Wednesday May 21
We took off from Dallas in the early afternoon and landed in Boston with 45 minutes to make our flight to London Heathrow Airport (LHR)—and we had to go out of security and back in because our terminals weren’t connected to each other. We actually were almost hoping we wouldn’t make our flight, since the next one had more open seats, but we did—and so did our luggage.
The flight was nice. We had bulkhead seats, which was supposed to have no storage underneath, but there was enough space to put my purse. The food was pretty good too, even though I couldn’t eat any of the suppers as one had tomatoes, one peppers, and one potatoes.
The flight attendant felt badly about it and brought me an extra roll—so of course, I grabbed the one with peppers in it. I asked for a different one later, when we were being served after-dinner tea and coffee, and she brought the basket. This time I looked and took the plainest. She pointed out another as being very good. I did like it, but it was hard to pull apart. I ate the first one with my peanut butter and the one she recommended with my tea. The tea helped soften the bread and it reminded me of my Grama Rill taking me to a Chinese restaurant and letting me dip crackers in my tea. (I only dipped the bread once, having decided it was far too gauche.)
Thursday May 22
When we arrived in London we went through the passport line, which said “waits from here can reach 45 minutes,” in about 15 minutes. Then it was on to baggage reclaim (which makes sense, though it is different).
Our debit cards didn’t work at the ATM, so Ron sat down to call our bank and I sat down and worked. I’ve done a lot of work on this trip. I stopped in at Krispy Kreme to retrieve doughnuts for Ron. They were a bit confused by my credit card, as it was a “chip and signature” rather than a “chip and pin.” Thankfully, though, they were able to adjust.
After Ron had called the bank about the debits, we tried again. It still didn’t work. So I went to the Money Exchange to get British pounds. The published rate was 1.92, but on top of that they also took a £3 fee. So for $80 I got £38.
We took the Heathrow Express, which was £42 (see exchange amount above for how much that cost). We made the trip into London from the far west side in 20 minutes. Then the trip out of London, with two walks from train to tube and tube to train, took about an hour and a half. It was nice though. Only once was the tube uncomfortably full and that was a relatively short period.
We arrived in Brentwood, Essex, a suburb on the far east side of London, to be met by a cabbie. The last three miles were a shock—fear as the car hurdled down “two lane roads” that were smaller than our one ways and beauty as we entered the Town Center Park where our friends reside.