|Ray and Jackie|
|Bruce and Stephanie|
I had doubts about this decision as I had never been on this type of tour. When traveling overseas my sister and I did rent a car in Ireland and all other times I have used public transportation...and liked the flexibility. (Driving a stick shift in Ireland was a bit unnerving with two young children in the back seat crying that we were going to wreck. We finally figured that if I, the passenger, would work the shift with my right hand...then the driver could work the pedals. Ah...but that is another trip and the children are adults now...so back to this trip.) After traveling on this tour, I think I am ready to try it again. We took the Elegance of Britain offered by Insight Tours. We not only had no hassle with driving (and getting lost), we had no worries about parking. But the best, was that we became friends with a lot of fellow travelers.
Departure was from Detroit Metro Airport. Ray and I were waiting to meet Stephanie and Bruce at Detroit Metro when I decided to exchange some of our British currency to a few British pounds so that we could use them for tips when we arrived in England. I only had bills and needed the pound coins. The young man was surprised that I wanted to exchange the bills for some coins and did not even charge me a fee because he 'wanted to get rid of the coins.' So I exchanged a 20 pound note for 20 pound coins. When Stephanie heard what I did she decided to get some coins too....but returned empty handed. She was told that some lady came earlier and took all of the coins. :-) I was kind enough to share the coins with her.
|On the plane ready to go.|
|Cy looking out the window at Thistle Marble Arch Hotel|
|This was what we got when we requested a double bed.|
The rest of the first day we spent getting acclimated to the time change and our surroundings. We found a pub, Three Tuns, nearby where we had dinner. Ray, Stephanie and Bruce opted for fish and chips. Any of you who know me know I would never put fish in my mouth...so I got a chicken sandwich. Everyone liked the food. The place was quite crowded but we found a table tucked in the back corner.
|Three Tuns when not so busy|
We returned to the hotel and settled for a good night's rest because the next day was a busy one. There was a ring at our door and there was Bruce with some face cloths for us. He and Stephanie had gone out again to find a store that carried face cloths and were kind enough to get us some too.
The rest of the evening was uneventful except a horrid news story on the telly. Some poor 18 month old child...they called it the mummified child...had been found in his mother's apartment. I won't go into the details, but we heart this same story almost every day. The news there seems to be just as sensationalized as it is here in the states.
We turned off the telly and lights and had a nice night's sleep hoping that jet lag would not be too severe. Tomorrow was going to be a fun day!
|Flying over Great Britain|
|Jackie walking along Oxford St.|