Hampton Courts and Trains
18.08.2010 - 18.08.2010 65 °F
So this is an update for yesterday because we didn't have a chance to update last night before bed. Wednesday was quite an adventurous day. Since it was our day of departure from London to Brighton, we decided to just stay in East Moseley (where Maureen lives) and pack up and visit Hampton Court Palace. Hampton Court Palace was the home of Henry VIII and is only about a 10-minute walk from Maureen's place. So after packing up a bit we headed out for our last site-seeing adventure in London. The day started off a bit overcast but eventually we had lots of sun and warmth while we roamed around the Palace Gardens. We took several pictures (updated) so you can get an idea of how beautiful the gardens were. We also went around a little inside the palace though we didn't have time to visit all of the different areas since we wanted to get to Brighton before dark. So after having lunch at the castle and taking a final quick walk around, we headed back to Maureen's to finish packing up.
We got all packed up and at about 5:15pm walked back down to the train station. About a 10-minute walk.
We had with us
2 hand bags
We got to the train and just missed it so had to wait a 1/2 hour for the next one. Then we got on that one and I couldn't decide how I wanted to get to Brighton. We got off and changed trains a couple more times and once had to change platforms which required going up several steps and down again (there was no "lift" at the station) (note the above we had in tow). Thankfully we encountered some very friendly Brits who helped pick up the suitcases and get us up and down the steps since you have to move or risk being knocked over. We hauled everything up onto the train and probably annoyed everyone with all our stuff (but we again had nice people helping us on and off the train since it was not physically possible for Mom and I to load it all by ourselves).
We changed trains again with the intent of getting to Gatwick to hop on the Express train to London and ended up on a train that was going to Brighton after it's stop at Gatwick. We decided to just to stay on the train but I was a bit worried because I only had tickets through zone 6 (which we had left) and there is a penalty for not prepaying for your ticket. Luckily when we finally arrived in Brigton the ticket guy must have felt sorry for us because he didn't even consider charging the penalty fare. We paid 32 pounds for the tickets for the 4 of us (quite a deal as a taxi would have been 160 pounds). Then hopped in a taxi to the hotel. We checked in about 8pm and got up to our room.
We still hadn't had dinner so we ate downstairs at the Thistle. The food was really good and they even had a gluten-free kid option - British cottage pie - which Elaina loved so much she had 2 helpings. Good thing kids get to eat free this week!
So we got done with dinner and got settled in our beds - 2 kids plus me in one bed - Mom in the other and finally fell asleep a little after 11pm.
We must have just dozed off when suddenly I woke up to a loud alarm - finally realized it was the fire alarm - I paused a minute to make sure it wasn't just a blip - then realized everyone was evacuating - so after waking Mom up (it took a while - she was having difficulty getting heself together) - I scooped up Allan Michael and Mom scooped up Elaina (by now the alarms were louder and faster) and headed down the 4 flights of stairs with the rest of the guests. We were barefoot and onlly had on pajamas. Did I mention our hotel is on the seafront in Brighton - so it was very windy and cold. We sat outside and Elaina didn't wake up until we were downstairs. She said "Why did I fall asleep outside? Why don't I have on my shoes if I'm outside? Why are all these people around?" It was quite amusing because she was half-asleep and couldn't figure out what in the world was happening. A very nice lady gave us her jacket to cover the kids up with because it was so cold. After about 30 minutes we were allowed back upstairs. Oh yeah - I forgot to mention that I ran into not 1 but 2 of my clients while outside in my pajamas, hair all a mess - .
We got back in the bed and finally fell back to sleep.
Kids got us up about 8:30 this morning.
See later posting for the adventures of today.
I will post pictures as soon as I can.