Saturday, November 23, 2013

And we're off...

Well kind of...Some time late Tuesday afternoon we got home.  Bags were packed, my mom was here and we were making last minute trip preparations.  That's when I noticed the microwave was not working.  Huh, that's weird.  Shortly after that my mom requested a tutorial on working our television.  I explained that it was super easy to use.  Just press this button and it should just come on.  Just press this button.  Press.this.button.  Nothing.  Upon further examination I realized our microwave, tv, Wii, Dvd player and bathroom light were not working.  Long story short...a transformer blew in our neighborhood and we'd had a power surge that took out all of the above mentioned items.  Bummer, right.  This is what we call a "first world problem".  My microwave, tv, dvd player, wii and bathroom light don't work and I don't have time to deal with it because I'm leaving on a European vacation.  Yes, I have real problems.  Ha! 
The trip began early Wednesday morning...early mainly because I couldn't sleep for fear of leaving my passport or having the wrong flight time, etc. Despite all of this around 10 am we left Nashville and headed to NYC. 

Once there we boarded an all night flight to London. We got an exit row with an empty seat in between us.  I literally heard angels singing as we settled in on the airplane.  Okay, not literally, but it was a nice moment.  

Once we touched the ground in London we did not waste time nor did we stop. We stored our luggage and grabbed the first tube into the heart of London. It is important to note that Fred slept the entire flight.  Seriously, he was snoring before the plane taxied out. I slept none. None the less when we got off the plane at 6:20 am I was feeling spry. Upon looking back at pictures one can see that I was not as spry as I felt. (A little make would have helped, but NO, I was feeling great!) We quickly located a proper English breakfast. We both had scones with clotted cream (and a lot of other deliciousness), it is beyond me why this is not served in the US! 
 Below is a traditional English breakfast.  Baked beans?  Whatever, it was on Fred's plate, not mine.

After a couple hours of the bus tour we met up with some friends of ours who are serving in London. We ate lunch and visited with them at a delightful restaurant and then continued our bus tour. Have I mentioned that it was cold?  Who knows the formula for converting Celcius to Farhenheit off the top of their head?!?  Clearly I should have familiarized myself with this formula.  We saw all the big sights of London and then took a boat tour of the River Thames. Once off the boat we saw Big Ben and Westminster Abbey

Yes, TJ Maxx is a London sight.  It's right up there with Parliament and Big Ben.  

By this time I was running on about 30 hours with no sleep and I was ready for our hour long commute back to the airport. We shared fish and chips at a pub and then settled in our little (I mean little!) hotel room where I may or may not have fallen asleep in mid sentence.
After a good night's sleep, we left our hotel room with plenty of time to make our next flight to Istanbul...we thought. In hindsight, we would have done well to familiarize ourselves with the layout of the LHR Airport, the time it takes to get from one concourse to another at 4am, and the rules regarding check-in time prior to flying out. In any event, thanks to the kindness of a British Airways ticket agent who read the desperation on the faces of the dumb yanks before her, we were booked on the next flight out and just had a little extra time at the London airport to enjoy another good British breakfast! Thank goodness for sleep and make evidenced by this picture!!  We were waiting for our flight in the London airport in this picture.  

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