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July 1, 2014


I'm going to London! Yes, I really am going to London after so many years of talking about it. I don't know why it has taken so long. Perhaps it is because my traveling abroad has been to other places -- following Dani and Charles twice into Asia plus a trip to the Holy Land and places around with Don's mom and friend, Peggy. Lots of traveling here and there, but except for a touch down in Ireland and a landing in Greece on my way to and from Israel, I haven't seen Europe. My roots are in England. My mother was born there as were her parents. So, when Don's niece, Connie, wrote on Facebook that she was taking her break from the Peace Corps in Moldova to spend time in England and would someone like to join her, I simply said "Yes." That was it -- no thinking, no planning, no worrying, no pondering, no fear -- just YES! All the thoughts and organization (Yikes!) came after.

First, my passport was expiring two weeks after my return which caused me to get an expedited passport for my comfort level since traveling so close to expiration date could cause some minor problems. That took me to Seattle twice in one week. I picked it up yesterday and had my second lovely lunch with Martin who works on 5th Avenue five blocks from the passport office. Lucky me! Then, a scramble to get lodging in July, a fury of emails between Connie and me, and the purchase of a new Mac Air because I swore that I would never ever travel again with my heavier laptop. Yes, I know I don't actually need a computer but I can Skype home for free.

I've been looking at this trip as a "dip your toe in the water" kind of experience. I know that I can't see and do everything in nine days. And, I know that if I were going by myself I would spend all my time in museums and having high tea. But, then bookstores, cathedrals, gardens, plays would run a close second. But, I suspect that Connie will like much of what I like. My foodie kids have been giving good advice for restaurants that I simply cannot pass and some experiences that I mustn't miss. I love the fact that none in my whole family has suggested that I see the changing of the guard or Buckingham Palace or any of the more common touristy stuff. We must all have the same DNA. Actually, I think that being in the same country as the queen and her family is cozy enough for me. And, I know I mustn't miss Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's cathedral.

Connie and I will be in London for five days, then to Bath for two nights, and to Arundel for two nights. My friend, Hope Newcomer, lives in West Sussex and is going to show us around that area including the Arundel castle. We return to London the night before we board our planes back to Bellingham and Moldova. I'm a bit nervous about the places we have booked in London because they are not luxury by any means. I'm only hoping that the beds are comfortable and that traveling to a bathroom down the hall in the middle of the night isn't too gruesome. But, we will see how that goes.

Nothing in the world could be as uncomfortable as the dorm room that Dani, Charles, James, Nico and I shared in Macau for two nights. If I got through that, I think perhaps I can get through anything. Charles was lecturing at the University and they were supposed to put us up in a hotel -- and somehow that got changed at the last minute. The rooms, themselves, were stripped down and not terrible -- but the beds were boards. It was a difficult decision to stay the second night -- but Dani and I decided that we could do it. And, we put all our effort into touristy things.

So, I'm off next week to London. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by Marilyn at July 1, 2014 9:06 AM


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