Thursday, 2 January 2014

London, New York and back again

Well a happy 2014 to all and sorry this post is a little late, but between myself and everyone else having the flu lurgy the last few weeks there hasn't been much time to sit in front of a computer.  But late or not, a smile is a smile is smile!

So take your mind back to before Christmas, and the man and myself were taking a quick trip to New York to visit the family.  I was organised, I'd bought our train tickets, our plane tickets, organised cars, apartments, dinners, lunches, nothing was left to chance but, thank you Heathrow Connect, you managed to put a spanner in the works before our trip even started.

To get to Heathrow Airport now from London most people get the Heathrow Express from Paddington Station but it's much cheaper, if you get the ordinary train which takes about five minutes longer and makes some  stops along the way, (a similar operation to getting the alternative train to the Gatwick Express).  We were at Paddington in plenty of time for our train, but there seemed to be a lot of confusion among the staff as to where our actual train was.  Then we were told to run, it was coming in to platform 12 now and leaving almost immediately.  We ran (with our bags) only to find no train.  Twenty-five minutes later, (we're now getting anxious about our check in time at Heathrow), and we're told there is a fault on the line and not only is our train cancelled but so are all the others.

We run (again with our luggage....) to the booking hall to try and change our train tickets to Heathrow Express ones, (you can't do this on the train), and it was here, meeting Brian, that everything started to go right.

Brian managed to take the stress of it all away and deliver our upgraded tickets with a lovely smile to send us on our way.  So Brian, a big thank you and thumbs upthumbs up.

Now we only had five days in New York and 99% of our time was taken up with friends and family which was lovely but we wanted to do one NYC thing; since it was fairly sleety and snowy, it wasn't going to be a wandering around thing so we decided on the Metroplitan Museum of Art.

This museum is incredible in its collections but, because of its sheer size, you have to be quite organised, (there is that word again), about what you're going to see.  We only had a couple of hours so using one of their half day suggested itineraries that looked fabulous, I took about one third of the suggested rooms and mapped out a route for our visit.

Upon arrival, because of a Christmas tree in a hall, the "route" didn't quite work but thanks to the lovely, helpful and smiling Gina, not only did we get back on track but she was able to "edit" our itinerary to make it even better.

So, Gina, thank you (from the British tourists around the 9th of December) and our thumbs up thumbs up.

Then it was back to London, and the madness of work and life in the run up to Christmas. 

Now, for the presents, I hadn't been that organised and so come Christmas Eve, I had to go out shopping as extra family were coming and it was my first chance between the office etc.

Swiss Cottage was mad that day, with shoppers behaving like it was the end of the world and food was never going to be sold again.  Staff in shops were frazzled and barely able to keep up with the tills but, among all this frenetic behaviour, there was Hollie in Boots.

Hollie was totally in the spirit of the moment and was having fun whether people were ready for it or not.  She was a ray of sunshine on a truly horrible weather and shopping day.  So Hollie, thank you and a thumbs up thumbs up from me and the other shoppers you made laugh.

As I said at the beginning of this post, apologies for the lateness of these thank yous and we have a guest post that's been waiting to be published for a few weeks now but for the same reasons is also running late.  Watch this spot and you should be getting something soon from a lovely lady, half of R.C. Bridgestock, the author.

Thanks again for reading, may 2014 be kind to you and if you come across any nice smiles or service, do please send us a post.

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