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So Paul is off gallivanting in Paris! This got me to thinking of our European-travelling adolescence. I dusted off the old journal that I kept about our experiences in Great Britain. I keep it in a fire proof safe under my bed along with a lock of my own hair and a copy of the Star Trek the Motion Picture novelization. Sadly I'm not making any of this up, but happily the journal was in tip top shape! Here I begin to transcribe it and preserve it for the ages.

In the summer of 1993 Paul, Nate and Laura went to England. We'd like to say that after three weeks we returned to the United States with a better understanding of English life and culture. Unfortunately we were young and stupid so all we came back with was stories about hanging around the place we stayed watching "Telly". Also we went to see Jurrasic Park... great flick!

Nate kept a journal of his travels in Great Britain... Paul and Laura kept similar books but filled them with silly drawings. Presented here for the first time is Chef "Nate" Elf's English Travel Journals.... enjoy.

[The words in red are the words of Present Day Nate. You don't think that's too vain do you?]

An Open Apology to Laura
Hey kid. In reading this for the first time you may be shocked by what you read. You were younger than us so we made you do the dishes. You worshiped us so we made you clean up after us. You were smaller than us so we cheated you out of money. Hopefully it's just all water under the bridge, right kiddo? The thing is when we got back to America, you were 7 and we were 15 and 17. You got a book published shortly after and we sent our manuscripts to publishers hearing nothing for years (although I think Kopper Bear Press is still considering Storm Over the Empire). And here we are eight years later and we're sitting here uploading things onto a website that you started. You won. We lost. Hope there's no hard feelings.

Week One
Day 1
Friday, July 23, 1993

6:58 P.M.
We just got finished passing through the metal detectors [in the airport]. Paul was setting off all sorts of buzzers because he had 3 cents in his pocket. Paul an I just watched a plane come in. It's the plane that we're going to be flying on! There's a large group of French girls talking and laughing at my side. I hope they're not laughing at me. If they are... I'm gonna mess them up.

8:48 P.M.
We'll be taking off in 12 minutes now. We just got settled in on the plane. I read an Orson Scott Card Story, boy was it scary. Ooooh oh, our captain just made his first announcement. Something about Nick Nolte. Perhaps I didn't understand him with the accent.

9:48 P.M.
I think that my watch is still right. We're soaring thousands of feet above the air right now. The take off was amazing! They have th tiniest little cans of coke here. About two sips and they're done. Paul is already beginning to get surly.

[Luckily this didn't turn out to be like the time a few months ago when that guy took drugs before he went on a plane and a bunch of guys had to kill him to prevent him from opening the door in flight. That must have been scary!]

Who knows what time it is with these datelines and all? Meridian after meridian. Who can keep track? It's like time has ceased to control this Universe. I just finished a delicious meal. Chicken, rice pilaf, CANADIAN cheese, crackers, salad and the most delicious cheesecake that I ever did have. People say that airline food is dreadful. Poppy Cock! I think it is divine!

[I was not a chef yet at this point. I think that perhaps the food may have been passable. I remember liking it but how could it have been as good as I described? Then again what the hell did I know about food at that age? I didn't even eat a tomato until I was nineteen.]

Lord only knows what time it is. I'm bored out of my skull and I've got enough energy to lift up Detroit and swim with it across the Bering Strait on my back like one of those people that rides Shamu at Sea World. The steward just gave me a cup of Orange Juice and I polished it off in one sip. Do people in airplanes not have normal thirst? Generally when I'm drinking something I will sometimes take upwards of 4-5 sips before officially calling it a "refreshment." The sky is continually getting lighter as I sit here with Paul in misery watching the in flight movie, King Ralph. I suppose they feel this to be an adequate introduction into British Culture.

End of Day 1
Next time: our arrival and bout with jet lag! Tune in!