Thursday, March 31, 2016

Good-bye to Europe!

 We said our good-bye's early...before work and school.  After double and triple checking to make sure we had everything, we said bye to Blu, and closed the door for the last time.  We headed to Paddington Station where we caught the Heathrow Express which took us to Heathrow.
 It didn't seem like a long flight, or rather not AS long.  We never hit night, so the plane was light even when the plane turned down the lights.  If even one person had their window open, the plane was too light for me to sleep.  We made it to SFO, safe and sound.  Donnie, was there to meet us and give us our car.  He then took BART back home, allowing us to leave from the airport to head home.  Thank you, Donnie!

For our wonderful London crew, 
we had an amazing time.  We loved being with you and seeing London and Rome together.  What a great adventure!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

January 3rd, our extra day in London

 Before we left for Europe, I had made a list of things/places I wanted Ron to see.  By the time we were SUPPOSE to fly home, we'd been everywhere except Covent Gardens.
 Covent Gardens has some great shops
and there's always street performers there.
 Today was no exception.
 The Christmas decorations were still up.
 


 We walked around looking at the shops..
and then Ron noticed an Apple Store.
I went inside to check on my iPhone, which I had discovered earlier, was eligible for a free replacement battery.
Sure enough, The Apple Store at Covent Garden said they could replace it.  
I needed to leave it for a couple of hours.
 Our extra day not only got us to Covent Garden...
but we also had lunch at yet another pub!
Nag's Head





 We strolled around afterwards,
checked on my phone earlier than they had said,
and it was ready.

 These two pics of the street performers were back inside the building.

 London...what a beautiful city, especially during the Christmas holidays!



Tuesday, March 29, 2016

January 2nd...the day we were stranded in London!

January 2nd, we were scheduled to fly home.  What a grand time we had had!  Our plane was leaving at 3:30 p.m.  We were going to jump on the train about 11:15 to get to Heathrow. 

About 11, I asked Joshua to check and make sure the plane was on time.  A couple of minutes later, he told me it was leaving in an hour.  I knew it was a mistake...but I was wrong.  I called Virgin Atlantic and they confirmed it was leaving at noon.  I had my itinerary...it said 3:30...I had given the airlines and the booking company my email and number for updates/delays on our flight.  I had received nothing.

To make a long story short...we spent 11 hours on the phone trying to figure out how to get home.  Virgin Atlantic would not help us AT ALL...even though they had our money.  The booking company, JustFly, wouldn't work with us AT ALL.  Each company blamed the other for not contacting us...but neither would offer any help.

After 11 hours, I called United Airlines...and booked us a flight for Monday.  $2000 per ticket...Oh well!  After starting the booking, the agent asked if we had air miles... I thought we did, but wasn't sure how many.  Plus, this were last minute tickets.

The agent was a saint...we had enough air miles to use...and within about 20 minutes on the phone with her, we were set.  We had tickets to fly home, even though we were out a lot of air miles and we were out our money with Virgin Atlantic.

What we now had, was an extra day in London!  After all that time on the phone, we had a drink..or two...and collapsed from mental exhaustion!  Joshua was also exhausted, he had been on the phone for most of that 11 hours trying to help us.  What a guy!

Monday, March 28, 2016

New Year's Day in London



video

 Listen to the bells of Westminster Abbey!


 This was amazing!
Ron and I went to a New Year's Day communion service.
I so wanted Ron to see both Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral...and not just see them, but experience a service.  We did both:  Christmas Eve service at St. Paul's and 
New Year's Day here.
 This is carved into the stone on the front wall (outside) of Westminster Abbey.
After the service, we went back to the Westminster Arms to eat a bite
before heading back to Joshua's.
 This is the side of the Abbey.
 Big Ben?
Not the clock...
but the bell inside the clock is actually 'Big Ben.'

 It took us awhile to get back...
the roads were packed and some were closed off
because of a New Year's Day parade.


 Back at home,  Joshua was joking around with his baby girl...
 who was a resting a bit after being out on New Year's Eve!
Blu was in a resting mode, too.

New Year's Day in London...
we loved it!

New Year's Eve in London!

Ron and I started our day by heading to the Tower of London!  

 One of our first stops was to see the Crown Jewels.  It's always extremely crowded...but not today!  It was basically empty.


You can join a tour with a Warden...
but we didn't!

There are living quarters for the people who work there...and their families.
The White Tower




 In the White Tower are lots of armor...and the horses of particular kings.

















 
We walked along the top of the wall that surrounds the Tower.
You can see the Tower Bridge...
it's right outside the Tower of London...
Many people think this is 'London Bridge'...but it's not!

 Here, you can see the Tower Bridge in the background.
 Ravens!  Legend says that if the last Raven leaves, 
the




Later in the day, the crowd had increased.  Here was the line going into the Crown Jewels!






For the Christmas holidays, an ice skating rink was made!
New Year's Eve at the Tower of London!
I'm so glad Ron got to see it all.

We headed back to Joshua's...there were fireworks scheduled that night, amazing fireworks. However, with all that was going on in the world and in Europe, in particular, we didn't go watch them.  Back at the flat, we headed out to another pub...then back to the flat and watched the fireworks on TV..

It was a great day!