The Long and Winding Road - England, Wales, Ireland & Scotland
Or Deb & Kev's Marvelous Adventure
May 8-23, 2004
How do I condense over 80 pages of handwritten journal? Let me see...
Karen picked me up at 5:30am on the 8th. Ugh. Very early. Was up, showered, packed and excited. Suitcase was full already and I hadn't even begun the trip. I am known for buying lots of this and that, where was I going to put everything? Probably packed more clothes than I needed, but I really didn't want to deal with doing laundry. The most we'd be at any one hotel would be two nights and I figured there would be much better things to do than laundry. Got to the airport by 6:30 and got bag checked with no problem. Karen treated me to breakfast in the airport cafe. She hugged me and then off I went through security.
Flight to Atlanta was uneventful at least that's what I thought. I slept most of the 4 hour trip. Heard that there was some kind of medical problem in the front - flight attendent had to climb up on seat in front of me in order to get medical kit. As I got off the plane, I saw young woman sleeping across a row with many blankets. Overheard in the bathroom that our flight almost got diverted to Denver because passenger was that sick. Oy. Glad I didn't know that.
Decided to meet Kev at his gate - I had flown into terminal A - he flew into terminal B (though I had gone to terminal C first). Good thing he was awake as I walked right past him. Took the train over to terminal E. Had issues as we weren't assigned seats together. Grrrr. That was the main reason why we were doing this "fly into Atlanta then fly to London".
There must be a better way - as we had been assigned a different airplane than originally planned, the computer just automatically reassigns seats and we were under different reservation numbers that they can't book us together. Kev was able to get the guy seated next to him to switch seats so everything turned out fine. Poor Kev... he had to deal with sleep deprived grouchy me. *grin*
After going through passport control and customs, we were met by cheery lady from Hotelink. This company shepards people from plane to Gatwick Express Train to Victoria Station to bus to individual hotels. Worked great! Kev & I checked into hotel and decided to crash just for a bit. It wasn't even 10am at that point -zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
Woke up 5 hours later. Oops. Did a quick walk around the area (Westminster) - we were two blocks from the Tate Museum (not the Modern Arts one) and block or so from the Thames. Ended up eating in an Indian restaurant. The bottled water there read "Delightfully Still". Came back to the hotel and thought about what we'd do the next day. Even after long nap, went to bed early as neither of us had gotten much sleep over the past week.
Monday, May 10, 2004
Did the city tour which had been included in our package. As Kev & I had already been to London before, it was pretty much a waste of time. Got dropped off by Harrods around noon. We got a day pass for the underground, and went over to Charing Cross to check out some of the book stores. Went into a dark pub that had red leather booths & a matching ceiling and had lunch. I got the sausages and mash & Kev got the ham and brie sandwich. No beer. Not brave enough to try the Guinness.
Took tube back to Harrods - did some shopping there and had a very nice tea at 3:30pm. Not cheap, but well worth it. Scones, finger sandwiches (salmon & cream cheese, egg & watercress, cucumber, tomato & chese, ham & brie), and little chocolate eclairs and fruit tarts. Crystal chandeliers, linen napkins, heavy silverware and a pianist. Lovely.
Back to the hotel to freshen up and quick nap. Then back to the tube to Covent Gardens - we had tickets to see the play The Woman in Black. We figured out where the theatre was and then hit some of the stores in Covent Gardens. Had been talking about stuff we wanted to look for and Kev mentioned that he wanted to hit a Lush store but didnt' know where there was one. Lo and behold, not 10 steps away, there one was. Unfortunately it was closed. *sigh*. Did manage to buy Kyle and Alani London Mickey Mouse shirts at the Disney Store.
Woman in Black has been in performance for over 13 years - a *Ghost Story* performed in an intimate 3 storey theatre. We had front row balcony seats. Definitely scared me at times. I know I jumped a few times and even found myself grabbing onto Kev. Damn. Good show. Even though I had the willies for a while. Had dinner at Trotters - was very good and then looked around at the closed stores. I'd like to go back there. Barely made it back to the hotel - didn't know that the tube closed at midnight. Caught the 11:45pm train from Covent Garden to Picadilly Circle, transfered to the Victoria line to Pimlico station. Exited the tube at midnight. Walked back to our hotel and crashed.