Wednesday, 25 April 2018

London, England (Dawson House, Battersea Power Station)

Time to resume the daily travel blog posts. I was going to start writing again when I got to New York City on the 15th of April but changed my mind. To get caught up, I’ll summarize as best as I can and leave it at that. If this were school, I’d burn the midnight oil to get an A+ grade for this report, but I’m willing to settle for a “C” given the circumstances.

Oregon Visit (20 March – 15 April)
After completing the Oregon visits and reviewing my tracking spreadsheet, I realized that I managed to arrange and complete at least 49 visits in a little over three weeks time. This included a dermatologist appointment and several visits to an attorney’s office and financial institutions to close out my cousin’s estate since I’m now the estate’s Personal Representative (new name for an Executor).

My visits to relatives and friends were well worth the effort and glad I made the trip when I did. I was able to see everyone that I wanted to see, except for two cousins who live out of state. I made my list of who I wanted to see before traveling to Oregon, and except for a couple of former co-workers, I was able to arrange visits with everyone on the list. (I’ll give myself an A+ for this effort.)

I made several trips to Hood River, drove with my brother to visit our uncle and aunt at their Grass Valley ranch and visited my cousin Steve and his family in Corvallis. I stayed with Scott most of the time except when his boys were staying overnight and then moved to my friend Gary’s place in Lake Oswego for a couple of days here and there.

(Note: I’ll add pictures and more detail in the next couple of days when I have the site set up where pictures will be available.)

I was asked if it was difficult to say good bye when I left Oregon where I saw many familiar faces and sites. I guess it was a little difficult in some respects, but I know I’ll be back in a couple of years. Time goes by fairly quickly as we get older.

Visiting New York City (15 April – 22 April)
I managed to wake up at 3:00 a.m. at Gary’s place to catch the flight to NYC. I still had to return the car to Alamo and check-in for the flight. While getting packed, I uploaded a few programs to watch on my PC and iPad to pass the time during the flight. Was able to use points to sit in First Class, so it was a comfortable flight. I had arranged for a town car to drive me from the Newark airport into the city and was dropped off at the hotel where I checked in and immediately took a quick nap. Later I met up with my friend Karl for dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant.

I needed to get back to walking. After eating so well in Oregon, I knew that I gained a few pounds. Having a car at my disposal in Oregon gave me an excuse to not walk everywhere. Karl took off some time from work to show me around places I hadn’t seen before, like Roosevelt Island, and other places on the upper East side of NYC.

While Karl was at work one day I took the train up to Oyster Bay and visited Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill home. I did my best to let the guide conduct the tour but added a few comments of my own along the way. After awhile the guide looked at me when she talked about the home, knowing that I probably had something to add. After all, I’ve been researching the Roosevelt family (both Theodore and Franklin’s families) for over 30 years. And this was my second visit to this home.

I moved to another hotel (Hilton, of course) halfway through my visit and enjoyed being on the 36th floor until it was time to leave for London.

While in NYC, I saw some other friends, walked through Central Park a couple of days, rode the Staten Island ferry, and visited the Dakota. Karl and I got tickets to see Book of Mormon one night and Rossini’s opera, La Cenerentola (Cinderella), performed by students from the Manhattan School of Music.

I knew it was time to leave NYC when I felt a need to see London again. I had been in NYC for a week and knew that I’d seen everything I had wanted to see this time around.

Thankfully, my flight was mid-afternoon so I had time to pack and eat a good breakfast before leaving for JFK. I arrived at the airport with time to spare and bought food for the flight. It was a 7 hour flight and would have liked to have used points for an upgrade, but my seat was in an exit row and so I had plenty of leg room, no one was sitting next to me, a rest room was a few steps away and I could watch movies from my seat. The 7 hour flight went by relatively quickly.

The flight arrived in London at a little past 6:00 a.m. and I took the underground from Heathrow to the Green Park station where I transferred to the Victoria line and rode to the Vauxhill station that was nearest to my Airbnb flat. I was going to take a taxi, but decided to walk with my suitcase. Since it was too early to check into the flat, I sat in a nearby coffee shop and drank two cups of coffee to wake up.

I could only drop off my bags at the flat at 11:30 since it was still being cleaned. After being shown around the flat I met up with Viktor and had tea with him before going back to the flat for a well-deserved nap. After I woke up I checked how much I had walked. The app on my phone said I had walked over 17,000 steps! Thankfully there was a grocery store on the ground floor of the building and bought some ground beef to cook for dinner. And went to sleep at 10:00 p.m.

Felt good to be back in London. I don’t have anything planned. I’ll just enjoy the city one day at a time until I leave for Warsaw, Poland on the 30th.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

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