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A Bird Abroad: This Bird grounded

A Bird Abroad: This Bird grounded
(Robert Brown/Staff Photo, Carroll County Times)

Robert "Bird" Brown and a soccer team of 12-year-olds are on a playing and educational tour of England. He is chronicling his trip in "A Bird Abroad."

Today was our travel day and man, what a long day it is coming east.

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After getting all of our boys and families checked in at Dulles, we had a very uneventful overnight flight to London with a great flight by British Airways.

The fun really didn't start until we made it to London.

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With several planes backed up on our approach, we made it to London Heathrow airport about 15 minutes late. Already pressed for time, we had to suffer through another grueling security process despite the fact that we had been thoroughly searched and had not left the secure area of the terminal.

The end result was that 12 of our 40 travelers were left behind at the terminal and had an additional 3 hour delay over a 35 minute flight. The other 2/3 of our group made it on time to Manchester, only to have to wait for our final third to arrive much later.

The delay put a cramp in our schedule and we missed our trip to the National Football Museum. The boys hadn't slept much overnight, but their appetites were strong so we ventured to the Trafford Center Mall for lunch before heading to meet the host families.

The experience of getting three vans and two cars to any place with the mirrors all pointed in unfamiliar directions, steering wheel and the stick shift on the wrong side, and the driving lane on the wrong side of the road was quite an accomplishment but we somehow managed to get it done.

The evening went smoothly with our boys meeting their host parents at our host school, Priestnall School in Stockport. I have not heard from any of the boys but I'm sure most caught up on some much needed rest.

Tomorrow, our boys head to school with their hosts, back to try and see the National Football Museum and then a match at Manchester United and a professional rugby game tomorrow night.

It promises to be the best day of the trip.

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