Fond Summer Memories

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Europe

After the Pax Lodge activities, we boarded our bus to find our own lunch spot.  (Bela and I spotted a Pizza Hut sign, so we went four flights below street level for some tasty food.)  There was time to spend a few pounds after lunch, so we did some shopping.  Traffic was “chockablock,” so we were a bit delayed after we met up again at the bus and proceeded on a three-hour tour.  Unlike Gilligan, we did not get stranded.  We did, however, get wet.

I learned that snapping a decent picture is nearly impossible through a window while zooming by the attraction…in the rain.  I also learned that taxis had high ceilings in them to allow men to climb in without removing their top hats.  Despite the fashions of today, tradition is tradition.

We got out near Buckingham Palace for a photo op.  Bela stayed on the bus, but I took the cameras and represented the García family.  Janet, the tour guide, and our bus driver, Noel, were very nice and helpful.  Our time in London was precisely scheduled—much to my dismay—so we spent quite a chunk of time walking.  Dear Rich, our babysitter full-time guide, walked like he was late for a fire.  By the time we arrived at our supper destination, The Jugged Hare, Bela was in tears.  Her ankle brace had rubbed a blister on her, and her hip was throbbing.  At this point, Bela was ready to go home (as in back to Nebraska).  In spite of the drama and fatigue, I took some cool pictures that I’ll share.  More later!

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I found a cool car place and took Bernard Bear.

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I love this building.

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The queen was not in residence.

10-Day Whirlwind Tour

I have been away on vacation with my teen, Ysabela, for 10 days, but it feels like a lot longer!  I’m happy to be home and blogging again.  In this series of blogs, I will go over the trip day by day to share the experiences with you all.  I kept a journal just for that purpose since I had so many people interested in our travels.

July 10, 2016: We were lucky enough to be transported by friends to the airport, so that saved me a lot of parking fees and stress.  We made our flight, but it was a bit sketchy.  Dawn, one of the flight attendants, was there, but she wasn’t a bit helpful.  The plane shook and made odd noises—enough to alarm Bela.  I reassured her, but I was a bit concerned until things evened out.  Since our flight took off late, we barely made the connecting flight in Chicago.  We were the last ones to board.  That part was very stressful, as you can imagine!

After we got settled in on the flight across the pond, Jeffrey Alan made us feel at home.  This plane was so much different from the others we have taken!  First class was WOW!  Bela and I decided that one day, we will travel to Europe in that section!  We kept going to the “regular people” seating.  Each row was divided as such: 3-4-3.  Dinner was a sight!  I chose pasta, Bela wanted chicken, so we were both satisfied.  Each tray had the main course, a small bottle of water, a roll, salad with pomegranate acai vinaigrette dressing on the side, a small wedge of cheese and crackers.  I ate almost everything while I watched Allegiant; Bela tuned in to see a Goose Bumps movie.  We had time on the flight for about three movies if we stayed awake for the entire seven-hour flight.  We definitely felt spoiled.  Supper made us look forward to breakfast!

Flight information showed Chicago to London as 3939 miles which translated into seven hours and 20 minutes.  I enjoyed my headphones and blanket.  Daddy’s Home was my second movie choice.  I did end up sleeping some.

July 11, 2016:  We landed in London around nine in the morning (their time, not ours).  It took forever to get through the passport check.  Once we escaped that, all I wanted was a smoke!  I left Bela with an EF Tour lady while I found a smoking area.  After so many hours without one, I felt a bit dizzy afterward.

The EF Tour lady took Bela to Richard, our babysitter/guide/go-to guy, and he finished collecting the rest of our group.  We dropped off our luggage at the bus while he passed out our Oyster cards.  Oyster cards are used for public transportation.  We saw a lot of the metro today!  We literally walked miles.  One lady had a FitBit and said we had already walked almost three miles, but she didn’t have it on all day.  We definitely got in way more than 10,000 steps.

We saw buskers in Trafalgar Square and hoofed it over to Covent Garden to view some awesome statues.  Our final destination for the day was Premier Inn in the Shoreditch area of town.  More pictures and info to come!

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