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goddesstogo and mr. goddess's big London adventure (an ongoing tale)

goddesstogo and mr. goddess's big London adventure (an ongoing tale)

Old Dec 21st, 2010, 07:20 AM
  #761  
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Such a bittersweet dilemma. I came back from my short vacation in November and wonderful get together with you and the other London folks and was met with a few work and personal situations that prevented me from hanging out on Fodors for a while.

You had your "Living like a local" trip and now you are having your "What can we see while on a layover" vacation.

I do hope you manage to get home for a few days before going back to work.....just having time to unpack and get over the jet lag would be nice.

In the meantime, if you are looking for places you have not seen yet, The Wallace Collection it is a great little museum displaying some wonderful 18th century paintings and collection of Armoury. The museum is housed in a historic London town house and is very well maintained. We went on a Sunday and there were very few people walking around, so it made me feel like I was viewing a private collection. It was a great out of the way place to spend a couple of hours without the crowds.

Sorry your flight was delayed, but enjoy your little bonus time in London!
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Old Dec 21st, 2010, 10:31 AM
  #762  
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Hi everyone,
We're feeling in better spirits today and have just resigned ourselves to the fact that we won't be home till Boxing Day. We're just keeping our fingers crossed that we get out then. We're still keeping in touch with the airline, though, just in case something comes up earlier for us.

We extended our stay here and the hotel moved us up to a much nicer room, one of the recently renovated ones on the top floor. We have a king bed (we had twins last night) and a big TV with lots more movies than we had in the other room. We've also downloaded a couple of movies from itunes so we have plenty of entertainment if we don't feel like going out.

Today we took the bus about a half hour ride away to Uxbridge where we had to pick up a few things. It was a very lively, cheerful place with a pedestrian mall and two shopping centres as well as a busy high street and lots of people doing Christmas shopping. We decided that we didn't want to eat in the hotel restaurant again so we picked up a bunch of ready-made stuff from M&S's Food Hall and a bottle of wine and borrowed some real plates from the Brasserie downstairs, and we'll have a picnic on the bed while we watch a movie. We've made plans for tomorrow and Thursday, so now we feel a bit more like we're still in London. Of course, it's second best -- we'd rather be home but what can we do? The hotel has been wonderful and our London friends have been very kind to us. We've had three invitations for Christmas dinner including one from jamikins and bikerscott to stay over with them on Christmas eve but we're hesitant to leave the airport area, especially since there's little or no public transportation here on those days.

And that's it. There are plenty of people still here in the hotel and we hear everyone's stories. We'll probably spend Christmas eve drinking wine with other Heathrow orphans gazing with glazed eyes at the Christmas tree in the lobby. Christmas day we'll be happy because we'll be going home the next day.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 02:36 AM
  #763  
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Our friends and family email us to tell us that flights are now leaving Heathrow for Toronto. Yup, that's true. Only what they don't realize is that those flights are filled with people who bought tickets on them. They're not extra flights.

We've just gotten off the phone with AC. We call a couple of times a day, listen to music and cheery Christmas messages (which they'd be wise to delete, I think) while we stay on hold for 45 minutes, then if we're lucky and get an agent who's really willing to do the work we hold again for a half hour while he looks for connecting flights. Right now we still have the first available tickets on the 26th. We've decided that we're going to try the phone thing a few more times today and then give up and sit tight till the 26th.

We've even considered upgrading but there are no pricier seats available either. Their website says there are but the agent said the website can't keep up with the demand. The newspapers here are filled with such sad stories that we can't help but feel luckier than some. In the paper today, the boss of Heathrow said "snowfall such as he's never seen in his lifetime". Give me a break. And if that's true, why did he not accept the help offered by the military early on. He's really made a mess of this situation and will still walk away with a huge bonus.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 06:13 AM
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GTG glad you are settling in and fingers crossed that two seats come available for you!

Funny you mention the bonus - he has actually decided to forgo a bonus this year - just heard it on the news hahaha timely...

Looking forward to seeing you on Thurs!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 07:23 AM
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Wow- 760+ posts??? Way to go Goddess! (Is this a record?)

I won't be able to read the whole thread but I just wanted to say hi and that I hope you had a blast in London.

Boots
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 02:52 PM
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well - are you going or staying? we HAVE to know!

seriously, I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to be sat waiting to go ghome - like some sort of aviation purgatory.

talking about luggage [well, you sort of were], a friend's DIL managed to get back from norway, but there were only 9 baggage handlers on at Gatwick, rather than the usual 90, [I suppose they were all snow-bound too!] so she had to wait 6 hours for her luggage. Finally the pilot got fed up and flew back to Norway with all the luggage still on board - which included the 5lbs of raw prawns she had in hers. that'll be a nice Christmas present for someone!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 04:54 PM
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Are we staying or going? WE'RE GOING!!!! We just got a flight out early on the 24th, instead of on the 26th and will be home by noon, Toronto time. That means we can spend Christmas eve with our best friends and Christmas day with SO's mom!

WOO HOO!!!!!!!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 05:16 PM
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What great news!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 08:06 PM
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Oh GOOD! So exciting! Have a wonderfully jet lagged Christmas at home!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 10:45 PM
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GTG that is wonderful news! I am soo happy for you!!! Its a christmas miracle
xxx
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 11:55 PM
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Fingers crossed - and bon voyage!
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Old Dec 23rd, 2010, 02:37 AM
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Hurrah! Once I heard the second runway was open, I thought there was a chance you'd get out before Boxing Day. You must be mightily relieved.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2010, 03:35 AM
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Glad you're getting out! Thanks for such a wonderful report. I stopped reading back in September when I left on my 6-month RTW (TRs on the Asia board) because it was growing so fast, but today I'm holed up in an AC hotel room in steamy Trivandrum recovering from a stomach bug and just read the whole thing. Am SO homesick for London now!!! [Why did I only schedule one night in London on the way home from this trip...]
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Old Dec 23rd, 2010, 04:35 AM
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Good to hear. I was just writing to say that I heard on the news 10 minutes ago that Air Canada was sending one or more additional planes to bring stranded passengers home for Christmas. Happy to hear that may include you if you're flying with them.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2010, 07:16 AM
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GTG - Safe flight home and have a nice Christmas at home
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Old Dec 23rd, 2010, 09:50 AM
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Whoo hooo!!! Safe travels and Merry Christmas, GTG!

Lee Ann
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Old Dec 23rd, 2010, 12:08 PM
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GTG - I'm so glad for you that you will be getting home in time for Christmas (though Christmas with Scott and Jamikins would have surely been great fun!).

I enjoyed meeting you in October and have loved your report even if it got so long I couldn't always download it!

Best wishes for a good flight home without delays, and a wonderfully happy festive season, come back soon!

Julia
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Old Dec 23rd, 2010, 12:29 PM
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We're sorry you're leaving us, but so pleased for you, GTG that you are going home.

have a good flight and when you've recovered, let us know how you got on.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2010, 03:53 PM
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Best wishes for an uneventful journey home.

Even though you have titles this thread your "adventures" it's adventure like travel complications that you can do without, and you certainly have had enough of that.

Many thanks for sharing your experiences with us all and allowing us to live a London life vicariously.

Best wishes for a lovely Canadian Christmas with all your loved ones. We're shaping up for a very hot Christmas Day here so no white Christmas for us - wishing just a sensible amount of snow for all of you.
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Old Dec 24th, 2010, 12:15 PM
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Well, it is Christmas Eve, just after 3pm Central time. And I am in high hopes of seeing you, GTG, post that you are home and safe!! Merry Christmas!
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