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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 11
England / Scotland / Ireland


On the coast of Ireland  
09.10.09 - 09.11.09
Wednesday / Thursday
Days 1 and 2
The Journey Begins

Once more into the plane, for Harry, England and St. George! With apologies to Shakespeare, we find ourselves once again at Tucson International Airport, excited with anticipation of adventures to come in London, Scotland and Ireland.


Bid sad goodbyes to Maggie and brother Jim, who kindly drove us to the airport. Jim flew in from L.A. to watch over Maggie, who has recently been diagnosed with Valley Fever. He’ll spend several days with her, and then the incredible team of Monica and Warren will take over and watch The Fort. Jim found Maggie in the Northern Arizona desert thirteen years ago when she was only 3 months old. We’ve been taking care of her since Thanksgiving when Jim and his family moved into an L.A. apt. that wasn’t animal-friendly. Naturally, we have grown very attached, having lost our Cody (13 years old) last October, and our Merlin (10 years old) in April.

Jimmy Universe, Carol and David at Tucson International Airport

We rested in the waiting area at Tucson Int’l Airport wondering what new adventures awaited us across The Pond.


The Continental 737 was full, but the 2-hour flight to Houston was smooth and uneventful. We bought a replacement suitcase for Carol at Brookstone in the airport and then sat in the Continental President’s lounge for 3 hours. We spied our London-bound 777 through the rain at our gate across the tarmac. Called brother Jim to check on Maggie, then caught up on email in a quiet corner of the President’s lounge.

Carol in Houston - our 777 in the background

At 7:00 pm we boarded the Continental 77and found our 1A and 2A seats in First Class – the only way to fly. Within sixty seconds of settling into our plush, roomy and cozy cocoons we were offered our choice of wine and a selection of dinner choices. The first class Continental service never ceases to impress us.

Off we go
Almost there

The nine-hour flight to London was wonderful, quiet, delicious and entertaining. Apres dinner we watched Duplicity (Clive Owen/Julia Roberts) and then managed to sleep for a few hours, 38,000 feet above the Atlantic. At 10:10 Tucson time, the eastern horizon turned blood red with a spectacular sunrise. We landed at Heathrow on time at 7:45 am local time, 11:45 pm Tucson time.

Took the 30-minute Tube ride from Heathrow to Earl’s Court, where we located the K&K King George Hotel, too early to check in, so we left our bags and wandered out into the cool, sunny, London morning. Walked around South Kensington enjoying the brisk weather, then stopped into Marks and Spencer where we bought sandwiches and crayfish salad. Then we walked back to the hotel, where we sat in the lush, green, shady garden for a cool, quiet lunch until 2 pm, check-in time. At this point, we are exhausted, so we unlocked the door to our third-floor room and fell into bed, unconscious for the next three hours.
Our room at the K&K King George

Woke, showered, threw open the large windows overlooking the garden and savored the cool breezes.

Part of the gardens at the K&K King George

We then hopped on the Tube (the new Oyster Card makes public transportation so easy) and mingled with the crowds at Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden, then strolled over to ancient Seven Dials.

At Trafalgar Square

Back on the Tube to our stop at Earl’s Court near Chelsea and Kensington, where we ambled along Earl’s Court Road until the fragrances emanating from Masala Zone caught our attention.


Our dinner - the “Grand Thali,” which consisted of an Indian canapé, a potato dish, dal, raita, kachumber (Indian salad), papadum and chutney, whole wheat chapatti, rice and prawn malai curry (gently spiced and flavored with coconut,) accompanied by a “Masala Coke,” which was a coke with lime and spices – was incredibly delicious and surprisingly inexpensive. We highly recommend Masala Zone.

Dinner at Masala Zone

On every visit to London we are amazed at the myriad dialects we hear on the street. America is called the Melting Pot but London is certainly diverse in its ethnicity as well.


Back at the hotel at 9:30, we caught up on email in the well-appointed bar as Carol sipped a Pinot Grigio and I quaffed a pint of Guinness.

The K&K King George

At 10:00 pm we threw open the windows in our room and drifted off to sleep as a cool London breeze wafted among soft London street sounds. It’s great to be back in London!


Next Day

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email david@davidandcarol.com