London March 2018 Trip – Day 1

And she’s off!

Long traveling days! Drove to Modesto and stayed with lovely friends and got to catch up. So much going on – must force them to come and visit. May resort in kidnapping their awesome dog – that will bring them!

Drive to San Francisco was mostly uneventful. Some traffic so got to my off airline hotel parking spot (buy ahead on my spot to save $280!!) To snag THE LAST space. Scary!! Technically I was too late to process through and get the 8:30 shuttle but the travel gods did not let me down and s I ran back around with my one (tiny) bag, I was able to step onto the shuttle as the door was closing!

Super early at the airport so when I discovered WOW doesn’t participate in TSA pre-check I didn’t panic. Made friends with a woman taking WOW to Reykjavick with me but going on to Paris. We had lunch together at a great Mediterranean restaurant where I was able to find a vegan and sugar /flour free meal. Gotta love SFO!

WOW airlines, despite the bright purple/fuschia color scheme was great. Lots of leg room in the middle. I sprang for the upgraded $5 window seat and slept for 9 out of 10 hours.

Keflavic airport was nice even at 4 am. Had a fabulous coffee in Iceland, shopped for souvenirs and still had plenty of time to get my 6:30 flight to London. Was so prepared for delays, but landed smack on time – both flights. I don’t even care if the return flight is late!! +Probably just jinxed myself!)

London Gatwick was a very long wait for customs and a bus to the train station. No trains on Sunday – who knew? Due to work on the lines. The lucky bit was I got the front seat on the double decker. (No luggage to speak of so I could go upstairs!)

Crowded but easy, fast and cheap connection from Redhill to Clapham Junction and then made it onto the next train to Putney leaving just three minutes after I got there. Walked down the High Street, enjoying the sights and sounds of being back in one of my favorite cities in the world.

Then the best part – my friend opening to door, huge hugs and then talking nonstop over cups of tea with her and the boys and her neice.

Later walked back to the shops with one strapping boy to carry the bags. Loaded up on Bright Line foods for the week! Made some veggie side dishes to go with dinner. And discovered a sugar free coconut yogurt that is to die for! Wish I could find this in Nevada.

Started to fade before dinner but made it to 8:30 before I crashed. Meant to call Free and Jacob but fell asleep waiting for my phone to charge and reboot. Sorry my love!!

I feel as if I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday talking to anyone who would listen about my amazing husband and son.

I am so blessed. My heart is filled with such gratitude for having them in my life. I miss them already! A week is a long time but I can probably manage to make it through – there’s bound to be something to distract me in London!

Last Leg

Seems very normal to be sitting at an airport, waiting for our flight. But it’s the last flight of the summer and we are not off to a new location, but going home.
Such a nice phrase, going home. We are almost tearful.

Meredith was a star and dropped us at Clapham.
Easy train to Gatwick, though it was a few minutes late.
We are all checked in, bags checked for the first time all summer. (Baggage carousel broke, fo4 a minute I was afraid it was all my shopping!)
Now I feel light as air with only one small carryon.
We’ve picked up water and snacks for the plane. (11 hours is long flight.)
We have coffee and a sandwich.

The only thing left is to wait for our gate to be assigned.

Then – HOME.

Last Day

Our week in London with friends is coming to an end. One last birthday party and then tomorrow we go home. Some sadness, but mostly, happy to have survived the summer with no major accidents, incidents or disasters.

Jacob is still speaking to me, though we have agreed it might be quite nice to not see or speak to each other for a whole day when we get back.

It will be nice to be home. No traveling. Time to sort photos and write down the details of the story of our crazy gypsy summer so we don’t forget it in the distraction of picking up everyday life.

At some point I must pack, as my one small backpack has now morphed into two large bags with all the bits we shipped back to London. Plus, a little shopping in London.

Off to Covent Garden for a bit and then back to set up the party.

Farewell London

Our ten day whirlwind tour is over and we had such an amazing time. Loved seeing my friend and her boys and friends.
To catch up, here is my favorite picture from each day.
Day 1 Arrival in Putney



Lego madness at Harrod’s


Waterloo Bridge in the rain


Parliament Square in a VERY smelly phone box


Taking the ferry bus from Putney to Shakespeare Globe theater to see Taming of the Shrew


To Greenwich to see the Curry Sark and


Meridian line at the Royal Observatory


Trying on Churchill’s hat at the War Rooms


Hiring a convertible Fiat 500C to tour




Touring the Tower of London and Tower Bridge


St Paul’s end of year fete with David Cameron et al


Driving across Salisbury Plain to Bath


Tank Crossings


Final Tube ride to Liverpool Street as we head to Edinburgh

Taming of the Shrew

Jacob confessed later that he really had not expected to enjoy the play – he was going because I wanted to go.

As he was giggling and shouting with laughter about dive minutes in, I am glad he was so accommodating and so was he!

Last picture before the start

We got to see a bit of London at night from Millennium Bridge

From Jacob’s super telephoto lens!


Today we toured Westminster Abbey and saw Shakespeare’s monument (he is buried in Stratford) and finished our evening at the Globe with Taming of the Shrew. I loved it and Jacob surprised himself by loving it as well. He was very surprised to learn how bawdy the Bard was! He laughed and laughed. Ended the evening with a moonrise walk across the Millennium Bridge to St Paul’s and night buses and slow (and confusing) trains back to Putney. Snagged the last pizza as the pizza place was closing and ate half of it on the way home.
Awesome evening. (And Jacob walked over 30,000 steps today! I got 28k)

Putney and the River Thames

We are here! Train to Clapham and then quick change to the Putney train. Walked out of the train station just as a double decker bus pulled up. Loved the look on Jacob’s face!
Quick stop at Three on High Street to buy a sim card and am now connected again.
Shower, unpacking and then out to grab a late lunch.

Long Night

Saw wind turbines in the sea as we came into view of England. Nice glimpse of the cliffs along the coast but then cloud cover all the way into Gatwick.
Jacob and I were the only ones excited that it was rainy and cool!
Westjet from Vancouver was long but awesome crew and plane. Only problem was the lights in our section were stuck on all night. Even with a sleep mask it was hard to sleep. So our first day in London will be a long one in many ways as the Solstice is right around the corner.