Its hard to figure out where to start or what to tell you. How many pictures to show? What’s important, what’s not. So I guess I’ll just start at the beginning, and try to relate the highlights of the trip in chronological order.
I left here on December 26th. First flight to Birmingham. Let me tell you, after this trip, I feel pretty sure I could fly anywhere. I have been in so many airports and on so many planes in a fairly short period of time. What do you do in an airport while you are waiting for the plane? Well, either you look at food or you look at magazines. I chose the latter. Look what I found. The headline seemed appropriate for this point in my life.
The trip started in Birmingham, where the whole group met and had a day of orientation. The makeup of the group was, well, it was interesting. A nice family of five, a married couple that were my age, three 17 year old boys, a 24 year old and a 28 year old (young men), a very young engaged couple, and the 30-something couple that were leading the group. I think that’s all I’m gonna say about that.
Very early the next morning we all got up and trouped to the Birmingham airport. Two hour flight to Chicago, 6 hours spent wandering around the Chicago airport, and another 8 hour flight to London. We arrived in London at 7am, and were out touring the city by about 9am. Here’s a pic of the group underneath the first sign that sounded English to me! Their transportation system was surprisingly similar to BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit.) I am guessing that we copied them and not the other way around.
First thing we saw when we emerged from the subway was the famous red double decker buses.
Which we did not take. We did a walking tour, which I would have loved had I known. I had the most uncomfortable walking shoes on–clogs that I wore on purpose because they are great on the plane. Anyway, we walked 5.5 miles (I had my pedometer on!) and we did see a great deal. The buildings were just wonderful, such great architecture and carvings and such. They are big on statues over there evidently. Statues were everywhere! Here is a fountain that was in the middle of the square. It was surrounded by more statues.
Closer view. Cool lion statue, huh?
I saw this through some fog and thought it looked neat. Didn’t know I was looking at Big Ben til we got a lot closer!
It was quite grand. Really big too LOL.
We saw Parliament.
And walked all around St. James Park. It was quite beautiful, even in winter.
Thus ends our walking tour of London. We saw Westminster Abbey and of course ended up at Buckingham Palace. Where there was quite the fiasco. Involving several people taking off in opposite directions to go to the bathroom, while at the same time preparations were being made for the changing of the guard or some such official procedure. People were pouring into the area in front of the palace, and police were putting ropes up and politely telling people to ‘get back.’ All this on airplane sleep. It was not my finest moment. We did end up at a picturesque pub for lunch. Of course I had fish and chips, which were not even as good as the local fish and chips that I used to eat every week before I started to lose weight. Oh well.
All of a sudden I am really tired. I thought I had escaped that jet lag thing. I didn’t get to bed until 2am last night, and I woke up at 7 this morning, feeling tired but rested. I had a wonderful bowl of custard oats–oh, I do so love ‘my’ foods, and spent a couple of hours reading blogs. I am not going to try to backtrack and read everything I missed–hope you will forgive me.
The pipes froze up last night, but right before I was going to leave the house, they came back on, so I started doing all the laundry from my trip. Oh my gosh, you guys. You just don’t know how priveleged we are to live in this country. I thought I’d never be clean again. I brought a LOT of clothes with me. But still. Every day we would get so dirty. And I did have to wear some clothes (like a sweater and a couple of light jackets) over and over. And the shower. Well, it was an experience. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I went to town to get some more healthy food from my other favorite grocery store, and YES! I worked out at the gym! Pretty proud of myself for that. I picked up a few of Vicky’s goodies, and then picked up Noah. Who is ALMOST as dirty as I was in Africa…
to be continued.