Monday, January 15, 2007

Over There, over there......

My wife has an irritating habit of starting conversations like "my sister called me today", or "My sister pissed off dad again." Laura has 4 sisters. So, which sister this time? Like I'm supposed to read her mind, or play 20 questions? argh.

Anyway, Jackie's (The sister in question here) husband Tony's sister is working in England, has a large house, and has invited Jackie & Tony over for a visit. The problem is that Tony is all "nope, ain't gonna do it. don't wanna. can't make me." So while we were up in Kansas City last December Laura and her sisters were talking and they decided that if Tony didn't want to go, he didn't have to go, his loss, we do - so let's go. They tossed around dates and 3 of the 5 - Jackie, Laura, and heretofore unmentioned Annie, are going.

Annie told Laura that she had researched flights and they (Annie & Jackie) were flying out of KC on the 5th of May arriving on the 6th at Gatwick. So I cashed in my frequent-flyer points and immediately found out that all of the frequent-flyer seats out of Atlanta direct to Gatwick were gone. Dammit. BUT the frequent-flyer lady, through 45 minutes of herculean flight-table mumbo jumbo found some non-Delta flights getting Laura there only 2 hours before her sisters - so we booked Laura's tickets. We then found out that Annie & Jackie HADN'T really bought tickets and confusion ensued. They, not being encumbered by frequent-flyer restrictions - paying actual money for theirs, got tickets fairly easily and wound up arriving just about the same time as originally stated. AND wonder of wonders, wound up on the same flight leaving Gatwick as Laura coming home on the 19th.

So, long story short, Laura and her sisters are going to England for 2 weeks in May. If there are any anglophiles out there cognizant of the south of England (Bramley, Hampshire) and environs please feel free to suggest any "can't miss" attractions providing, of course, they fit within a moderate budget.

I am sooooo jealous. I've always wanted to go to England. But - I have to travel occasionally on business and get to go to some neat places (this year will be Bahrain and Pakistan) so I'm not complaining by any means. She'll have a blast with her sisters - she's really excited about going. (Last night she stopped in the middle of being excited to tell me she wished it were me she were going with - and then continued being excited.) I'm excited for her. She's had such a rough time recently - 2006 was a bitch - she deserves this. And although I will have to work some big-time magic on our budget, I'll make it work.

13 deeply creased, dogeared comment(s):

meno said...

You are a fine man. Give yourself a hug for me.

urban-urchin said...

i could be your girl re: London but Hampshire. Meh. I'll ask my mom- she and Dad did loads of weekend trips around the country when I was a sullen- I wanna stay in London and go see The Cult at Brixton Academy kinda teenager. Antonia might be able to help of course.

I'm jealous too- I miss England more than you know.

jen said...

oh bob...i am so jealous..but not because of england...bahrain AND pakistan? you must promise to post about those trips. i can't wait to hear about them.

Mir said...

You, my friend, are an AWESOME AWESOME husband. This will be just what Laura needs. I'm so glad you were able to get it figured out with the FF miles.

She MUST spend a few days in London; look online for cheap accommodations, if Tony's sister doesn't know someone they can crash with for a couple of nights. Like urban urchin, I'm useless outside of the city. I'm sure the countryside is lovely, too, but if you're going all that way, you must do the city (see some shows, walk around Portabello Market, etc.).

What will YOU do while she's gone??

Mother of Invention said...

I'm glad Laura gets to go. She'll have such a great time at "sisterfest" in an exciting place. I'm sure she deserves it too and that we'll see some pics!

When do you do your trip? Does Laura ever get to go with you on those?

Bob said...

Meno - watch out, flattery will get you everywhere.

urban urchin: I would've done the same when I was a teenager. Although I wasn't nearly as hip as you were - The Cult! I was into Queen, ELO, Styx - mostly mainstream stuff. Any suggestions from your folks will certainly be appreciated. I have already tasked Antonia!

jen - I'm really looking forward to these two trips. I will take copious notes and pictures and faithfully report back. But remember I'm not Rick Steves.

Mir - Thanks, we'll look into cheap digs (a single day return is @$32 US) or MAYBE they can talk Mike or Jan (with whom they're staying) to take some time off and chauffeur them around. Then it's just gas, and parking, and meals, and - maybe cheap digs are in order!

I have no idea what I'll be doing, except cook and clean and feed & walk the dog and mow the grass and etc. etc. etc.

Mother Of Invention - Neither of my trips have been setup yet, it's looking like Bahrain in March and Pakistan probably early summer. Laura usually can't get away when I do, when the kids were younger we couldn't afford for her to. I haven't been traveling anywhere interesting (usually small towns in the middle of nowhere) except 2 years ago I had to go to Reno for two weeks. Laura flew out and we drove over to Monterey for our first return visit since we met & married there.

Anonymous said...

Ah, travel. Glad you are able to make it happen. And thanks for making my vicarious lives so interesting.

I'm psyched for your wife doing the sister thing. I'm sure you'll both enjoy your time apart. If she loves it, she can always take you back with her another time.

Bob said...

De - I'm psyched too. I'm having as much fun as she is helping to plan the trip.

Thailand Gal said...

You are certainly a wonderful husband. You're the kind of guy women search for. Have you considered cloning yourself? It might take some stress off that aforementioned budget. :)



Chris said...

if it's any consolation, H went to Las Vegas without me last year.

Hampshire is not the most exciting part of our fair isle. it is extremely pretty tho. and Winchester Cathedral is very old. and the New Forest is well worth a look. that's very old too, confusingly.

Bob said...

Chani - I have a difficult enough time keeping from annoying my wife, if there were more of me she'd never come back from England.

Chris - What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Maybe you should hire a PI to check up on her.

I think Laura, who is a botanical sort of gal, will love the extremely pretty countryside. I'll tell her about the old new forest and Winchester Cathedral - just as long as she isn't required to sing that damned song.

Antonia said...

Stonehenge is about 30 miles from Bramley. The A303 westbound at teatime is the most scenic place to be stuck in traffic in the whole country: lovely view of the old henge at sunset.

I second the New Forest, too.

London: a good way to get the measure of the place is to walk the south bank of the river one evening from the London Eye to the Tate Modern. Laura would love Kew Gardens, a 30-minute Tube ride from the centre, if she's in London long enough to spare a few hours. Kew in May is indescribably lovely, with everything blossoming all over the place.

Failing that, St James' Park is in Central London, tucked behind Parliament Square, and a favourite place for walks too.

Bob said...

Antonia - OOOOOOO - Stonehenge! I can guarantee she'll be going. And Kew Gardens - She and Jackie both will love it.

Thanks for the suggestions. Keep 'em coming.