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!

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.