overnight to london
Our flights to London were uneventful and we arrived at the Heathrow Marriott within a few minutes of each other. Nancy flew Continental direct from Cleveland, landing at Terminal 4, while I came on British Airways from Chicago landing at brand new Terminal 5. When I checked in for my flight in Chicago I discovered that I'd been invited to the business class lounge where a light supper buffet awaited. My nice mesclun salad hit the spot.
Dinner was served on board the flight shortly after take-off and wine was complimentary. Shortly thereafter I skipped the in flight movies and other entertainment on demand options and settled in to sleep. I probably got a good four-hour nap before the flight attendants were coming down the aisles with coffee, orange juice and a sweet roll.
London is six hours later than at home so our 9 a.m. arrival corresponded to 3 a.m. deep sleep at home.
We had planned to go into the city but folks responding to my post on the London Forum of www.tripadvsor.com advised against it. Most noted that we'd be spending at least two hours on public transport (the tube or Underground as the subway is called) for an hour of walking around. I did learn, however, that there's a free shuttle to the nearest tube station from the hotel which eliminates the need to return to the airport to catch the Piccadilly line.
So instead we took one forum poster's advice and walked a couple blocks to the Pheasant Pub for a glass of ale and a Ploughman's lunch of Stilton cheese. It came out as a one square foot plate with two big slices of cheese, a salad with sprouts, a salsa like condiment, slices of cucumber and beets and a small loaf f bread,
Our brisk walk was refreshing but now I'm hitting the wall and will take a short nap. Nancy, meanwhile, has gone to check out the heated pool.
We meet our group for dinner at OXO Tower on the Thames in central London at 4:15 pm. There are 72 writers invited to preview the ship. Tonight we'll get to know some of them.