Had anyone asked me a year ago, it would have only been a wild imagining that I would actually visit anywhere in Europe. To quote Wayne Dyer, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZLjqjE1X94
So, when my daughter, Beth, asked me if I wanted to join her and her family in August – for a wedding outside of London – it planted a seed. Beth and her almost three year old daughter were attendants in Beth’s best friend’s wedding. Her friend is a Brit, from outside of London; her dad too ill to come to the states so wedding was there.
If memory serves, I had not yet completely formulated my retirement plans, so traveling to Europe was merely a suggestion for consideration. Just in case, I checked the current status of my Passport – good.
Beth mentioned it again at some point after I retired in February; and moved across the state. When she asked what I would want to see in England, without hesitation I replied Stonehenge and some castles. That was cue enough for her to include me in the plans.
In no time at all, the time had come! I found a dress and shoes (as an after thought) for the reception. I packed my bags for cooler weather – mistake number one. Really that was the only mistake. It was hotter there than in central west Florida. Not Kidding!
The non-stop flight to Heathrow was from Dallas where Beth and her family reside. The first leg of my journey began before dawn. My buddy, Betty and her hubby, drove me to the Tampa airport. I was off to the big D for a twelve hour lay-over. Beth picked me up and we spent the day together prior to departing later on the adventure of a lifetime. Beth, her hubby and his mom, my granddaughter, and me.
During the overnight flight, I watched three movies and tried to sleep. Luckily, the flight was not completely full so we had a row of seats to ourselves but getting comfortable was another issue. Plus I was a wee bit excited about the whole thing.
Upon landing, the hired driver was not the best informed but eventually we located each other; loaded up all the luggage and headed to the hotel and the fresh chocolate chip cookies. That evening we all (except my son-in-law) ventured out for our first London experience – the eye. https://www.viator.com/London-attractions/London-Eye-tours-tickets/d737-a1400?pref=02 The 443 foot high Ferris wheel/observation deck built for the 2000 millennium.
It was incredible. I posted a trip advisor review if you are able to locate it. The eye revolves so slowly that it doesn’t stop to let visitors on or off. I was fascinated by the range of view as well as the mechanism which appears similar to a giant bicycle hub/wheel. From the eye, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the iconic tower bridge and the tower of London are visible…along with so much more.
We were able to visit many of the ‘hot spots,’ some not so awesome but who knew?
Buckingham Palace, home of the Queen, was the first of three palace/castles we visited. We were all amused when asking the youngest among us, where the Queen was to hear her reply, “on holiday!” the unspoken suggestion being – you morons! Why did you bring me all this way and we can’t see the Queen?
The trip in total for me was about two and one-half weeks! I arrived home just before the rains of Hermine. I am going to cut this here, because another rain band is passing through, and I may loose my internet connection.
However, my travel report will continue in the next few posts.