London

Arrived at Toronto airport at the crack of 6am and was greeted by some wicked public art.

I didn’t catch who the sculpture was made by but if you stood in the middle of the structure you could hear EVERY single conversation in the airport like they were happening right beside you. It was very cool… 🙂

The 7 hour flight flew by (nuk nuk) and that was thanks to the inflight TV that Air Canada provides. I read my book (Bossy Pants by Tina Fey). I watched crappy movies (I seriously can’t remember what they were – something with J-lo and something with Reese – both forgettable). I had ordered another “fruit meal” through Air Canada and again was surprised at how nice the fruit was. I had also brought my own meal of left-over Quinoa and veggies from dinner the previous night. YUM!

I arrived at Heathrow around 9:30pm just as the sun was starting to set. My cousin Karen was at the airport to greet me … I was worried I wouldn’t recognize her since it had been 25 years since we last saw each other but I picked her out of the crowd immediately. She was the one jumping up and down and yelling my name.  🙂

She and her hubby gave me a ride to my hotel (Ibis near Wembley Stadium) and I settled in for the night. Ibis is a budget hotel so I wasn’t expecting anything fancy but the rooms were nice, clean (I checked for bedbugs before I unpacked) and modern and their bathrooms are in a “pod”.

 

My view was of Wembley Stadium …

…and after a quick FaceTime chat with Gerry I headed to bed. I wanted to try and get my body clock adjusted to the time difference.

I feel asleep pretty quickly and then about 3am I woke up gasping for breath. OH MY GOD!! My room was so f-ing hot! I tried to open the window and get some fresh air but it only opened about 2 inches. Then I looked at the thermostat and tried to figure out why there was HOT AIR blowing into my room from the air conditioner.

I called down to the front desk where I was informed that my room did not have an air conditioner but in fact had a “air regulating” stystem and that if it was cold outside it adjusts the room temperature accordingly. I told him it wasn’t working and that my room was unbearably hot. He said it “wasn’t his problem” and hung up on me.

W. T. F.?

I was so tired and hot and angry – but more tired … so I dampened a towel and lay it across my naked body and fell back asleep until about 5am when the FIRE ALARM went off! I jumped out of bed like a shot and ripped open the curtains to see Wembley Stadium laughing at me. It said “You thought you were going to get a good nights sleep huh?

The fire alarm finally stopped and I heard voices in the hallway so I put on pajamas and opened up the door to see if we needed to evacuate. I was greeted by a tall skinny Danish man in the smallest (but loudest) man panties I have ever seen.

He had no idea what was going on and was walking around in a daze. I called the front desk and it turned out the bakery was baking bread and the kitchen got too smokey. I re-dampened my towel and lay back down trying to quell the adrenaline that was pumping through my veins.

I woke up around 10:30am and actually felt pretty good considering the night of sweating and fire alarm induced heart attacks I had had. After a long shower in the pod – I shook up a Vega Smoothie, ate a banana and called my Auntie Jean!

I haven’t seen Jean or my Uncle Geoff since 1986 and it was so wonderful to see them again. We sat in the dining room and talked for hours … it was like no time had passed at all. Isn’t it great when you have family like that?

I brought with me about 250 photos of my Mum’s which spanned from when she was a baby until she passed away at 39. I thought that Jean (my Mum’s sister) would have seen them all but in fact there were many (including some of the childhood photos of my mum) that she had never seen before. It was a really fantastic way to learn more about my family … Jean and Geoff had a story for every photo and each story lead to another story. We spent the entire day/evening chatting and I came back to my hotel exhausted but so happy that I had finally made the trip over to see them.

I went to the front desk and asked them about the heater/air regulator. She told me that there was nothing they could do – I asked if I could have a fan or a maintenance person come look at my room. She said no and then walked away. Wow. RUDE! Normally I would have checked out of the hotel but I was so exhausted. I just wanted to sleep …

Tomorrow was going to be a full day.

 

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