Sunday, August 4, 2013

The flight over and day 1 (Sunday)

Aug 3rd, 2013 - Off we go on the start of our big trip. It's been 13 months since I accepted the position of team manager for our Canadian F3A team. Try as I might to make it onto the flying side of things at the team trials last year in Ontario, I didn't fly up to my expectations and as a result, was positioned as Alternate pilot for the second time in a row. Close but not quite there! That's the way it works when you want to send the best members to represent your country. Want better scores? Fly better!

I did take on the position of team manager for the World Championships in Muncie, IN, USA in 2011 and I guess I must have done ok as I was asked again to manage in 2013. Hence the main focus of this trip.

Neither Kelly nor I ever really  had South Africa on our hit list of countries to visit but the opportunity was just too intriguing to pass  up. In an effort to help with travel fatigue, I suggested a stop in London Uk on the way down. In milliseconds Kelly had the gears going and with the sound of clicking heals had booked hotels and high tea at Harrods!  With some  overtime work in July I was able to extend our travels to include a full week in London Town.

As our working side of the trip will take us to the Meyerton area of South Africa (45 km south of Johannesburg ) we will make the stop in London then after the World Championships, head to Cape Town for another 5 days of vacation time. 

Kelly enjoys the Executive Lounge amenities.

I was able to get an upgrade to Executive Class and this made our travel to London a very relaxing, comfortable experience for us both.  A real treat for sure as we got to experience how the other half lives! Our son Kris was also heading to London and decided to come on the same flight. Unfortunately he was in row 75.... :-(

August 4th, 2013 - We arrived in London just before lunchtime on Sunday and headed to clear customs and get our baggage. This was pretty straight forward and we soon found our way to the Renaissance Marriott Airport hotel after finding the Central Bus Station.  We will stay here for the first few days before moving into town next Thursday. Cost is a big factor as the downtown hotels are a tad pricey!

We quickly changed clothes and retraced our route to the terminal, jumped the Tube into town and set about finding sim cards for our unlocked I-phones. Couple of hours shopping for the best deal and found one through the network. The helpful guy changed out all our phone sims and we were now set for data!

Trafalgar Square
Walking around town.
 This “search” worked up quite a thirst and we spotted the Harp Pub close by. Couple of pints to quench the thirst and we started to relax and although tired, got into the “happy place” mode :-)
Kris & Kelly at the Harp Pub.
Very good selection I would say!

Dinner was next on our to do list and we had fish & chips at The Rock & Sole Plaice. Not cheap but very filling. After dinner we grabbed a close geocache and with our energy tanks running low, we headed back to the closest underground station and onward to the hotel. We are done.

Geocaching after dinner.
In the tube heading back to the hotel... done!
Sleeping in tomorrow... unsure of plans but we did see a pub just down the road from the hotel....:-)


  1. Glad you made it safe and sound and found a geocache too!! Weather looks pretty good. Have a wonderful vacation!