Finally I have returned with the last chapter in my Grand Tour across England! I took 1,677 photos on my trip, a ton of them in London, so it's taken a while to go through them all. Without further a dew, I will get right to it!
With hugs all around, and new friendships formed, we all said goodbye to a wonderful weekend Happy Little Stampers Retreat in Swindon. From there my sweet friend Val gave me a lift to London, the last stop on my tour. Since a major bike race was taking place in the city that day, we detoured north of the metropolis to Val's beautiful home (where she has the wee-est and most organized craft space ever!) to pick up her husband Jim.
[For this part of the story Jim is playing the Sherpa role normally played in my life by the Mister. Bless him. Well, bless them both for that matter.]
After a quick refresher, we embarked together on the London Tube with my worldly possessions which had grown considerably following the Retreat. As I'd never been on the Tube, it was yet another adventure! It is much like our BART system in the Bay Area. Detraining at Pimlico we found my hotel somewhat hidden like a jewel among the bushes.
Val and Jim kindly schlepped me and my schtuff up to the fourth floor. As the hotel was not air-conditioned, my room was 92-96 degrees and the window would only open three inches to stop overwrought hot and sticky guests from jumping. It was no wonder that Val and Jim declined my invitation to sit a few minutes to rest! Again, bless. And many thanks to them both for their generosity and assistance!
I could write a play about what happened next ... . It's a very long story but the punch line is that I ended up eating my dinner in a nearby restaurant dressed in my pajamas under a light jacket. In London. Yes, yup, yes I did. Please don't tell the children.
In the light of the next day, I could look back and laugh at the comedy of errors from the night before and look forward to the arrival of my long-time bloggie friend Gay Peplow of Crafty Musings.
So you know how I've been bragging that I brought the California sunshine with me and had some sun every day of my trip for fifteen days in a row? Well, shootums, can you believe the rain decided to appear for London? It did dawn lovely, so I was caught unprepared without my rain jacket. Gay loaned me her scarf to cut down the chill as we gamely stayed on the upper deck of the bus despite the drizzle. And despite the drizzle, I got some fabulous photos of this fantastic city.
Some iconic images.
Thank you, Gay, for the gift of YOU and more for two memorable days in London! It was a perfect ending to a truly perfect trip of a lifetime!
I hope my trip will inspire you if you ever find yourself thinking you "can't" do something that you want to do! I still have to pinch myself that I did this all by myself even with lots of planning and the help of dozens of dear friends! Believe me, if I can do this, YOU can do anything!
I'll be taking a break to continue to make and write thank you notes (showing the backs of the first batch). Plus we are going to enjoy having the grandtwins for a weekend sleepover!
Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS! Life is too short!
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