The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

A Second Day in London Town …

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Boy, did we have a long night. After watching a bit of TV we hit the hay around 9:00 PM (4:00 PM CDN). As if on cue, together we both woke up around 2:30 AM (9:30 CDN) but continued to stay in bed and snooze until morning.

We managed to drag our butts out of bed around 7:30 and went for breakfast, which was really nice. Nat, however, was now feeling a little wonky and had to miss out on what looked like a good full English breakfast – eggs, sausage, tomato, beans on toast and the like. We both stuck to tea and toast and at least had something in our stomachs. We’re both thinking that crappy meal on the plane is what did it for dear hubby, but we’ll never know. He’s still extremely tired and frustrated and I can’t say I blame him.

We’re going to try and walk back to Victoria Station this morning so we can get the cell phone arrangement fixed up and maybe look into getting tickets for the Big Bus ride around town this afternoon. Will see what happens.

Later in the day … Nat and I walked back to Victoria Station which was much shorter than the version ws were directed to yesterday. The first thing we had to do was purchase one of those “throw-away phones” so we headed to a phone shop where a nice lad soon fixed us up and we were good to go. He was great in explaining and even setting up the phone for us. We had a nice look around and by lunch time headed upstairs to the restaurants and grabbed a bite to eat. Nat grabbed half a Subway ham and cheese and I went to MacDonald’s. Nothing like being in Britain and eating American! In my defense, however, the cost of living here is very, very expensive as is the food and other products.

After lunch we headed over to the Big Bus Tours for their afternoon tour which was really worth the money – 25.00 Pds each!! The weather being quite nice, Nat and I sat up top in the open-air and enjoyed the cool wind blowing through our hair while trying to snap as many pictures as we could all the while bobbing our heads left and right as directed by our tour guide. I haven’t, as yet, checked how our pictures turned out by will after posting this blog. I’m sure there are a lot of historical British buildings that are going to be blurrier than a drunken man’s view.

It’s only me, of course, that could miss Buckhimgam Palace. After our guide pointed out the Royal Mews, I turned around to Nat and said “What happened to Buckinham Palace?“. He replied “It’s behind us“. I’m now thinking what in hell just happened – I missed the whole thing!! I was looking. I was snapping away left, right and up into the skies, but somehow the Palace slipped by me. Not that I’m going to shed tears about it, but hey, you’re in London and you’d think Buckingham Palace would have stuck out somehow!! Chalk another one up for the old gal!!

Nat and I had been taking so many pictures from the very beginning of our tour that Nat’s camera batteries went dead half-way through. He was sure it was charged. As I had brought my little camera, too, I continued on his behalf but alas, my second pair of batteries eventually gave us, too. I had at least managed to snap enough pictures up to the Royal Mews (without Buckingham Palace, of course) which was only two stops from where we would get off the bus. After our cruddy beginning we at least had a good day for our one and only trip to London, England.

As if past events weren’t enough, we arrived back at our hotel room to get organized before supper. As our hotel was near Victoria Station, naturally we assumed it ran ALL trains. Well, we were wrong. No British Rail trains go out of that Station – only Waterloo, Paddington and any others – just not Victoria. Somehow we were now in another scramble. Do we go back to Victoria Station to take a train to Paddington or Waterloo? Do we hire a cab to take us to one of those Stations? After much discussion, research for times, and costs and labour -lugging that luggage all around town again – we decided it would be quicker and easier for us to just have the front desk order us a taxi in the morning to take us over to Waterloo Station. From there we’d be able to catch a train to Warminster that would only take 1 Hour 15 minutes. This was one of BritRail’s direct trains to Warminster, as the others would have one stop in-between and take just over 2 Hours. We then called Wendy to bring her up-to-date and she sounded ever so excited to be seeing us tomorrow. Nat and myself are also looking forward to see them and hopefully get back to enjoying a peaceful, quiet holiday which is what we had hoped for in the beginning. As a selfish aside, Nat and I are so looking forward to having a good home-cooked meal with family. Can’t wait.

After our laborious discussions, we ran across the street to a local pub and grabbed a very nice fish and chip supper. One of those moments I knew I was in Britain. The pub’s atmosphere was friendly, warm and oozing charm. The locals standing at the bar having a pint, a couple of elderly ladies in the corner playing their scale game, while another young lad took advantage of the wi-fi and worked away on his laptop. Such a communal feel to it all. Nat and I both enjoyed ourselves immensely. We managed for once to have a small streak of good luck. While enjoying our supper, the rains came down en masse. We felt a small sprinkle heading over to the pub but within a half hour, it poured. Our luck came just as we were finishing our meal when it stopped. It may be small for “luck”, but at this point I’ll take whatever luck I can get.

Second day down – more to come!!

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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