It was amazing, a trip of a life time.
We loved every second.
I am still morning the loss of our pictures. They were on our laptop and the hard-drive went bad. We didn't back it up, we tried to have it recovered with nothing working. A sad lesson to learn with pictures that you can't re-take. My handsome husband tells me "well we will just have to go back so we can take new pictures." I am still very sad. I am thankful that they are on facebook; well, some of them are. They are now low res, and if we printed them... they would be blurry, but at least we can see them.
First Stop was LONDON: (a long, post.)
(Top left: Piccadilly street, Top right: London street, with double decker bus in background, bottom left: in front of london bridge, bottom right: on the river cruise.)
Oh, how we loved London.
First adventure started when we got off the plane and Cruz was almost deported. Long story... and kind of a funny one now that it is over. He is from Venezuela and so he has a Venezuelan passport, which he just renewed and it is valid for one more year. However, when they renewed it he didn't get a new booklet; he just got a stamp thing that says that it is valid for another year. Venezuelans do not need a visa to go to Europe unless... they have the old style of passport. (Like my husband did.) The kind that doesn't have a chip in it. So, he was detained for 2 hours, when we checked on this before we planned our trip the embassy told us Venezuelans don't need visas to go to England or Europe. So... while I was sent into the air-port to wait his fate. I was so sad. They gave me NO hope that he'd be let into the country. They made me feel like he was going to be sent home. I cried as I walked to the baggage claim. I had to pick up my baggage and enter into the regular part of the airport on my own, I met our tour director and he was really nice and positive. I talked to the information desk and they gave me no hope telling me about the common area where I could say good-bye to my husband before he was sent on a plane back to the states. This is not what I had planned for our 3rd year anniversary trip. I had to sit waiting for the next hour wondering what would happen. Holding back the tears, I waited.
Cruz was being questioned, and the people were all very nice. They basically did a application for a visa right then and there. They let him in the country with a warning, and after some paperwork was filled out they offered him sandwiches and soda/drinks while he and his new friend Peter (a worker in the detainment office) watched a soccer game. Finally he was able to call me, and give me the news.
I was so relieved, and excited for the real trip to begin.
Our hotel in England was very nice, and had a modern design. It was also very close to the tube station which allowed us to go anywhere we wanted with out much trouble. We stayed at the Novetel, I would stay their again.
The first night we arrived we went on a optional excursion with our tour. We took a cruise on the River Thames that included dinner at a traditional english pub. I ate fish and chips for dinner... not really that impressed. Cruz had a English beef pie, it was very flavorful. The night cruise on the river was fantastic, colder than I had expected but we got the history of the area and a view of most of the main tourist attractions.
Day two: we enjoyed the fantastic breakfast buffet at our hotel, and it filled us up until the evening. In the morning we went to big ben, westminster abbey and rode the london eye. It was really fun to go on the London eye... a view of the entire city. We walked the streets for a while until we headed back to the hotel to catch the bus to take us to Buckingham Palace. Buckingham Palace is The Queen's official London residence, though I am sure she wasn't there at the time. I believe that it is only open to the public in Aug and Sept. so we were lucky to have gone during this time. We walked the halls and got to see Kate's wedding dress, and also their cake. I loved every second of it. I loved all the fancy details in every room. I wished that we could have taken pictures, but they weren't allowed. As part of the tour we also got to see The Royal Mews houses the State vehicles, both horse-drawn carriages and motor car are stored there. Cruz was very impressed by the carriage that was 4 tons of gold. We also went to piccadilly street which was lots of fun, with street performers and fun little pubs and cafes. We had a yummy dinner, we sort of shared our food. A sausage dish with mash (potatoes) and another english pie. For dessert we stopped at an adorable little bakery. We continued walking the streets of london until late into the night stopping at every tourist spot we felt important. London was great, the people were friendly for the most part. The lines weren't long and we felt like we had a great taste of London for only being there 2 days. We hope to go back one day. :)
Day three: We woke up ate breakfast, and we were on a bus that took us on a last little tour of England. We were headed to the ferry to cross the channel and eventually would end up in Brussels, Belgium.
to be continued...