home page

about us
       about us

see The Beast
       see the beast

our photo album
       our photo album

explore tucson
       explore tucson

other links

email us
       email us

sign our guest book
       sign our guest book

home page



Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 5
Europe 2003
Paris, London, Provence


David and Carol 2003 
Day 16
London / Home
A great night's sleep in the brisk autumn air blanketing Londontown.
Once again, I am privileged to witness the miracle of St. Carol, the patron saint of suitcase packers, as she deftly and skillfully manages to fit, with room to spare, everything we have brought with us, plus everything we have purchased for friends and family, into two small carry-on bags. It is a sight to behold and although I have witnessed it on several occasions with my own eyes, my brain still has problems accepting this apparent violation to the laws of physics. You CAN fit 10 pounds of stuff into a 5 pound bag!
One last quick breakfast of muffins and latte at nearby Coffee Republic (great muffins.) We learned there that "E to Flee" means "a cup of espresso to go." We love the British slang.
The Coffee Republic - great coffee and muffins here...
Back to the hotel for one more ride up in the lift to collect our bags. Checkout of the Regency was smooth, with a slight shock at the cost of two calls we made to Aida's cellphone. Although the Regency is predominantly a "business person's" hotel, we were happy with the location, the facilities, the helpfulness of the staff and the cleanliness. The room, although quite tiny even by European standards, was adequate, cozy and airy. We sat for a few minutes in the lobby waiting for our taxi to Victoria Station, where we will catch the Gatwick Express to the airport. Carol, in her super-organized fashion, made use of the time to make notes of such things as what clothes, shoes and toiletries we did and did not utilize in order to make the next trip even more efficient. God bless St. Carol...
The taxi to Victoria Station was driven by a very amicable chap who enlightened us to the fact that whereas in the 70's and 80's it was the Saudi Arabian money that "floated" the London economy, now it is Russian money. An entrepreneur who was in the Russian National Ministry of Oil saw opportunities when the Soviet Union broke up, and is today worth billions of pounds. He recently spent about 300 million pounds on a British soccer ("football") team. The London economy certainly seemed healthy and robust to us. The driver also commented on the unusually wonderful weather for this time of year. We were lucky to have had cool, mild days and nights instead of the usual chilly damp grayness typical of London in Fall. We thoroughly enjoyed the English "refrigerator" after baking in the Tucson "oven" this summer.
The Gatwick Express sped us across the River Thames, past the massive smokestacks of the deserted Battersea power plant, and through the countryside south of London towards Gatwick airport.
When we arrived at Gatwick and found the Continental check-in counter, we were blessed by a lovely young Continental attendant who kindly changed our flights so that we didn't have to fly into Newark, then Houston, then Tucson. She got us on a direct flight from Gatwick to Houston. We love Continental…
As we all found our seats aboard the 777, a wonderful, cheery woman by the same of Clara Lewis, from Houston, sat down next to us. Clara, a "minister of music," had just spent a week in London making arrangements to bring a group of 80 choir members to London on June the 10th (Bath,) 11th (St. Pauls,) and 12th (Great St. Barts - the oldest church in England.) Clara is a fascinating person who travels the world with her choir making heavenly music in some of the most ancient cathedrals on the planet. She and her group have had the honor and privilege to have sung in Notre Dame. We would have loved to have been present for that performance. We thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Clara and found her to be charming, fascinating and interesting. We compared notes about London, Paris and other places we have visited, and we hope we are able to spend time with Clara again, perhaps in Houston.
Clara, Carol and David en route to Houston
We settled in for the nine-and-a-half hour flight. The lunch of pot roast, mashed potatoes and vegetables was delicious. After lunch we decided to check out the in-flight movies. All over Paris and London we had seen the ads for the Italian Job and decided it was a fitting choice. It actually was a decent flick with lots of action. Next was Eddie Murphy's Daddy Day Care which was hilarious.
The flight was smooth, on time and chock full of typical first-rate Continental Service. These guys do it right.
We landed on time in Houston, said farewell to our new friend Clara and wished her well on her upcoming voyages with her choir. She kindly presented us with a gift of one of the CD recordings of her choir, which we look forward to enjoying. We then passed through US customs, called Dan (and congratulated him and his great honor of being called into the Bishopship in his LDS ward - this is a tremendous honor, and the news made my day in spite of the jet-lag and post-trip depression. Way to go Dan.)
After visiting and celebrating with Dan, Carol and I settled in to what comfort we could find at Houston Intercontinental Airport. We have a five-hour layover and will make the best of it. We sat at the same grill (same table) where we grabbed a bite to eat two weeks ago on our way Paris-bound. It seems more like 2 months ago than two weeks.
Sad to leave the magic of Europe
Finally, it was time to board the flight to Tucson for the last leg of the journey home. We bumped into some friends from Tucson and chatted for a while. Two hours later we were home. The last cab ride through quiet, dark, lazy Tucson was a bit eerie after the non-stop hustle and bustle of Europe. After the usual tearful reunion with Cody, we fell into bed totally exhausted, but with ear-to-ear smiles on our faces as we dreamt about wondrous "Londris."
Home again...

Previous Day



 copyright 1998 / david and carol lehrman / all rights reserved
email david@davidandcarol.com