I was on my computer last Tuesday happily reading my morning blog list when I got a confirmation email for a trip to England! Hubby had booked us a trip to visit his brother and sister-in-law in the Nottingham area. We decided not to tell anyone we were taking this trip in an effort to surprise them. Boy, were they surprised!
Now keep in mind that our home is 3 hours from anything, so we actually left home Sunday night at 7pm. stopping for pizza enroute to the airport. There had been quite a bad storm Saturday and the airport was without power ie. heat, which caused the pipes to freeze. When we arrived we found all the check-in counters closed off due to the dehumidifier fans running and there were a couple of very nice ladies in winter coats, hats and mitts beside the auto check-in machines who were assisting people to get their flights sorted and luggage checked. These poor girls were wearing their uniform dresses or skirts, freezing their whatsits off! Surprisingly, they still managed to be cheerful and helpful - not sure I would have been the same - in fact, I guarantee I would not.
We arrived in London early, the flight due in at 9:10am but with a tailwind our dear pilot managed to get us on the ground very gently at 8:25. Thanks Mr. Pilot guys. From the gate it was off to Customs and Immigration Division where we joined approximately 300 people in a very long line and slowly made our way around the labyrinth. 70 minutes later we were clear and heading to baggage where we promptly located ours and it was out the door for a smoke. YES, we know!
Anyone notice what we missed? In our rush to get a cigarette while stressing about how to get to the rental car place, we forgot to exchange our money $$$ Whoops. So after taking the handy dandy bus to Hertz (thats another blog), we managed to wrangle a Fiat. When I got in it I realized it was a standard and while I can and have driven a standard in the UK, I was so exhausted by this time that I wasn't comfortable trying to drive standard on the wrong side of the road, especially such a long distance, so then had to get it exchanged for what turned out to be a Mercedes-Benz. So our $355 CAD vehicular object upon booking turned into a $900 GBP Fiat with the insurance and upon exchange to automatic was now $1400 GBP!!!!! For those who don't know, $355 CAD is approximately $175GBP. For any American readers $3000CAD is around $2300USD. FOR 2 WEEKS!
I think we will be returning the car today and likely taking the train back up here. Its the principle. The UK has such an amazing infrastructure for moving the masses to and fro that it seems absolutely ridiculous to pay what is essentially $3000 CAD for 2 weeks with a car, since we don't plan to go far from our 'home base' here.
So now we have no usable cash and we are driving 2 hours to our destination. We had to stop at one of the many stop-&-go areas to get coffee on our credit card!
We arrived at our rented cottage around the corner from our relatives and promptly went to their door. Noone home. Typical. Try to surprise some people!! Anyway, cutting a long/short we returned to our cottage and had a nap. Then knocked at theirs again. Quite a surprise and after a short yarn we were off for supper at a local pub. Then back to the cottage and a much needed sleep.
I am having problems with my iPhone lately, damn thing keeps crashing on me so until it is fixed, pictures will be limited. I will be going to a local phone guru and inquiring about getting a new battery. Not sure that will work given the electrical current difference between the 2 countries but I think it will, however must enquire with said guru. OH, and we have to get our cash exchanged today also. In addition, I have brought my jewelry to be repaired while we are here so thats another stop to be made. We don't have any local jewel gurus at home so this 2 week trip is a good time to get some stuff fixed and have it back before we leave.
Brad's brother and sister-in-law are celebrating their 50th!! Anniversary while we are here which we didn't realize when we booked our tickets to visit and only found out on Saturday while talking on Skype. Due to the surprise nature of the trip we decided to bring appropriate attire in case we could attend said shindig but not knowing if it was possible at such a late date.
As I sit here now, I am waiting for His Lordship (Brad) to get hisself out of bed so that I can make myself presentable for my public and we can get on with the requirements as mentioned above. Now those who know me might think that a morning beautification would not be required, but I assure you I don't wake up looking that good - it takes me a good 5 minutes! LOL
** [To clarify, I saw only one male pilot and don't know if they both were but I'm not the politically correct type, so one could have been a Mrs but in this and all blogs, I do not segregate by gender or other. If this offends you, stop reading my blog because I'm not going to all the bother of dealing with that. I personally am of the opinion that I'm as good as anyone and do not require self-segregating to make myself feel warm and fuzzy.]