Thursday, May 1, 2014

God was Laughing

Yesterday's travel to London to be ready for today's morning flight started out so promising.

Believe it or not, we were on top of things and ready to leave without any of the usual last minute rush.

The taxi to Litchfield-Trent Valley train station arrived on time (although the driver must be in training for high speed racing).

The train to London was on time and there was plenty of room for the luggage and seats for us. I even found 1.20 on the seat!

Once we hit London, well things started to unravel.

You see, England was in day two of a 48 hour strike by a transit workers union.  There was no tube from Euston Station to Paddington.  Fine.  We will take a taxi....along with thousands of others forced to do the same.

The roads were a slowly moving river of vehicles, think molasses in January.  As we neared Paddington I watched cab after cab of travelers abandon their cabs and decide to make a run for it in hopes of making their trains.

We did not have a set time reservation so we stayed with Mario II.  That may or may not have been the wise decision.  The queue of taxis to drop of passengers was long and slow and Mario II lost the last of his patience.

I know he decided to exit our queue and join the one that was actually in the unloading zone via a 180 turn and the taking of forced "cuts" into the line.  I cannot give you particulars since I had my eyes closed and was saying a silent but sincere Hail Mary.  Especially the closing words of "now and in the hour of our death."

Obviously, Mario II made it.  The train on which we had tickets to Heathrow, however, did not.  It was a victim of the strike.  It took us awhile to determine this since such information appeared to be a closely guarded secret.

 Mike finally determined that we could take a local train part of the way and then switch to the local bus system for the rest of the trip to the airport where we would, again, transfer to a free shuttle to our hotel.  Let us just say that we were on the local that stopped at every bus stop, and I do mean every stop.  And, the wait for our shuttle was lengthy since traffic was heavy and the number of people waiting was large since, you guessed it, they couldn't get there by tube.

It was interesting to see our shuttle retrace the route of the local bus but, obviously, now going in the other direction.  It turns out we could have gotten off at one of the local stops and been at our hotel at least an hour earlier if only we had known.  :-)

Oh well, a drink, dinner and some rest solved our issues.  We are now bravely going forth again to get the shuttle back to the airport to catch our flight.  If we are late arriving in the US you will understand.

You know the saying, "if you want to hear God laugh tell him YOUR plans"?
Did anyone else hear him chuckling yesterday?

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