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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

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Sunburnt in Maryland (First Day in the US)
(Pictures here: OMIGOD Ponies!.)

My flight from LA to Baltimore-Washington pulled out of LAX a bit late, so we weren't really in the air until about 11PM. But somehow we had a tail wind and made up time on the way.

I chatted briefly to a woman called Ruth who was in the seat next to me - although we didn't really introduce ourselves till on the concourse getting off the plane. Turns out she's a blogger who will no doubt befriend me on Facebook soon :-)

After about 36 hours of travelling - 20 in the air, about 8-10 hours in four different airports (Melbourne, Sydney, LAX and Baltimore/Washington), 7 hours in a hotel room in Los Angeles, I arrived weary and tired at 6AM local time in Maryland. BTW, I can report that all airports look the same!

Rather than sleeping, I decided to stay awake for as much of the day as I could. Luke, one of my friends here, took me out to a huge breakfast somewhere in a town/suburb called Columbia. I got to have grits, which I can report is a lot like pale polenta. Although it's usually presented at more of a porridge consistency.

Luke and Laura live more or less on a horse, er, adjustment or riding school type establishment, with their two ponies. So first thing we did (after I discovered that there are squirrels in their garden!) was go for a quick trail ride through the property. Everything here is so green. It'd been raining for the last week, which might have helped. The ground is wet underfoot.

After that we went to a polo match, as you do, at a polo ground off near the border with Virginia. I actually took a few "powernaps" in my comfy folding chair as the jet lag and lack of sleep caught up with me. We at piles of barbecued meat and watched Polo, a game I have never seen before - except on bicycles...

For some reason, the organisers seemed to think that what a polo tournament needed was.... aeroplanes... There was a fly past and some stunts by four trainers (Texans for those interested), a drop in my a coast guard helicopter and then two sky divers. Go figure! I guess if you have these things handy, you might as well use them.

The polo match was not very well organised, but it turned out to be the American's Cup Polo Tournament against... Australia! They'd flown an Australian team in for it! So the national anthem was played, there were lots of Australian flags (as well as many American flags) and a great deal of Fosters was consumed. I didn't have the heart to tell them what a crappy beer it is...

And somehow, I managed to get sunburnt. We were outside for about five hours, and I have the palest skin, but I didn't realise there was enough power in that sun. Ah well.

This part of Maryland is interesting. It's semi-rural, so every house is surrounded by trees. Columbia, which is nearby, is similar but also quite heavily planned, so there are low rise office buildings and seemingly identical shopping strips all through even more trees. Everything seems to be built of the same bricks in more or less the same style...

Went out for Mexican, and I finally got into bed for the first real nights sleep since I left Melbourne.

Anyway, today we're probably off to poke fun at the Amish. Will take dozens more pictures...

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Maryland horses and mud


In my view 'Horse Maryland' must be something like 'Chicken Maryland', except that, instead of coating the horsemeat in breadcrumbs and batter, you cover it in mud. Am I sort of on the right track? Remember that I have never seen a polo pony ever in my life -- nor been to Maryland either.


Hey Paul, nice to be reading regular updates :-)

Say hi to L&L, see you in London soon!

So much to blog, so little time...

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