Thanks all for your support and encouragement! I can’t seem to come up with anything but humdrum and perfunctory statements, but a promise is a promise and humdrum and perfunctory words are still infinitely better than nothing at all. My writing and grammar are also terribly rusty; I’d apologize, but since you are a friend I know I can count on your forgiving good nature. (You’re advice is also welcome!). With a lot of love.
We left noon, Thursday February 21st. Dear and generous friends drove us up to the Dallas Fort-Worth airport. The drive was comfortable and the company was pleasant; it was the best way to start a trip.
The sunset as we waited for our flight was gorgeous.
We boarded the flight from DFW to Heathrow at 8pm central. Since it was 2am in London we attempted sleep right away. Dinner was served 90 minutes or so into the flight. The meal smelled good, but in order to adjust to a new time zone we avoid eating out of sync with the new time zone, so no 3:30 am lasagna for us. We did our best to rest our eyes and waited for the in-flight breakfast that was served at about 9am London (3am US) time.
For a family the 9 hour flight in coach was not too long. The three of us squeezed together, sweet and snuggly with each other, in a way that would have been terribly awkward with a stranger. It helped that Bean is still a relatively small human. He curled up like a kitten, under a pile of coats and blankets, attempting to rest and radiating heat, as little-boys do, on the cold plane.
Our arrival was 11am in Heathrow (5am central).
We walked all the way from the airport to the Heathrow central bus station. (It felt like a mile of stumbling with luggage, but probably wasn’t) and had a bite at a Cafe Nero while we waited for the every-half-hour bus from London to Oxford. Buses are apparently the way to travel in England. Our driver was kind and professional.
There was some traffic and lots to see out the window, but it was also a sleepy blur and that’s the best I can do for now. Little Bean finally slept as well.
Two hours later the bus dropped us off in Oxford. The walk to our flat with luggage over the bumpy, narrow sidewalk seemed even longer when we exited the bus. Bean ran his luggage over some nasty dog poo and finally, in that 21st hour of travel (27 hours awake), stopped on the sidewalk and cried for a minute. I am so thankful that England from the US is a short trip and much easier than travel to so many other places.
We found our airbnb flat just after 3:00 pm. It looked new, bright and very clean, yay! Further exploration showed it to have many small broken (mostly unimportant) items. Nyan messaged the manager who responded quickly (Double yay! …and sigh of relief). We went to eat at the first, close restaurant we could find: Taberu.
On the way back to the flat we stopped at Tesco (a grocery chain). Trying to find familiar items in a new grocery store on a chaotic and crowded Friday night is hard; doing it after being up for 30+ hours is a special challenge. The store was frantically busy. Jet-lagged Bean confusedly meandered in the path of everyone and anyone; frequently disappearing to the point of causing us minor mild panic and then reappearing so suddenly that I would stumble over him. Nyan tiredly picked his basket up and a jar of Balsamic vinegar fell and broke; the pungent smell permeated the toilet paper aisle.
We escaped with a little dignity, a decent stock of food, some toiletries, and my favorite, McVities Digestives with Milk Chocolate: Crunchy biscuits (cookies) with a melty, coating of chocolate and just enough fiber content to give you a “healthy excuse” for eating more than one. 😋 I bought them regularly our years in Japan. These 10 days I’ve eaten nearly enough to make up for the past 10 years 😬😇 (World Market & Amazon US sell them…for an extortionist price that may be worth it!).
While I’ll eventually get to all the days in between our arrival and today, for now, here’s the dear view of our bright apartment, little boy, McVities, tea, trees, and all. It took us quite a while, but we are settled in 💕
Eating and Reading are two pleasures that combine admirably – C.S. Lewis