Category: London, 2019

Take Off Aborted

August 11

Our flight back to Chicago is at 3:15PM today, but when we wake, I have a notice from American that that flight has been delayed 16 hours, until 7 AM tomorrow. At first I think there’s been a mistake or, worse, that I’ve booked the flight for the wrong day. A call to American confirms that the message meant what it said,

So, first, I book a Holiday Inn near the airport. A young Colombian, who has been gracious since we checked in to our one-day flat says it will be no problem for him to hold our bags for the day. When, on our way out, I give him $10 for his help and kindness, he says, sweetly, tucking the bill away, that this will be sentimental for him and that maybe he’ll see us in Chicago.

We decide to go to Kew Gardens, recommended by the Feldmans, where there is a Chihuli glass show. I insist that we take the boat on the Thames to Kew. Though it’s a bit chilly on the boat, we have great views of Parliament, bridges spanning the Thames and rowers and, as the guide on the boat says, “the luxury affordable apartments” that stretch along the river

.A different perspective on London and environs.

When we reach the Kew Gardens dock, we walk some distance before reaching the Gardens. We walk around and, after lunch in a garden cafe, take the chain of cars through the lovely gardens interspersed with stunning Chihuli glassware. Carol and the girls cut the ride short to see more of Chihuli’s work, which is housed indoors, while I finish the ride.

We take the tube back to our flat, collect our bags and Uber out to the Holiday Inn near Heathrow. We check into our rooms and go down to the small, very ordinary hotel restaurant, where we have a shockingly good, nicely-presented dinner. We have apparently happened on the Michelin Holiday Inn. After dinner, the four of us play gin rummy and banana grams in the restaurant, then retire to rest for tomorrow’s early getaway.

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