My Spring Vacation

Hi, everyone!  It’s good to be back.  I had a wonderful time on my spring vacation.  It started at the end of March when I drove to visit relatives in North Carolina and then, to New Jersey.  Yes, I drove.  I love to drive, and it gives me time to listen to audiobooks.  This time, I had time to listen to a 6-CD book by Dr. Wayne Dwyer about Inspiration, “The Scarpetta Factor” by Patricia Cornwell , with 9 discs, and a 23-disc version of “Brisinger” by Christopher Paolini.  The time passed quickly.

On April 4th, my sister and I flew out for London, England.  We had been threatening to go on this trip for over 2 years and always seemed to find an excuse not to go.  We finally made it.  It wouldn’t have gone so smoothly without my sister’s help.  At first, she wasn’t motivated to go to London.  She had been there 4 times and knew that she had seen every museum and gallery in town.  I assured her that the purpose of my trip wasn’t to see paintings, but it was research for my writing.  Some of my upcoming books take place in London, and I had never been there.  Then, she became interested in seeing London in a different way.  As we found something that related to my writing, I would explain the story to her and I could picture how the story should go based on my findings.

Before we left the good ol’ USA, my sister arranged for us to get Britrail passes.  These are very handy if you plan to use the national rail system while you’re there.  This is not the same as the Underground or the Tube, so don’t get them mixed up.  The only way to get this particular pass is to buy it here before you leave.  You can buy passes in the UK, but there are different rail companies that don’t honor each other’s tickets.   You could get stuck with a ticket you can’t use.  With the Britrail pass, you don’t have to worry about it.

In addition, when we flew into Heathrow airport, we bought Oyster Passes.  I never did find out the reason for the name, but it’s like a prepaid debit card that you can use on buses and the Underground.  You have to pay a 5 pound deposit, and we put 30 pounds on the card for the time we were going to be in London.  Note:  this is good for London only.  The great thing is that you can add more money if you need it, which we did and when you leave, you can get your deposit and any leftover money back (less a processing fee.)  You can buy one of these cards anywhere in London as well as the airport.  It’s convenient and easy to use.

We made some hotel reservations in advance, thank goodness so we didn’t have to think about it when we got there.  By the way, many hotels and businesses will charge your credit card in dollars instead of pounds so you don’t have to pay the credit card company for a transaction fee.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue with my spring vacation.  Come back and join me.

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