Saturday September 8

Writing a blog is something new for me.  While the thought had occurred to me to keep a blog of our Tuscan adventure I just never seemed to have time to give it much thought until a week into our trip.  Therefore the first part is relying on my memory (iron clad according to me, shaky according to Susan).

Our trip actually started on the Friday evening at 9:00 when our cab picked us up for the trip to the airport.  Just to ensure that things didn’t get off to a overly smooth start, not far down the Henday we ran into a virtual parking lot.  Paving up ahead had ground traffic to a complete stop.  After several minutes of not moving at all our driver decided to follow the example of several other cars and headed off across the grass and onto the ramp for the Callingwood Road exit.  A few minutes later we were sailing down the Whitemud and onwards to the airport.

I had booked our flight on points and had splurged for Executive Class.  Check-in at the airport went quickly and after sailing through security we were soon relaxing in the Maple Leaf lounge.  Soon our flight was boarding for the 12:15 am (Saturday) departure and we were on our way to Toronto.  Upon arrival we again headed to the Maple Leaf for breakfast.  After a short time we checked on our departing flight (for London) and discovered that it had been delayed about 25 minutes.  Well that’s not too bad we thought – extra time for a beer.  But wait … no beer until 11:00.  Oh well we could rough it with the best of them!

We were soon onboard the aircraft and settling into our pods, anticipating getting some shut-eye on the flight. The pilot announced after a short time that the departure would be delayed while a minor problem was fixed.  I  dozed off waiting for the pre-flight announcements.  I must have dozed longer than I thought as the first announcement I heard was telling us that the problem would take longer than expected to fix and we were being deplaned to be transferred to another plane.  We were now approximately 2 hours late.  Oh well back to the Maple Leaf lounge.  At least now it was after 11:00 and the beer taps were uncovered!

Our flight eventually left about 3 hours late.  The flight itself was uneventful although I could sure get used to the pods on trans-Atlantic flights.  However our adventurous day was not yet over.

Arriving at Heathrow we collected our luggage and headed to the Underground to take the free train from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 where our hotel for the night was located.  After hauling our bags some distance down the hallways and ramps to the gate to Underground station we discovered that they were locked.  Apparently the tube had stopped running for the night (it was now about 1:30 am Sunday).  Well who really needs a free train ride when a £15 cab ride can take you right to the door of the Sofitel Heathrow hotel!  Once in our room we pretty much fell into bed.

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