As I’m posting this, dear hubby is laying in bed in our London hotel snacking on a Cadbury chocolate bar and watching “Telly”. We’re extremely, extremely exhausted from a very long plane trip and train ride into London from Gatwick Airport. Our little escapade started Saturday afternoon:
Picked up by Niagara Airbus at 3:20 and made Pearson International in time to check our luggage and grab supper at Swiss Chalet. We then headed over to the boarding terminal to wait for our flight, which was pretty much right on time.
The flight over, naturally was exhausting, as neither Nat nor I can sleep on planes. Nat grabbed the headphones I saved from our last plane trip back in 2003 and watched the movie “Water For The Elephant“. Being about a circus during the Depression he enjoyed the story while I listened to some podcasts on the old iPad. We managed to kill a few hours but the balance was really tough.
As an aside story – Nat managed to have a young woman in front of him that had striking long black hair. Every now and again she would grab the long back lengths and do the old “wrap it up with an elastic” thing. The first attempt we both had to laugh as it reminded us of Fred Flintstone’s daughter, Bam Bam, with the bone at the top of her hair. The black hair was shaped like a bone with straggly ends hanging all around – and all we could see was the “bone” bobbing around now and again every time she moved her head. The second attempt a couple hours later looked like a messy peacock with its feathers spread out. At least it gave Nat and I something to giggle about.
As Nat had an aisle seat, I sat between him and a young Japanese lad – hip, cool and cute – with laptop in his backpack and very cool headphones. He listened to his music and then slept the rest of the journey. We, too, had a bit of a giggle, as the Asian man to the left of him was traveling with a blanket in a bag. After fumbling with his luggage and dropping a case that almost hit my Japanese friend, he grabbed his eye shades, pulled out his blanket, pulled it over his head and down to his feet. If anyone walked by we both could have sworn there was a dead man sitting in that seat. The blanket was laid out that perfectly!!
With a long plane ride finished, we headed over to the train depot to catch the train into London. Another long and educating experience of which we both do not wish to repeat. The first train we were to catch was so jammed packed with commuters and travelers they looked like sardines in a huge can laying on its side. After asking one of the attendants about another train, he directed us over to the next platform, which required us to go back up the escalator (for a second time) with four pieces of luggage, walk back across the train station, back down another escalator to another platform. This train wasn’t as bad, but Nat still had to stand by the doors to watch our luggage, while I grabbed one of the few seats left in our car. Another 35 minute trip into London and we arrived in one piece.
We now had to determine where our hotel was and how we would get there. Trying to get our bearings at Victoria Station, tired, aching and thirsty, we wandered around the station for almost an hour, dodging and weaving in-between Londoners, travelers and other Brits in town for the weekend. We finally found a nice young man that directed us to where we wanted to go, but being at the wrong end of the Station it was going to take us a little longer to get there than usual. And so we began our trek of which was suppose to take us about 15 minutes, but ended up being about 30. Every now and again we had to stop – my hip was really bothering me, Nat’s back and neck were aching from pulling two pieces of luggage, while I pulled the carry-on. Somehow, somewhere we made it!!
As with all of our trips, something else has to go wrong and this was no exception. We arrived at the hotel about 2 to 3 hours before check-in, but after explaining what we had been through and where we were from, the Manager told us to rest our weary bones on the sofas in the front lobby and he told his staff to make up and clean our room ASAP. While resting and waiting for our room, the Manager gave us brochures we could look over for possible things to see and do during our stay. We couldn’t have asked for friendlier service, all of which was very much appreciated.
After finally checking into our rooms we flopped onto the bed and fell asleep. With a couple hours of rest under our belts, we woke up long enough to don shoes and wallet and take a walk down the street to one of the shops for drinks and snacks. Still tired but not hungry we wanted enough food and drink to hold us over until breakfast.
As I’m doing this posting, Nat is nestled under the covers and watching a very funny game show featuring famous British footballers (soccer players). Even I have to laugh, these guys are a riot when it comes to guessing other sports figures. I have to admit, I’m looking forward to seeing a few of Britain’s best television shows while we’re here.
I’m now signing off, Nat’s now sound asleep on his pillow with arms crossed and a half-eaten Cadbury chocolate bar resting on his lap. I’m now going to join him, so goodnight and sweet dreams!!