June 4, 2016

IMG_3492My friend, Art, picked me up at my place and loaded my luggage into the backseat of his car. He took me to the Comox Airport two hours early so I could check in for my flight to Vancouver at 4:30 p.m. He couldn’t hang around, but I was thankful he was able and willing to take me to the airport. I checked in and ordered a yummy fruit scone and a cup of Earl Grey tea. Soon, I was aboard the plane and it seemed that we no sooner got up into the air than we were landing in Vancouver airport. I did manage to take a few photos of the view below, as it was a nice sunny clear day.

Upon arrival at the Vancouver airport, I received special assistance, as my arthritis causes me a lot of pain if I overdo things lifting and carrying heavy bags etc. It took quite a while until the shuttle bus to my hotel room arrived. My son, Graham, and his girlfriend were going to meet me at my hotel lobby, which they did. Unfortunately, they had to wait quite a while for me. It was almost 10 p.m. by the time we sat down to eat our dinners at Moxie’s Restaurant in Richmond, BC. I had a nice gourmet pizza, Graham had a hamburger and fries, and Kristie had an interesting salad dish consisting of half an iceberg lettuce stuffed with other veggies. It wasn’t long before they were bidding me goodbye and heading back to Chilliwack, which is a fairly long drive from YVR.

I got to bed right away and had a good night’s sleep at the Sandman Inn on Edwards Drive in Richmond near the airport. The following morning, I took the shuttle train once more to the airport and got myself checked in and on the flight to the Gatwick Airport in London, England. It was a long 9-1/2-hour flight. I had a nice fellow from London sitting beside me all the way. I didn’t get a wink of sleep, because the flight was over Hudson Bay, Greenland, and Iceland when it should have been dark. Being that far north, however, it was daylight all the way.

I arrived at Gatwick Airport and had a slushy drink at Costa coffee. I didn’t want a hot drink, as it was a hot day. I did have a muffin, however. About half an hour after I arrived there, I was greeted by a cheerful lady, my distant cousin, Jenny. She recognized me right away, having seen photos of me on Facebook. She joined me for a morning cup of tea, and then we went together to the parking lot to get into her Mercedes-Benz car.

Jenny took the long way home to Eastbourne via Brighton, and showed me the beautiful white houses and hotels along the beach and showed me the famous Brighton Pier. I was very impressed with the rolling green hills of the countryside between Brighton and Eastbourne where sheep and cattle grazed.

Upon arrival at the Solar House (Jenny and Mike’s home) which is partially solar powered, she showed me the bedroom that would be my private space for the following six weeks. It was up a flight of stairs. At first, I wondered if I could cope with going up and down the stairs, but I soon adapted.

These are my memories of the first day I spent traveling to and arriving in England.



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