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And… I’m up.

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I have not been sleeping.  Well, I have haven’t been sleeping well.  Or much.  Not sure why – except that this week has been especially crazy at work, and I’m prepping for this trip to the UK that I am ready for.  At this point, my bags are packed (except for those 1,000 things that I keep remembering to bring that I then immediately forget, cursing myself for not writing it down…  but that’s to be expected).  The car will pick me up at home at 2:30 PM today to head to the airport.  Between now & then I need to:

  • Book a rental car for the vacation portion of the trip
  • Choose a hotel in Bath
  • Call my bank to let them know that we’ll be in the UK & please don’t put our credit cards on hold while you call home trying to “verify charges”
  • Make a photo book (or at least transfer like 1000 pictures from my Mac to my work computer so I can make the photo book in the UK in all my free time — curses, Travelzoo Deals!)
  • Download a few new albums and sync my iPhone
  • Go to a personal training session
  • Finish the laundry
  • Confirm the pet sitter, prep her room & pay her

What do I want to do?

  • Drink coffee, while lazily watching some mindless TV (Grey’s Anatomy would be a good choice)
  • Take my dogs to the dog park


I had hoped to do a really nice post on our trip to the UK, and all the fun stuff that we have planned.  Unfortunately, I haven’t planned much of anything!  My hubby’s had to take that on, but he’s a bit reluctant to “pull the trigger” on hotels, etc. until I’ve approved them (love that!).  Here’s what I know so far.  If you have any suggestions within a reasonable price range, toss ’em my way!

  • Today – 4 Feb:  Depart LAX for LHR via Virgin Atlantic Upper Class (WOOT!!!  Seriously.  WOOT!)  I’m not always in agreement with my company’s travel policy.  It does make sense if you’re going to go straight into work, that you should be able to get a good night’s sleep.  But I’m torn, because it’s so freaking expensive.  But it is awesome.  Seriously awesome.  Why is Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to London awesome?  Funny you should ask:
    • They pick you up in a sedan or limo.  At home.  For free.  I live about an hour from LAX, and they’ll be here at 2:30, ready to take me on my merry way.  Am I a rockstar?  No.  Do I feel like one?  Yup.
    • The seats lie all the way down.  And then I’m wearing Virgin Atlantic pajamas (which are not difficult to take with you on accident, by the way).  And covered with a down comforter.  ON A PLANE.
    • They have estheticians ON BOARD to give you spa services.  WHA?!?  Yep – I got a hand/arm massage last time.
    • In London, they’ll take me to my hotel.  For free.
    • They’d then pick me up again to take me to the airport, if I wanted (but we don’t need it…)
    • The Upper Class lounge in London is psychedelic, baby.  It’s like Austin Powers threw up on itself, but then gave you free food & drinks.  And spa services.  Need a haircut?  Sure.  A facial?  Why not?  A massage?  They’re FREE!
    • And then the whole plane ride happens again, and I’m in my little cocoon, wearing a 2nd new pair of pajamas.
    • They pick me up, with one of those little signs with my name on it, and take me home.  Sa-weet!
    • All for the low, low price of…  well, more than I’d ever pay for a flight on my own.
  • Tomorrow (5 Feb) ~3 PM:  Arrive at The Cavendish Hotel in London – our home base for the next 5 nights.  Dinner at some fancy restaurant that has a bunch of weird animal parts on the menu.  (Pray for a vegetarian special, people.  I can’t do a bunch of tripe and hooves. Can.Not.Do.It.  Yes, I realize that I call myself a foodie, but that is just crossing the line.  Line –> Over it.)
  • Monday through Thursday – 6 through 9 Feb:  Work, work, work.  Seriously.  My days are booked solid from 9 AM to 6 PM.  SOLID.  Insanity.  And I’ve got a bazillion things to do other than the meetings that are scheduled.  There may not be much sleep in London.  (Note to self:  PACK AmbienCR!)
  • Thursday the hubby arrives (he’s flying on American using frequent flier miles, in Coach.  He is not amused by my recount of what my flight will be like).  He’ll go to the hotel, wander a bit, then we’ll meet up with my colleagues for dinner
  • Friday – 10 Feb:  Check out of the Cavendish, and head over to our new home base in London for the next 2 nights – the Park Hotel Belgravia. Super excited about this hotel – about 1/2 the price of the Cavendish, but seems REALLY nice in a great area.  I hope we’re not disappointed!
    • Speaking of being disappointed, have you seen this YouTube clip?  Hercules is awesome.  Dis-a-POINTED!
  • Friday through Sunday AM (10 – 12 Feb):  Wander London, see a show if we can get cheap tickets, eat, drink & be merry.  Go on the London Eye (yes it’s touristy, I know…) and a cruise of the Thames River.  Buy something (perchance a Longchamps bag?) at Harrods (more likely:  a coffee).  Have a proper tea.  See the Tower of London.  Go to the market on Saturday morning.
  • Sunday – 12 Feb:  Pick up automatic rental car from somewhere in London (to be determined, see the to-do list above).  Depart for Bath, stopping a few times along the way – specifically at Stonehenge.  (I’ve already been there, and wasn’t super impressed, but Matt REALLY wants to go, so we go!)  We don’t yet have a hotel in Bath (see list above).  Wander the old Roman Bath and then find the modern-day spa.  Relax.
  • Monday – 13 Feb:  Travel on our merry way to Stratford-upon-Avon, home of William Shakespeare.  Check into The Virginia Lodge Guest House, and wander.  The Taming of the Shrew is on for that night – which means I need to read that on the plane.  Which means I need to add buying it for my Nook to my list.  Gaaah!
  • Tuesday – 14 Feb:  Make our way to York (no hotel yet) for 2 nights.  Wander.
  • Thursday – 15 Feb:  Make our way to Edinburgh, potentially driving the Scottish highlands that day (long day in the car, but we could then get rid of the car a few days earlier).
  • Thursday – Sunday (15 – 19 Feb):  Stay in Edinburgh.  Visit the Castle.  Go on the Literary Pub Tour and a Haunted Edinburgh Tour.  Let the hubby taste some whiskey and haggis.  Wander the cobblestone streets.
  • Sunday – 19 Feb:  Flight at O-dark thirty to London, then change airlines for the flights home.  I’m on VA again, and the hubby is on AA again.  I’ll get in 30 minutes before him, and my driver isn’t allowed to wait for him, so he’s hitching a ride with another friend who is coming home from another business trip

Phew.  I’m tired just thinking about it.  Now, time to get on that to-do list!


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