A Circuitous Route - but we totally planned it that way. Yeah, that's right!

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August 14th 2019
Published: August 15th 2019
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August 14,2019

Southampton, UK

Disorganized Chaos. I can honestly say retrieving our luggage was an exercise in futility. USUALLY…TYPICALLY…our luggage is found all together after a cruise. NO….not this time. Someone had a GREAT idea to color coordinate the luggage…BUT….if there were two sizes in the same color, they then arranged it by size. It looked good- BUT – NOT PRACTICAL! Perhaps it was someone with SERIOUS OCD who put the luggage together. Took a while for us to locate everything. Oh….and the Wine suitcase (silver) was situated next to a huge bunch of black suitcases. Silver must not be popular.

OH….I almost forgot. Leaving the ship when finally in the terminal, you have to take an escalator or an elevator down. WELL….one of the “cool” couples on ship – you know the type – black glasses to hide their face, always, ALWAYS showing off their hard bodies ALL THE TIME – whether or not the situation warrants it. Anyway….this couple who, by the way were blocking the exit from the ship saying goodbye to friends….because you know they are MORE important than anyone else, were behind us on the escalator. Each had a small wheelie suitcase – I don’t know how it happened; all I DO KNOW is that it happened. One of them lost control of the wheelie and it tumbled down the escalator nearly taking out an elderly gentleman a few steps behind Christopher. I looked back in horror thinking the poor man was going to take us both out. JUST in the nick of time, the “dude” grabbed the suitcase the step above the gentleman, the poor gentleman was FROZEN. We all got off the escalator and the woman at the bottom said – that’s why I’m here to prevent accidents. WELL….OK.

SO there’s a waiting room at the terminal. Unfortunately for us, the waiting room is on the left side of the aisle, and we are on the right...trying to cross a sea of weary travelers with their own luggage. I was yelled at by another woman. “keep moving” – I replied in my nicest voice – I’m doing my best to cross this sea of people….I’ll move when I can” – she didn’t like that. WELL. THEN HELP ME! I’m controlling 7 pieces of luggage, while Christopher looks for the driver. I get to the room and of COURSE. Everyone is parked by the door blocking all entrance and movement in the waiting room. I MAY have commented on how STUPID this all was. Not certain if I gave it voice…until someone moved, a bit, to let people in the damned door!

Dear Travelers – all I ask is that you think. It is NOT all about you. There were 1200 people on the ship. This waiting room is NOT roomy, and blocking the aisles, and doors is just plain moronic. THINK! It may indeed be convenient for you should your driver show up soon….but he didn’t. HE. DIDN’T. Please try to think of others.

Our driver had been in the lot since 8am. We got off the ship at 8:45. The scheduled time for pickup was 10am. He saw people exiting the terminal and thought MAYBE he should check….it was 9:15. FINALLY. We get in the car…OH! MY! Reclining rear seats! PLUSH. COMFY. SO NICE. Frustration with stupid people dropped about 1000 points. Christopher fell asleep, I watched the countryside pass by at 80 miles an hour in a reclining heated rear seat. YES. I. DID!

Pouring rain the entire way into London. POURING! Got into town in about 90 minutes. We were getting close to the hotel, when we heard the sirens. Then saw the motorcycles and “lead cars” – A ROYAL! IT. WAS. A. ROYAL. Didn’t see a thing. A Range Rover driven by a woman. According to our Driver, it could either be Megan or Kate – as each have female security details and drivers. Great….but still didn’t see anyone.

SO…our hotel is ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE PALACE! We waved, but Liz is in Scotland, Balmoral, to be exact. So….guess no invitation for tea. We get out of the most comfortable car I’ve ever been in, and head into The Rubens, our Hotel. Room is not ready. Won’t be ready till 2pm. It’s now 11am. We have time. Did I mention it’s POURING RAIN. I. MEAN. POURING. Coming down sideways.

Well….what are our options? We took the dumbest, most feeble option….LET’S GO FOR A WALK! I said it was stupid. Umbrellas in hand, we started walking. In circles I might add! Let’s go to Knightsbridge, we said. Let’s keep going we said. I think it’s this way, we both said. It WASN’T! We kept going in a circular pattern growing smaller and smaller until we realized that the hotel was a block away from us in the opposite direction. Not that we are typically directionally challenged. I’m placing ALL blame on the rain. That, and maybe a lack of sleep. And Coffee- yeah that’s it. No coffee.

We came tour senses and decided to stop for lunch. The Albert seems like a good place. It’s close, it’s dry and we’re wet and hungry. Perfect match. Steak and Wine pie for us both and we’re set for the afternoon. OK….time to go back to the hotel and check on the room. Maybe, JUST maybe it’s ready. It wasn’t. 2pm. UGH.

2pm. Ready? NOPE! Waitaminit! You SAID it would be ready. We’re cold, damp, and tired. Nope. Not ready. Wait some more. I go up again…I’m given a drinks chit “for our trouble” OK…FINE….BUT We want to change. FINALLY!!! Room is ready.

The room is just fine. Except for the crooked chandelier. How does one hang a chandelier cockeyed?? THIS is going to drive me NUTS! IT’S CROOKED! Um….THAT. IS. THE smallest Bathroom in the world. Oh MY! I thought the bathroom in Oslo was small. OH NO….they can (and are) smaller. HOW???? We shall make it work….with the small bathroom and crooked chandelier.

Changed. Dry. Sweater on. Out for yet another walk. Guess what. Even WITH a map…yup we are going in circles! We did, however, manage to see Eaton Place. OH. MY. POSH! I saw more Bentley’s than in a car lot. THEN…we saw the Bugatti Veyron. I’m thinking this is a high-end neighborhood! GEE….first clue was? We walk to the Belgravia High Street. FLOWERS Everywhere. Gorgeous.

OK…circle done. Chilled and thinking we’re both a little done in. Perhaps a cocktail (free drinks chit)!

The New York Bar (in our hotel) is lovely, and they make a GREAT Cocktail. We started (ahem) with the freebie…gin and tonic for me, vodka and tonic for himself. YUM. Clear round ice cubes, I’M OBSESSED! Moving along. We order a Manhattan. Do you have Carpano Vermouth? Yes. Do you have Rye? Yes. OK – make us each one of your finest. AND…They DID! Oceania…learn from this. People WILL pay for the top shelf liquor – if you by it, we will come.

Alright – back to the room for a bit of a rest before dinner.

Dinner. We tried to meet up with Christopher’s cousin, but no response. OK. Let’s go it alone. By this point, we were exhausted, so dinner next door and charge it to the room. We each ordered an entrée salad (HUGE) I had the Grilled Chicken Cobb, Christopher had the BBQ Chicken – both were quite good. By this point we were done in.

Back to the room and ready for bed. We hit the pillows and were OUT! Tomorrow who knows?? Weather permitting!


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