I just couldn’t fault Heathrow last night. As our lovely neighbour Mike has said, “when it does work well it’s brilliant.” We landed at 7-30pm at Terminal 5 and were on the perimeter road in our very own car, plus hold luggage by 8pm.
The day had started with breakfast in the hotel, hurrying down to try the scrambled egg that I had spotted on Sunday morning (a new treat not normally available) only to discover it was just that; a new treat but only for the weekend! The dining room a tad quieter than yesterday with the memory of the outstanding birthday cake still fresh in my mind!
Rain poured down the windows and we both realised we have very infrequently seen Switzerland in this state. Cold yes, snow yes, blizzards yes, fog yes, hail yes, sunshine yes, but rain hardly at all, just one very bad drive to the airport that sticks in the memory; indeed we have been very lucky. Anyway, we met Laura and Hannah in a small cafe in Romont, for they were off on the train to Geneva and onwards to Gatwick. We waved them goodbye and went for lunch before girding our loins for the drive to the airport, in fairly unfavorable conditions, but nowhere near as bad as the really ghastly one.
This journey wasn’t too bad and returning the hire car to the car park and while waiting for the shuttle to the terminal we observed a pretty smile making event. People had told us in New Zealand about Japanese folk hiring cars so big they didn’t really know how to drive them safely and so it came to pass that we watched a large people carrier get stuck at the car park exit; wedged so tightly twixt curb and pavement, that it could neither go forward or backwards. A man went to assist and arm wave as three Japanese chaps leapt out of the vehicle and all looked as confused as one another at exactly the same moment. The Geneva car park is always incredibly busy. Hire cars get driven in and then driven out, always at speed by operatives to be cleaned and serviced and no one seems to have a moment to spare. Wedge a people carrier in the exit lane and all hell breaks loose we discovered. Doors opened, horns were sounded and opinions were freely shared as to the solution to this problem. Of course, it was eventually resolved, the wheel turned this way, then that way, reverse gear engaged, then forward a bit, then back. Finally the beast was freed from its entrapment and a cheery wave goodbye by the passengers within, did little to dispel the mountain of impatience that they had left behind.
On the plane and time to contemplate Zach, sitting on the stairs like some king receiving his subjects gifts presented in his honour and the views from high in Gruyeres, down a valley that never ceases to impress. Also Safi’s rather splendid nail job for the bash and her beautiful card for Mother’s Day to Laura, saying she loved her as much as this; with her arms stretched as wide as they could go.
Pictures remain in your mind and that is always a great thing to have: the memories of, OK it was just a long weekend, but it was filled with happiness and love.
Laura admiring the nails and Zach manfully blowing the candles out. We pondered how long these party’s will continue and at what point he will say, “Na’h thanks, I’ll just go out with the lads.”
One lovely surprise this morning from Audley, the folk who are arranging our Alaskan and Canadian adventure, because it is a fairly significant birthday of mine in Vancouver, they have put a not inconsiderable amount of money in the form of a voucher behind the hotel reception. Now, I ask you how many travel companies do you know who would do that? We are now getting truly excited.
Thank you for reading and next stop Seattle on June 5th!
Mary and Malcolm ✈️🍷🇺🇸🇺🇸🇨🇦 🇨🇦