Archive for the ‘Europe 2001’ Category

Day (minus one) and one

Sunday, April 22nd, 2001

We arrived at LAX via an airport shuttle; we decided not to take the commuter flight we had on American Airlines. Steve wanted to make sure we had plenty of time so we would not miss our flight. We arrived and checked in two hours before the flight. The counter person gave us free admission to the admiral club. That was kind of cool, as we got free cocktails and snacks. It was nice to sit in comfortable chairs and relax before our flight.

We boarded about an hour before the flight was to depart. Steve was able to go into the cockpit and have a tour after the ground crew finished all their paperwork. The coolest thing about the visit was seeing all the new high tech instruments. The instrument panel displays are all glass. If you ever get a chance to visit the cockpit of a Boeing 777 you will be quite impressed.

The flight lasted about 10 hours. It wasn’t too bad since we were able to fly business class thanks to all of Steve’s frequent flyer miles. The seats were great as they completely reclined. We also had personal TV screens to watch movies. On the 777, there is also a flight tracker. It tells you where you are, how fast you are going, and how long until you get to where you are going.
When we arrived we went through customs. All we had to do was show our passports. We didn’t get stopped at baggage check, so we headed on to our train.

We caught the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station where we exchanged our London Visitor Travelcard and London Pass card vouchers for the real thing. If we had it to do it over again, I would not get the London Pass. It was not really worth it. Definitely get the London Visitor Travelcard though. It was well worth the money and lack of hassle.

We boarded the tube for our hotel. Unfortunately, tunnel strengthening forced us to take one tube line and then change to another. There was no direct route. There weren’t any escalators in some of the tube stations so carrying the luggage around wasn’t too much fun.

We arrived and checked into the K&K Hotel George K&K Hotel George and napped for 3 hours. We arrived in the morning/afternoon so the jet lag didn’t hit us too bad. The room was pretty nice and it overlooked a garden. The photos below are the view from the window in our room.

We took showers and got dressed to go out. The drain in the shower was real slow, so we had to hurry or we would be taking a bath instead.

We ate dinner at the “Rat & Parrot” pub. Angie had a chicken sandwich and a smoothie. Not really what we call a smoothie – it was more like an artificial fruit juice. Steve had fish and chips with a New Castle beer.

After dinner we took a nice long stroll. We found a lot of shops and places to eat. The hotel is in a residential area (Earl’s Court). There were not as many shops as you would expect. The hotel really is as nice as the picture looks.

On the way back from our walk we saw a lot of cars that we have not seen before – even some American makers. I wanted to take some pictures, but I left the memory sticks in the room.

I purchased a new camera for this trip. I was tired of lugging around a 35mm camera and all the film. This time I decided I would get a digital camera. This way we could look at the photos immediately and not have to spend money to develop them just to have them turn out crappy. All of the photos on this site were all taken with this new camera. I purchased a Sony DSC-S50. This is a great little camera and the amount of money I saved in film and development has paid for it.

We arrived back at the hotel. We decided to have dessert, so we sat in the bar. We had an apple strudel and two pots of tea. We both were tired from our long flight; Steve was falling asleep drinking his tea. It was time we went to bed. In the room, Steve watched Dune, in German.

Steven & Angie’s 10 Year Anniverary Trip

Sunday, April 22nd, 2001

Well gang, this was the year for the BIG trip. Angie and I have been waiting with great anticipation for this trip. We have had several false starts in our planning, but after dealing with incompetent travel agents, we finally got everything together.

Our biggest hassle was trying to get our upgrades on American Airlines. After two months of back and forth in the postal mail, I finally went into their offices and got it all straightened out.

Since Steve has been to Europe twice and Angie never, we decided to plan this trip with mostly the cities and sites that Angie wanted to see. We decided to see the following cities:

London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Munich and Zurich.

It does sound like a lot of cities, but we did go for three weeks! So we had enough time in almost all the cities.

Having finished packing and completed the decision of what to take with us, we waited for our ride to the airport.