May 9th, 2013…We Arrive in London :)

After a Very long trip we arrived in England.Jody Lee Guillaume Smith

Al and Jody at Stonehenge. 🙂

We visited Stonehenge. I was hoping to find some magical, emotional connection to the stars..but realized that it was beautifully situated in the rolling hills surrounded by a calm beauty. It does cost you a few pounds to enter the site but there are free audiotour (not guided – a audio player that you use at your own pace). It was very wonderful.

Jody Lee Guillaume Smith

The wonderful lavenham, England.

We later visited Lavenham, a small country side town with tons of swaying buildings…it was hard to believe they were still standing. I hear that Lavenham is quite a tourist attraction during the tourist season but I chose the month of May because we miss that season in both England and Italy by just a little bit. We had a pint at a very nice pub, “The Swan”. It was old and elegant. Quite a proper pub..and always, the girl’s room is in the basement.  Jody Lee Guillaume Smith

Me and the Queen? LOL

 We visited Windsor. I saw the Windsor Castle ..and the Queen was in! She didn’t pop out to say hello or anything…but they were flying the flag for her. The food is AMAZING. My Irish friend Pam made us roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for our first proper English dinner. Why didn’t someone ever tell me that 1) it is not actually pudding & 2) it is amazing!! I had beans on toast for breakfast and it was just wonderful.

Tomorrow we are off to London to stay in a fabulous hotel and enjoy the sights.

 

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Life’s Large Adventures-Tips and Tricks I have learned so far

This trip to London, Rome and Venice is the first major trip I have ever taken… anywhere. I wasn’t sure how to start but I am a researcher at heart so here are some things that I have learned so far.

Tips and Tricks:

Al and Jody Lee

Life’s Large Adventures. Having a partner to share your trip with is fun….he can also help with all of your luggage 😀

1. Even if you have a passport..make sure your boyfriend has an up to date passport. 🙂 We knew he had a passport but for international travel it must be valid for 6 months AFTER your expected time of return. We had to send his passport in and get another one. It is scary to send a valid document away when we will need it very soon. The post office was actually really fast and it took less than two weeks.

2. I love looking online for airfare deals!! It is like a challenge for me. I try to figure out what the best time of the week/of the day is to buy tickets, and many times I get good deals. But for this trip of my lifetime….I wondered if I should ask for some help. My boyfriend Al and I went to a small travel agency in Chinatown. It appeared to be in a quite seedy part of town and he was unsure but I was adamant. While I believed that they could never get us a better deal, I figured we could check it out and use them to help us get an idea of what airlines and travel path would be the best. I WAS WRONG!! The man who helped us, Fransisco, was AMAZING. He listened to what I wanted, asked questions, and was able to look up a deal that was hundreds less per ticket! I could not believe it. He sent me an email with two itineraries and hotel suggestions. I then attempted to find those flights and schedules on line and was unable to find them at that price. We went back to the travel agency and bought out tickets. A few days later Francisco sent me an email saying that the hotel in Rome was having a discount (although on non-refundable rooms) and we saved hundreds on our upcoming 8 day stay there. Wow, he was just wonderful. It may not always work out this way for every one/every trip…but it doesn’t hurt to check it out.

3. Plan your trip. I am currently in the process of picking out what places I MUST see. While in London, Al, would love to see Stonehenge. I remember Prince Charles and Princes Diana’s wedding (I was quite young at the time mind you) and want to see Westminster Abbey. I want to go to the local flea market as well. I love deals. 🙂  While doing my research I found that the train from London to Paris (via the Chunnel) is only 2.5 hrs. Unfortunately we will not be able to make Paris this trip.  Al has a friend we will be staying with “in the country” the first night. For our other two night we all have a hotel in London proper as they agreed to show us around. So we shall make the Paris trip another time. But it is always good to know what is available.

This is long and you are probably tired of reading so I will write more soon. Have a great day. 🙂

Jody Lee