Altogether I must say I had a phenomenal trip. In the span of 4 days I got to see tons of friends and family and also take in a lot of sights. I went to Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, visited with friends and 4 members of my family..I packed so much into the time I was there- I slept only the first night I was there...the other 3 nights I slept for no more than 3 or 4 hours apiece!
But getting to London wasn't easy. My connecting flight went through Philly right as they were bracing for a major snowstorm. An oxygen leak in the plane caused issues and after a 5 hour delay we finally took off right before the snow became unmanageable. Once the plane arrived at Heathrow there was another hour long delay as the luggage doors had become iced shut. I made the rookie mistake of hitting up the Bureau de Change where my $40 got me a whopping £19, but I had to get change for the payphone so I could let my cousin know what the delay was.
On the tech front I was very happy with my choices. On my flight from Dallas to Philadelphia I watched The Town which I had downloaded from the android Blockbuster app before I started my trip.
The wifi at my cousin's apartment was fast, but not without its shortcomings. First of all, every time my device disconnected or went to sleep, I had to re-key the security codes in the browser. Secondly, and most annoyingly, I couldn't get emails to send, or my Slingplayer to work. In fact, it wasn't until I spent a night at a friend's home in Reading that I realized that the issue was specific to the single wifi connection rather than an international issue.
One of the setups I was most happy about was the pre-paid sim card in my Droid Pro. I carried only my DP around and used it to take all my photos, used my offline Tube map, read cached NewsRob articles while on the Tube, and made and received calls as if I were back home. I already had everyone's phone numbers in my DP so I didn't have to re-key them into a feature phone as I'd usually have to.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Finally made it on my spontaneous trip to London and my first stop was a pub to have fish and chips. My cousin had got me a sim card for my phone and after a quick toll free call to Verizon my Droid Pro was unlocked and is now working on a prepaid sim card! No data though, but she's got wifi at home so that's good enough.
This morning I overslept a bit but we still managed to get a good proper English breakfast and then to Tower Bridge for a tour and then a brisk walk over to London Bridge. So far I've noticed a ton of iphones and blackberry's.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
After a few days of running errands and bumming around close to home, I decided on the spur of the moment to see if I could take a quick trip to London for the second part of my vacation. Prices were decent so I decided to just do it! I leave on Tuesday, and I've been running around getting ready ever since. I needed to get a proper winter coat for the extreme cold, dig out my gloves I haven't used in almost 4 years, and pick up a few items. Yesterday I went to get my eye exam and got my glasses and contacts updated.
Naturally, my first thought went to the tech of my travel. I'll be staying with my cousin (yep, she of the BB Curve fame) and she has already assured me that she's got wifi available for me to use. I've decided to just take my Galaxy Tab and I'm hoping to get my Droid Pro unlocked for a prepaid sim card while there.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Ever since we got our Netflix account renewed I've been looking for ways to use it on as many platforms and devices as possible. I already know there is no streaming app for Android (coming soon, I hope!) but there are a fair number of queue managing apps. My favorite apps renders beautifully on my Galaxy Tab, although the resolution is a bit funky on my Droid Pro. QueueManager runs on Adobe Air and is a full-featured manager app for Netflix. It allows for browsing by category, arranging your instant and DVD queues. You'll need to download Adobe Air to run this, so if your device is low on memory it probably won't work smoothly. But if you have a Galaxy Tab and a Netflix account I highly recommend you give this one a twirl.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
In the week that Dean has had his new Wii, we've all been enjoying playing together and spending time cheering each other on. Its also been a good lesson, as we've been teaching Seth about good sportsmanship and why its not nice to say" In your face!" when you beat someone.
This vacation I'm really looking forward to catching up on Netflix movies and shows. I've already been enjoying The IT Crowd (recommended ironically by our IT guy Greg). Last night we finally streamed The Machinist and agreed Christian Bale is nuts.
So, we'll see what this vacation brings. I'm excited even it just means I'll be sitting on my couch the whole time :)