Thursday, 16 April 2015

To Birmingham

Well the time has finally arrived. This year is a bit different as I have no one traveling with me for the first time in 25 years. Also a bit different because the first stop is not Glasgow, but Birmingham. But to get there, I needed to fly to Belgium and then back track. 

The flight was booked with Jet Airways. Since this was my first time on Jet Airways, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised. A pillow and blanket awaited at my seat. The seat was a tad roomier than what I normally get. AND I could plug my devices in to charge them. 

The meal was an Indian vegetarian meal. Who knew airline food could be so tasty? And all beverages were complimentary. Even the alcoholic ones. 

We arrived 10 minutes ahead of schedule at Brussels Airport. No fuss, no muss, no bother. In no time, we were on our way to the transfer gate and through security once again. The ceilings in the airport are decorated with poppies to commemorate Flanders Field. 

The flight from Brussels to Birmingham was interesting. We wandered for ages to get to the gate, only to be ushered onto a bus and driven out to the tarmac to get the plane. A 44 seater. 

Less than an hour after take off, we were landing in Birmingham. Then it was off to the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) to take in the Who Do You Think You Are? Live genealogy fair. 

The Hall is large and airy. Lots of room for wandering and not bumping into others. The morning started out slow but by noon, the crowds began to appear. There are stands from all over England and, of course, the Big Three are here - Ancestry, FamilySearch and Find My Past. 

Sadly, there is almost no presence from Scotland. Some of the genealogists are here, but the only stand on exhibit is ASGRA. 

It was great to run into Linda Kerr. We are Twitter buddies but only get to see each other once a year. It was also great to have a quick blether with Chris Paton. He is manning the Unlock the Cruises stand. 

I enjoyed a latte and a catch up with THE Kirsty Gray​! I'm looking forward to having dinner with her tomorrow night. 

It has been non-stop action for the past 21 hours. Soon it will be time to hit the pillows and try to get caught up on some much needed sleep. But first to get caught up with Chris Halliday and Linda Kerr over a coffee or two. 

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