A Short Transatlantic Blog

Dec 6, 2018   //   by bwilber   //   Bob's Blog  //  Add a Comment

Greetings from the Delta Sky Club at Detroit International Airport, as we await our connection to London Heathrow. Everything seems to be on-time and the big Airbus is at the gate, so (knock on wood) we should be good to go. I’m typing this at 7 pm on Wednesday, knowing full well that we have a long overnight flight ahead of us and should land in London around 9 tomorrow morning. My goal is to take a few iPhone pics between now and arrival, and finish up this mini-blog after we get to the hotel, which would allow me to actually get this blog up on Thursday Blog Day in terms of North American time zones. This time, I actually feel like I might get some sleep on the red-eye over the pond on our way to the UK, but I probably should’ve not mentioned that. I’m terrible at sleeping on planes unless the last thing I need to do is sleep on the plane.

While we’re here in the Sky Club, I can give you an update on one thing that really had me jazzed up this week. I’d hit a lull with the writing of my new book “How Far?” over the last couple of weeks, due to a hectic travel schedule and a bit of writer’s block, but I’m pleased to report that another conversation with Paul Broten (the youngest of the Broten boys from Roseau) got me fired up this week and today I finished Chapter 8, which gets my Roseau character all the way through 8th grade and ready to enter Roseau High. What happened that winter, as he was finishing 8th grade? The “Miracle On Ice” team won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, taking out the “unbeatable” Soviet Union team on their way to doing that. Paul’s brother Neal Broten was on that team.

Paul’s a really outgoing and easy to like guy, and all you have to do is to get him started on something like Roseau Rams hockey or the 1980 Olympic team and then you’re scrambling to write notes as fast as he talks. Great dude, great stories, great background. And sure, it’s a little surreal to have a casual conversation with a former NHL player who is the brother of one of the true American heroes who made up the 1980 “Miracle” team. I, once again, feel fortunate to have grown up around Hall of Fame baseball people, like Stan Musial, Ted Williams, and more, because it makes it a lot easier to have a chats with people who have done great things.

London bound. (Click on any image to enlarge)

So now, I’m going to have a bite to eat here in the club and an hour from now we’ll be heading to our gate for the long overnight flight. When we land, it will be morning in England. Every time we make trips like this, the overriding goal is to power through the jet lag and stay up until at least 9 pm local time after we arrive. If you can do that, you’re golden. I’m rarely golden.  See you again soon!


We made it, landing at Heathrow around 9:30 on Thursday morning. I did not sleep a wink. I feel like I’ve been run over by a semi, then the truck backed up and ran me over again. Ugh. I was actually tired after we were served our dinner on the flight, but then as more and more people started to lay their seats flat and turn off the videos and lights I could feel the insomnia taking hold. I just can’t sleep when it would be the best thing for me. I tried, but the guy seated in the row directly behind me sounded like he had the Bubonic Plague, coughing up a storm all night long. The ear plugs I had with me didn’t stand a chance.

And now I’m so screwed up I can’t stand it. We did get out of the hotel for a long walk right after they gave us the keys to our room. It was a big long 10,000-step walk all around this area, on the east end of Hyde Park. It’s more than just a little kinda sorta posh around here, both in terms of the townhouses and the super-nice cars  parked on the curb. I saw more Rolls Royce, Buggatti, Range Rover, and BMW badges today than I’ve ever seen, and that includes Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive.

Hello London!

The hotel is nice (same place we stayed a year ago) and we got an upgrade to an “Executive Room. This is the view out our window.

As much as I’d like to keep this blog rolling, I’m going to have to figure out whether or not I can eat or if I have to take a power nap. I’m afraid if I fall asleep I’ll fall all the way asleep and then wake up at midnight. It’s 3:45 right now.

I’ll see you next week!  Time for some serious pillow time.

Bob Wilber, at your service in Jolly Old England.

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