Monday, November 10, 2008

Big 4.0 v 1

Well, we are on a bus heading for Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare's birthplace) and it has already been quite the crazy adventure.  Our original plan was to land at Gatwick airport and head right up to Stratford, but while at the airport in Atlanta Lissette went to take a picture of something cool at the airport using our brand new Nikon D90 camera (woo hoo!) and it wouldn't turn on.  After some detective work we realized there wasn't a battery in it.  I'd put it on the charger the night before and it didn't get packed.

So, I sat down at the airport and looked online for a Nikon camera shop in London.  I found one that seemed like it would work, so we made note of the address and boarded the plane.

I normally LOVE flying and stock up on books, music, laptop and magazines - not to mention munchies and soda.  But, for the flight to London I was exhausted because i'd been up until 4:00 am Thursday and Friday night and Saturday night before our flight i didn't go to bed at all, but stayed at the office all night working.  Needless to say, i was beat!  The first leg, from SLC to Atlanta was fully booked and Lissette and I didn't get to sit together.  I took 14th, 3rd and then 1st place in the in-flight trivia game against other people on the plane before going into retirement :-)  Then the lady next to me spilled her water all over her and me (mostly soaking my butt)...thankfully it was just water.

So, the flight to London I was absolutely hammered, but wanted to watch Arrested Development with Lissette.  I brought season 2 with us, but couldn't make it through very many episodes (i kept nodding off), so i tried to sleep in the seats and it was the worst!  So, i laid on the floor and slept quite fitfully, dreaming people were just about to step on my feet, or worse, my head.

The original plan, as I said, was to just go to Stratford from the airport.  But because we had to buy a new battery and charger we needed to go into London.  So, we bought train tickets for the trip (80 bucks!) an umbrella since it was pouring (26 bucks!), stored our luggage at the train station (40 bucks!)  and then took a taxi to the shop (10 bucks, but the highlight of the day...they are so cool inside and why the rest of the "civilized" world hasn't caught on to having a ton of room inside a taxi is beyond me)...then we bought the battery (100 bucks!) and a charger (60 bucks!) and realized we had to wait until 6:30 for our Stratford bus, basically spending the whole day and 316 bucks!  We shan't forget our charger again, I'm sure of that!

We went to an excellent little Cafe and got the best Hot Chocolate I've ever had and some Tiramisu (that was pretty bad) and a little caramel cookie. I was still exhausted, having only slept on and off for a couple of hours, so we moved from our table to a leather couch and i laid back to rest.  I was OUT - sleeping for about an hour while Lissette read her new birthday book from Troy and Daph (The Poisonwood Bible)...so far she is loving it.  We then went to buy tickets to Paris for Wednesday on the Chunnel (train that goes under the English Channel.)

We had to RUN for our bus with all of our luggage since it took longer than expected to get the tickets in another part of town.  We are now on the bus and Lissette is out cold next to me and i'm still pretty beat!  But, we are so excited to be here.  We REALLY  miss our children though and I can't wait to send them an e-mail when we get there (if they have, as Lissette call's it "Wii-Fee" :-)  So cute!

I'm SO excited to be here, even after the detour and not having showered for over 30 hours...man, i stink!  But, this is going to be such an amazing trip - no matter what happens.

To explain the title and for those of you that don't know what we are doing here - Lissette and I are going to London and Paris for my 40th birthday present.  I love being married to Lissette and the fact that I met her while traveling through Asia was the perfect way to meet.  We both have such a love of travel (or as Tristan calls it, "field trips") and will save whatever money we can to take trips (but most of the time it fills up our credit cards).  We love traveling with our children, but there is something about going just the two of us that really "cleanses" ourselves.  I love the fact that our hobby is traveling and, although there are many less expensive hobbies to be sure, nothing brings more joy into our lives then visiting this amazing world God has created for us.  We are so blessed in our life with our family, health and job.  To be able to travel to the places we go is such an incredible blessing in and of itself, that I look at a day like today, where things didn't go anywhere near as planned, and think - who cares, I'm having a blast!  Every second is an adventure.  We have several things planned for the next two weeks and can't wait to see what going from point A to point B brings.  It isn't always the destination (a play, for example) that is the most memorable time of the day - but it might be getting lost along the way that could change you, your life and your thoughts as you look at the world - and that's the beauty of traveling.  That is why we weren't upset at having to detour through London - we were on an adventure, no matter where it took us.

London 001

Here is a shot Lissette took of the Hot Chocolate...i could go for some right now -i'm so hungry and should be sleeping right now!

 

London 004

Here is a shot looking out the Cafe window.  One Londoner apologized for the weather being so bad (isn't London historically known for being cold, wet and foggy? :-)   I told her I grew up in a state that rained a lot (Oregon) and I loved the weather.  She looked at me like I was a bit cracked...