Here we are in London!

Mark has “hit the wall” but I’m feeling OK at the moment.

The second leg of the journey was very comfortable, though I only had about five hours sleep in two sessions. We arrived in London about 1:30pm and took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station. Then it was just a short black cab ride to our hotel. Last year we stayed at the Athenaeum over Christmas, and this year our two nights here constitute a present to ourselves. The Athenaeum owns a row of Edwardian apartments behind their hotel building which are beautiful and spacious.

Our lounge.

The bedroom.

Trust me, we don’t live like this all the time. I’ll post pics of the next hotel we stay at to give you a comparison.

Now, as for the case of the boomerang champagne. After our Civil Partnership ceremony in London on January 3rd this year, we received two bottles of champagne from some of our well-wishers. On our way back to the airport we struggled with the gifts in a shopping bag, along with our three suitcases and two backpacks. We had been so careful to ensure our luggage contained no liquids over 100ml, and that any liquids or gels we had were placed in a plastic bag to show security on the way through. We were oblivious to the fact that we were also carrying one and a half litres of liquids in our carry-on baggage in the form of champagne. Too late to put it in our check-in luggage (we probably wouldn’t have anyway – just image what two burst bottles of champagne would do to your clothes) we surrendered our bottles to the lady at security. We encouraged her to have a drink on us, though she was probably prohibited from doing so. We laughed off the two surrendered bottles and chalked it up to experience.

Today as our flight was coming to an end and we were about to land, the two female flight attendants who had been looking after us for the journey presented us with a bottle of Heidsieck champagne for “being a pleasure to serve”. It was probably due to the fact the we are always polite and say please and thank you – little niceties that some might forget when they are flying. We carried the champagne with us to the hotel, and are having a glass of it right now. Then, at six o’clock there was a knock on the door, and the porter presented us with this:

So that’s two bottles surrendered and two bottles gained.

I love how the universe balances out.

Happy New Year to you all!