Whirlwind of a day!
After one layover, 2 flights, 3 hours in the airport bus stop, a 3.5 hour bus ride we made it to our destination! Well, almost. Some careful and creative packing resulted in 4 suitcases weighing in at 50.5, 50.5, 49.5 and 48.5 lbs respectively. The woman at the checkin-in counter for US Airways remarked at how perfect the weights were. Little did she know I spent a lot of time holding the packed suitcases on the bathroom scale to make sure we got the most out of our suitcases without going over! Anyhow, we got those massive things checked and took our 2 carry-ons a piece and boarded the plane.
While waiting we dealt with a mini crisis involving Lacey’s paperwork from the USDA allowing her to travel to the UK, but thanks to the wonderful lady at the USDA office (and in-flight internet!), we got it solved. A short break in Charlotte allowed us to charge our phones and grab some fro-yo to energize us. Then we boarded our flight. It was uneventful and I even got to sleep some despite my middle seat. Thankfully the little one in the row before us was quiet and slept as well.
We landed early and easily cleared customs after a few fingerprint checks. We then grabbed some tea and a snack then headed off to catch our bus. Since we landed early and quickly cleared customs we could have made an earlier bus (2 hours early!) but it would have meant a GBP 25 fee and I decided just to wait. Of course an hour later we were regretting that decision. We finally boarded the bus and the bus driver ignored the fact that we each had an extra bag and they were heavier than the “baggage allowance”. At this point it was about 11:30 am in London, 5:30 am back in Texas. We both were very tired and very much sleep deprived so easily fell asleep and slept almost the entire bus ride. I woke up in Cambridge and caught a few glimpses – we’ll definitely be making a trip back there!
We made it to our stop and found a cab immediately. Our cab driver took us to the car rental place we had found on the internet and waited while we made sure they could get us a car. The staff was so nice and helpful given our somewhat unique situation. We were even able to get a great price on rental insurance, sure made C happy!
Following creative packing, our bags all fit and we were off! C refused to drive so it was up to me. Let me tell you, driving on the right side of the car in the left lane is a trip! Because we didn’t have UK cellphone access and no GPS we relied on the Google Maps directions I printed off while still back in the states. Big mistake! It should have taken us about 30 minutes to get to the hotel, well we finally found it about 1.5 hours later thanks to several missed or wrong turns down rural roads. We did get to see a lot of beautiful countryside though! The hotel was cute with a perfect sized room, beautiful surroundings and a cute pub attached. After a dinner of pub food and cider we headed back to the room and crashed. It was a crazy trip, expensive day and stressful experience, but at the end we were in England and starting our adventure.