Well, we are back from all of our travels and we are all standing...barely.
As I mentioned in the previous post, Minnesota was the first stop for us and what a stop it was. We (Grandma, Natalie, and I ) were supposed to leave on Sunday morning at 9:50 am....supposed to that is. Well, as with most mornings I was running a little late, not thinking much of it we high tailed it to the airport just knowing that we would have no trouble. The airport in our city isn't ever really busy - so it shouldn't be an issue getting our bags checked and through security. Well, best laid plans... My mom got to the airport before we did and called saying that it was REALLY busy, so I told her to just meet us at the sky cap on the upper level - there wasn't a line, so we could breeze right through. Again, best laid plans... Because the sky cap was a "Delta" sky cap and our tickets were booked on a Northwest plane (through the Delta website), he couldn't help us - thanks for wasting 10 minutes of our time to tell us that...
We raced inside to find lines the likes of which I'd never seen. We cruised over to the shortest line (1st class) and waited, and waited, and waited. By the time we made it to the counter and told the woman what flight we were trying to get on she responded (without looking up from her computer) "the 9:50? you can't be on that flight, I'll see if I can get you on something else." Great!
She was able to get us on the 1:30 flight, so we checked our bags and went home to wait. We made it back to the airport in plenty of time to get through security and get on the plane. The door to the plane closed and we pushed back, only to wait for a little over an hour on the runway...Lucky for us (and everyone on the plane) Natalie was so tired that she promptly fell asleep and slept through the one hour wait on the runway and the 2 and a half hour flight, waking up about 5 minutes before we landed (what a peach!)
By the time we got to Minnesota it was 6:30 and by the time we had a car and were leaving the airport it was 7:00. I had to make copies for work the next day and pick up food for Natalie and we needed dinner. So we found a Target, bought food for the week, found a Kinko's and requested the copies I needed, then made the short trip to the hotel to check in and eat at the hotel restaurant. The hotel was very nice and extra helpful while checking in with all our bags, even though the bell boy said "How many people are in your party?" when he saw our bags :)
I was ultra busy at work while there, leaving at 7:30 and not returning to the hotel until 8 or later each night. My mom was (as always) great! Never making me feel like she and Natalie shouldn't have come. When I returned from work, tired, stressed and needing bed, she knew that just that 20 minutes with Natalie and her was all I needed and it made the trip and all the work worth it. I said to her one night that someone had mentioned that it probably wasn't worth my mom and Natalie coming along, because when did I actually see them...my mom looked at me and said "Does that person have a good relationship with their mother? Do you know that even if I had to travel for days just to be able to spend 20 minutes with you I would?" I just smiled and gave her a hug - because I feel the same way about her. It makes me know that is the mom I hope to be for Natalie.
Thursday afternoon we packed up the car and made our way towards the airport, stopping for lunch along the way. We got to the airport and finally got to the gate. My mom and Natalie were flying home and about 20 minutes after they were supposed to leave Phil was going to get to Minnesota and then fly to London with me. So after a tearful goodbye to my mom and Natalie, the gate door shut and I waited for the plane to fly away and for Phil to arrive...well, I waited and waited and waited and the plane never left. There was a mechanical issue and they ended up waiting an hour and a half before taking off. Phil arrived and we watched the plane until it finally left. I continued to cry every 5 minutes until we got on our plane and left for London. I then gave myself one last cry in the bathroom and then told myself that we would have a good time and the days would fly by (which they did).
We got to London the next day (Friday), made our way to the hotel. I worked, Phil slept, then I slept for an hour and we decided to make the 20 minute (ha) trek to London. We finally got to London, made our way through the train station and then on to the underground. We went first to Piccadilly Circus and wandered all around, finding a cute "local" bar (which we stopped in for a quick beer...so delicious), then found China Town. We walked for about another hour before stopping in a local burger shop for dinner then made our way back to the underground stop, back to the train station and back to hotel.
Saturday we slept in a little then made it back to London, went to Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery and walked all over. Made our way back towards our Hotel, hitched a ride with a person from the train to a local pub enjoyed dinner, beer and wine. Then walked to our hotel. Slept in on Sunday had a crazy time getting to London, but finally made it and saw Big Ben, Parliament,Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, the Jubilee Bridge and made our way back to Trafalgar Square for lunch. Then back to the pub near our hotel for beer and relaxing.
Monday I worked so Phil went to London and visited the British Museum, the National History Museum and did more exploring. Tuesday I worked, then joined Phil for lunch at "our" pub, we took a nap after that and then went back to the pub for another beer (the beer is so good it is a shame not to drink this much).
Wednesday we were up at 5:00 to make it to the airport 3 hours ahead of our departure time, then flew to Detroit, then home. I had a pretty nasty cold, so flying was not my friend that day. We were so happy to be home and see Natalie and family!