Monday, February 4, 2008

London Diary II

Finally, I'm posting about the end of the trip--briefly! We went to Bath on Monday, and as always, Bath was fantastic. We hit the Roman Baths (you saw the cute pics of Quinn in his backpack!), Bath Abbey, took a walking tour around the city with an ancient tour guide (he was sweet but a dreadful guide with absolutely no charisma), ate at Sally Lunn's, hit the Fashion Museum, which was not at its best due to renovation, took at peek at Pulteney Bridge, and then caught the train back to Paddington in London. A wonderful day. Quinn was a trouper, and Lynne is a terrific travel companion. We enjoy the same things, and even with a bum foot, she's game for anything.

We were due to fly out on Monday. Due to problems with London Transport at every stage of the game--cab, bus, tube--we missed our flight so we were put on the next flight out of Heathrow. However, that meant we missed the last flight of the day out of Toronto to Dallas. We made it into Toronto with no difficulty. Again, Quinn was a wonder baby. Upon arriving in Toronto, we thought we'd check into the hotel located at the airport. That was until I called and they told me it was $300 a night. Yes, I said $300. At which point, I politely hung up and told Lynne we needed to find some food and a comfortable place to sleep in the airport. Let me tell you about the Toronto Airport--it's COLD in January. Concrete floors never warm up no matter how long you sleep on them. I was on the floor sleeping with Quinn. I wasn't at all concerned about someone stealing our suitcases--in fact, I was so tired of lugging them around that I might have welcomed that, but my baby was a different story. I was pretty sure my husband would not understand me losing our 3rd child.

Lynne laughed that every time she looked at me that night I was wearing more clothing. I dug out a knee-length flannel nightshirt, was wearing my scarf, was wearing a hat, had a baby blanket draped over me, had one of Lynne's coats draped over me, was laying on my wool coat with Quinn, and was curled around Quinn trying to aborb his body heat. (Side note: Q was wearing 3 layers plus a Columbia fleece with a hood while laying on my coat curled up next to me. He was the only warm person in the airport!)

Q slept a number of hours but finally decided the night was over around 2:45am. Lynne was up by then and bless her soul, she entertained him while I moved to the chairs for a couple hours sleep. We left our corner around 5 and went to the restrooms to make ourselves human. After that, we checked in and went through customs (you pre-clear American customs in Canada--pain in the neck at the time, but saves you time/energy on the other end). Innumerable hours later (okay, around 8:30), we boarded our plane scheduled to depart around 9:10. Quinn had been up the entire time, FYI. We get settled in on the plane, carry-ons stowed, all luggage underneath and Quinn has just fallen asleep in my arms--no rocking, singing, swaying required. He just went to sleep. I'm in heaven, knowing he'll sleep most of the flight, and I'll get a break. Then gremlins broke our plane. Yes, the captain came on and informed us we'd have to de-plane. I wanted to cry. Quinn slept through the exodus and the wait and went back to sleep after a brief awakening once they found us a new plane. We finally left around 10:30. Quinn slept maybe an hour of the 4 hour flight. Not ideal, but it could have been worse. With no further snafus, we landed at DFW. I have never been so glad to see Lonnie Gentry in my whole life. And he further cemented himself in my affections by driving through Taco Bell (Mexican is not the premiere cuisine in London) on the way to my house. Shawn was supposed to pick us up, but the delay meant the pick up time interefered with the school run so Lynne got her husband instead of me getting mine. :( Nevertheless, he was a sight for sore eyes!

And that my friends is the end of our trip. I won't keep you any longer. I have to go to bed. Night night.
**The pics above were Quinn & Lynne in Parliament Square and Quinn at the Toronto Airport near Hour 14 of our stay there.