how the driver could see where we were going but we got to the bus station in Portland about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Our cases were dragged off the bus and one of them was a little damp, which given the weather was hardly surprising.

The rain backed off a little bit but then came on a lot harder just in time for Rick and Jill to turn up to collect us.

The rain got heavier and heavier and the drive north wasn’t much fun and there was a lot of standing water on the road. We’d got wet getting the suitcases into the back of the truck and we’d not actually dried out much by the time we had to get out and unload the cases again. They said that it did just over 2.5 inches of rain but I guess we must have been travelling with the heaviest part of the storm because it felt like a lot more.

Everything was a little wet when we unpacked it but we soon got everything dried off and the weather has been pretty good since then.

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