It’s a Wrap

by Lou on May 16, 2005

Friday marked the conclusion of the filming and voiceover work in London. The crew and director hoped to be finished by mid afternoon but the day ran a bit longer than expected and we were not done until early evening. As soon as we wrapped, we headed down to the pub adjacent to the Copthorne Tara Hotel, and had an informal wrap party.

We thought we’d be the loudest group in the pub, but we weren’t. Not by a longshot. There were a group of rugby players — about 20 or 30 in all — who were there for a reunion. They were all dressed in formal wear but that didn’t cut down one iota on their singing, story telling, and general joviality. They were a good group, having a grand time, and they added to the pub’s jovial atmosphere.

Following a huge Thai meal at a restaurant a few doors away, I came back to the hotel but found myself too keyed up to sleep, so I played some poker online. That was a mistake. All my good hands were cracked and the only saving grace was that I did not get all that many of them to begin with so my losses weren’t as bad as they might have been. Flopped a set and got beat with it. Had to release a pocket pair of aces on the turn when I suspected I was beaten in two places. Turned the nut straight and lost to a flush. Flopped a king high flush and lost to a bigger one. It was gruesome. That’s poker, but it’s not fun. I finally got to bed at about 1:00 AM London time, and had to get up at 5:00 AM for the long ride out to Gatwick and my flight home.

I was groggy when I awakened, and it was very disconcerting to think that getting up at 5:00 AM was really getting up at 9:00 PM the night before on California time, and that’s what I’d be on when I returned home.

The driver was on time, there wasn’t much traffic out to Gatwick, and I was at the airport in plenty of time. Continental Airlines did a good job this time. Check in was quick and easy and I was on the plane and asleep right after takeoff. I slept most of the way across the Atlantic, awakening on the descent into Houston. I had to clear customs and then enter the airport again, passing through security one more time, in order to catch my connecting flight to Palm Springs. But we landed early, I was seated close to the door, so I dashed out dragging my carry-on and was one of the first people through customs. I also lucked out because there were very few people going through security when I had to enter the domestic flights area of the airport again, and so I was able to get to my gate for the Palm Springs flight in plenty of time.

Because it’s a small plane from Houston to Palm Springs (a 50-passenger job) it’s always gated at the very end of the terminal building, in this case Gate 68 in Terminal B. So I hotfooted it over there and arrived with about 20 minutes to spare (had there been a big line to clear customs, or a big line entering through the security gate again, making my connecting flight would have been dicey at best).

Another flight, another three hours to kill, and another nap. I awakened when we were over the desert, probably less than 50 miles from Palm Springs. I could actually see my new house to the south of us as I looked out the window of the plane as we descended over the Coachella Valley on a straight line west into the Palm Springs airport. I was tired, overdressed because I took only London clothes with me (those are my dead-of-winter desert clothes) and was looking forward to a hot shower or a dip in the pool when I got home.

We even arrived 20 minutes early. A shock. Especially when traveling east to west and into prevailing headwinds. I was outside the airport about 10 minutes before Deirdre pulled up to ferry me home. I was tired, exhausted, glad to be back, and happy now that the work was done and the TV show just needed a bit more editing for all 10 episodes to be complete.

I had seen a few takes from some of the completed episodes and liked the look and feel of the show, so I can’t wait until I get a DVD with the entire first season of Vegas Virgins on it. I’m not sure whether I’ll watch all 10 shows in one sitting, but I will watch them all.

Next week I can get back to the new book I’m writing, and getting a new column done for The Nevada Sunday, but for now, all I want to do is dissolve into some warm water and let the jet lag drain away so that I can once again be certain of what time it is and whether I should look to the left or the right first before crossing the street.

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