Monday 3rd September, 2001
We catch a taxi from Heathrow to the South Ealing Guest House. This place is a dive. What a disgrace, none of us want to stay. We leave our bags and head for the train.
England is so much different to the USA. In the US people are friendly, in England they just ignore you. We are homesick for the USA.
We get off the train at Piccadilly Circus. To Trafalgar Square.
Tube to London Palladium, The King and I is on, just like in 1980.
Tube to Tower of London, walk across Tower Bridge and return along London Bridge.
We don't want to go back to our room. We walk and talk but eventually catch the train back to South Ealing where we arrive at 1:20am and try to make the best of it.
Tuesday 4th September, 2001
Today we split up for a while and Rayls headed off on the train to Knightsbridge and a visit to Harrods.
Gary and Scott caught the train back to Heathrow, Terminal 1, where we asked about a change of flights and checking in our baggage.
At Harrods Rayls buys a Christmas Decoration, Harrods Teddy Bear Back Pack, Chocolate Chip cookies, Harrods Christmas Bear, Harrods Bobby Bear by Peter Fagan.
At 11:15am Gary and Scott leave the airport and catch the train to Knightsbridge. At 11:50am we all meet up and we all check out Harrods. Gary is not feeling and well and gets his money’s worth from the pound it costs to use the Harrods toilet.
Then we catch the tube to St James Park and visit New Scotland Yard.
We walk to Buckingham Palace and then walked through Green Park to Green Park Station and took the tube to Bond Street. Visit Debenhams, a department store and have lunch at a Pizza Hut. We do some more shopping and buy an Arsenal T Shirt for Scott.
Take the tube from Bond Street to St James Wood and visit the home of cricket, Lords.
There is a game on at Lords but we are allowed in and watch the game between Norfolk and Devon, we watch the last 5 wickets to fall and part of the presentations. We all have a great love of the game of cricket and it is an honour to be here.
We decide we will come back tomorrow to do the official ground tour.
Walk back to St James Wood station and catch the tube to Arsenal. We arrive there at 6pm and walk around the soccer stadium Highbury. We talk with a security guard who gives us the name and number of someone who can arrange a tour of the ground. Scott is a big fan of Arsenal.
7:00pm we catch the tube from Arsenal to Heathrow 4.
At 7:50pm we attend the British Airways counter change our flight details. We are now going to Holland tomorrow afternoon.
Look for food at Heathrow with no luck. We catch the tube to LHR123 and do lots of walking around the airport terminal and finally find an open cafe and have a very nice sandwich, minestrone soup and a drink. We chat with people from Sunderland.
11:15pm we sadly have to return to our room and so we catch the tube from LHR123 to South Ealing and once again make the most of it.
Wednesday 5th September, 2001
London is an interesting and vibrant city but we just don't want to be there. We are all tired and ready for either home or even better, Cedar City in Utah. Having said that we did make the most of this day and achieved some lifelong dreams for us all.
At 6:00am we get up and pack our bags. We carry our bags, there are 13 of them, to South Ealing Station - this was hard work.
Catch the tube to Heathrow T4 and arrive Heathrow at 7:45am. We check the bags in, that is a load of our hands.
Breakfast at Cafe Italia - we all have bacon and eggs. Scott played Virtual Striker arcade game.
Gary rings Ian Cook at the Arsenal Football Club regarding a possibility of a tour. We arrange an 11am tour and catch the Piccadilly Line tube at 9:10am arriving at arsenal station at 10:05am. We check out the Arsenal store, the Gunners Shop. Scott gets a shirt, a jacket and a DVD.
11:00am we do the tour of Highbury with Ian Cook. we see the change rooms, trophy cabinet, stand, press room, players tunnel and at ground level saw where the manager and substitute players sit. Great thrill for Scott and we are thankful to Ian for his kindness.
11:40am tube to Knightsbridge, Harrods again.
12:20pm we got to a McDonalds for lunch. Busy and we can only get a seat downstairs near the toilet, very smelly.
We take the tube back to St John’s Wood and arrive at Lords at 1:30pm. We pay for the tour and check out the museum, we see 'The Ashes'. Rayls buys 3 ceramic cricket teddy bears from the Middlesex County Cricket Shop.
Tour starts at 2:00pm; we have a 5:50pm flight from Heathrow so plenty of time. We see the Long Room, the visitors change rooms (now there is some history there), committee room, museum and both levels of the media centre. The tour is over but we are just chatting, time seems to be going slow - very slow and Gary realises that his watch has stopped.
At 3:55pm we run to the Tube and catch it to Heathrow 4. We arrive at 5:00pm so 50 minutes to spare - lucky there were no holdups along the way.
Our flight to Amsterdam Schiphol is delayed so there was no hurry. Scott plays more Virtual Striker and we shop a bit.
Eventually we go through security and check out the Duty Free Shops. Rayls busy a T Shirt, 2 carry bags,, magnets and pens from the Harrods store at the airport.
Sit at gate 15 and wait for delayed flight. As we are on a flight to Amsterdam there is many Dutch people boarding the flight, Gary gets even more depressed as it reminds him of his childhood and the many verbal fights between his parents.
We finally board at 6:20pm. Captain Geoff Mall explains the delay is due to restricted runway at Schiphol and so Dutch authorities required larger space between planes. The crew had just arrived from Schiphol after an hour and a half delay.
We back out at 6:48pm and take off at 7:04pm. That’s it for London; we wonder if we will return in a better frame of mind.