Plot Twist!

Supper was served none too soon at The Jugged Hare.  The atmosphere was pleasant, and the food was acceptable.  (With English food, I couldn’t tell what was “normal” from food that was just bland.  Maybe English food is all lacking in robust taste.  I am not sure I can offer a fair opinion until I discuss it with a friend or two in England.  I mean no offense.)

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I learned several new things while Bela and the rest of the tour group went to see Mamma Mia.  Rich, an intriguing conversationalist, was kind enough to keep me company.  I learned that a “shandy” is half beer and half lemonade, for example.  I don’t drink alcohol, but I thought that was amusing.   I also learned that there was a proposed tax on “fizzy drinks.”  I was outraged!  How dare they charge more for drinking a soda than a bottle of water.  Discrimination!

After the group was done watching Mamma Mia, we (thankfully) boarded a bus to the hotel.  NO MORE WALKING!!!!  Bela was in a much better mood because she sat beside a lady who shared candy with her.  Bela and the lady had a delightful conversation while they enjoyed seeing the show (again, for both of them).

Once back at the hotel, things got hectic because our room keys had been deactivated.  Only one of us had a key that worked!  Bela was rooming with three girls from the Texas group, and they were all locked out.

Things finally got straightened out after about twenty minutes, and we were able to get in bed.  The next day I discovered that since Bela snores, she had kept the girls awake!  (I snore too, and I sleep like a rock!)  One of her roomies was epileptic, so she really needed her meds and rest time to be functional.  No problem!  We all were very considerate of students who needed accommodations.  I had originally asked if Bela could room with me, but I was told it would cost us $300 extra!  Students were four to a room while adults were two per room.

Avis, the leader for the Texas group, and I thought Bela could bunk in my roomsince it was an unplanned situation.  My roomie, however, did not feel comfortable with a student in our space even though the student was my 18-year-old daughter.  Plan B was then hatched.  My roommate was kind enough to bunk with her students’ moms so we could at least have time to figure out what would work.

Rich’s hands were tied concerning the room situation.  Final word (approval) had to come from the main office.  We thought things were fixed in London, but the drama continued even after we arrived in Paris.  Let’s just say things were finally fixed to our satisfaction after Avis and I both threw fits and refused to pay extra for the room Bela and I had to ourselves.  My former roomie got a single room (great for her!), I got to room with my girl (great for us), and Bela’s former roomies could rest (great for them!).  The point was there was no way we could have predicted the situation and/or planned for it!  Nobody was at fault.  After the rooms were decided, I could feel tension oozing away….More adventures coming soon!

London!

One thing that really surprised me in London was hearing many languages being spoken.  I had expected to hear a lot of the Queen’s English, but that was simply not the case!  I enjoyed the diversity around me, and so did Ysabela.  That being said, now back to our adventure….

While Rich dashed off to purchase tickets for Mamma Mia (for 38 pounds each), I took advantage of some shopping time after Bela and I sampled fish (haddock) and chips.  Ketsup cost extra, so we did without it.  It was much like the batter fried fish we get at Long John Silver.  We went to the M&M store and grabbed some neat things along with the chocolate.  Bela got chilled from the rain and wind later, so she unwrapped her blanket and used it like a rain coat.  We bought two on sale for three pounds each when I paid for Bela’s huge bag of candy.

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Bela was so tired by late afternoon, but she wasn’t alone; my feet ached, but we still had to keep moving on and off the metro.  The poor kid actually fell asleep while Rich tracked down two of the girls who got misplaced.  It took him about an hour to get back with them.

At least Bela’s shopping trip was successful.  She was pleased to find a flag and a London iPhone case.  I couldn’t find a case for my phone, so I was a bit disappointed.  We made it to Hult for supper where we had pizza.  It was pretty tasty after such a long day.  Some of the older ladies and I were nearly worn down to a nub after so many hours spent walking around London.  We made it to the hotel (finally) around seven.  (Keep in mind that we flew out Sunday after lunch and it was now Monday night.)  I was rooming with Laura, a Girl Scout leader.  Laura had emailed me prior to the trip to introduce herself which was kind of her.  I was thankful that Laura had a spare adapter so I could charge my phone!  Bela was rooming with three girls from the Texas group.  They had been discussing anime all day, so they had bonded a bit.

We hit the showers, then I perked up enough to go to the hotel bar for some American coffee.  It only cost me a pound.  I smoked a couple of cigarettes, then dropped off Bela’s medicines.

On my final smoke break of the night, I met a girl named Charlie Alex.  Her boyfriend, George, was caring for his little sister—Marla, two years old, green eyes, red curly hair.  Her picture was adorable.  Charlie asked me questions about the United States, and I listened to her explain why she was unhappy with the decision to leave the European Union.  She opined that it will limit economic opportunities for her generation.  Chatting with Charlie was a nice ending to a very hectic day.

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