The Americans Are Coming! The Americans Are Coming!
|Ken's bag was already in the car|
LONDON, England— Unbeknownst to our allies across the Atlantic, we were headed to England again. This time we brought my sister Jeanne with us. Though we have offered to take other relatives on birthday trips before, Jeanne is the first to respond enthusiastically when we suggested a trip abroad. When we joined her at the beach last week to talk about possibilities, the best time to go seemed to be "now!"
So yesterday, off we went. Flying from Atlanta, we left with one bag each for a three-week trip. No problem. We know how to pack light, and since we avoided the hassle and potential problems of checking our bags, we were very glad we did.
During a two-hour layover in Newark, Jeanne capitalized on one last opportunity to stay in touch with her children. The football team David coaches at Mississippi's Jones County Junior College had a game Thursday night. What better way to while away the layover than watching the game online on her smartphone? The Bobcats did their part, producing a 47-0 victory to give us a great sendoff.
|JCJC is scoring again!|
Immigration and customs routines were uneventful, and after winding our way through the labyrinthine corridors and passageways of Heathrow airport, we finally caught a train to Paddington station. Not the express we intended to take, however. We accidentally boarded a local train, so we had plenty of time to relax as we stopped at each station on the way into town.
|Listening to an oldie by the Supremes|
With another hour to kill before 1:00, when we could check in to the Royal Crescent apartment we had rented for the next eight days, we dropped in at the Hilton across the street to sit and snack. Predictably, Royal Crescent is a semicircular street which is home to two distinctive four-story curved buildings facing the street. Built around 1840, many of the individual townhouses have now been carved up into individual flats, housed on single floors. In the curve of the crescent lies a landscaped park with expanses of grass and trees. The houses boast porticoed entrances, above which are small first-floor balconies with iron railings. At either end of the two semi-crescent buildings are pepperbox end houses with circular structures.
|Royal Crescent (Our retreat is at the far right end, where Royal Crescent intersects Holland Park Avenue.)|
|Jeanne shops for porridge (aka oatmeal).|