It started at 4am. That is when I had to leave the house to get to my friends’ house. They had graciously agreed to drive me to the shuttle station. That took about an hour. Then I waited for the shuttle.
The dawn was spectacular.
Then I sat on the shuttle for over 3 hours.
Then I sat in LAX for ( you are not going to believe this) SIX hours.
Mistake #1: I drank coffee at some point.
The flight was roomy (ok. it was an upgrade) and comfortable (surprising even for an upgrade). The service was quick and efficient. In fact, it was kind and helpful. My seat partner was cordial and unobtrusive.
My clothes were comfortable. I avoided computer and phone screens. I avoided sugar. I listened to quiet music. I had my portable CPAP machine. There were no crying babies or obnoxious travelers. All was quiet except for the noises that a 777-300 makes as it glides at 600+ MPH through the thin atmosphere at 35,000 feet.
But there was no sleep for me on the nearly 11 hours that we were in the air.
Through customs, finding the train to London, and arriving at Paddington Station added a couple of hours. I took the time to look around and try to take it all in through a very foggy brain.
Everyone in a hurry.
I slowly walked towards the taxi rank. At least, I followed the signs to the taxi rank.
Finally, I reached my destination. The Rubens at the Palace.
Nice little place. With a view of The Mews of Buckingham Palace.
Quaint little room just for me. And such an invitation to sleep.
Despite the wallpaper and matching curtains. (I have grown to like them)
At this point it had been 24 hours since I had shut my eyes and drifted off to sleep.
It was very inviting.
But, being the globe trotting traveler that I am, and knowing that my friend Leigh was chastise me for failing to follow her basic anti-jet lag advice, I put on my jacket, grabbed my camera and walked out onto the London streets.
I scurried across the street to take a nice shot of the front of the hotel. For inclusion in this dissertation. Please remember that I am a tad tired at this point. I couldn’t figure out why there was no image in the view finder.
It helps if you put the battery in the camera. Leaving it in its charger in the room does not assist in taking pictures with said camera.
By this time, the traffic had blocked the shot anyway so I did not bring out my secondary choice for such times.
But arrival at Buckingham Palace did. The phone of the modern era took over.
There was some dust-up occurring as there were barriers and news people all over the visitor sections. I heard the name Markle mentioned several times. This resulted in many additional steps to get into St. James Park.
And it was worth it.
I walked the entirety of the park stopping to watch the incredible water fowl that lived there. Clean, pristine and very calming.
Except for my feet. They hurt. And I soon realized that I would not be able to stay awake until the normal, English time zone, appointed hour for sleep.
I returned to the hotel only to discover that “tea” was still being served.
A spot of tea. A warm from the oven scone and a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich (crust removed, thank you) and it was off to my room to remove the offending shoes, take a refreshing shower and take advantage of crisp, clean sheets and a soft, warm comforter.
See you in the morning!