London 2010: Day 5 - TuesdayAll good things must come to end. Unfortunately, vacations are included.
Since daylight ran thin at the end of Monday, I wanted to get an earlier start on Tuesday. Perhaps it's silly, but I wanted to grab better photos of the Battersea Power Station. Yes, I wanted to go back and get pictures of an abandon power station along the river. I set the alarm on my iPhone a bit earlier so that I could jump on the London Underground at the Victoria station and ride one stop to Pimlico.
When I exited at Pimlico, I grabbed my camera and roamed around by myself. It was unusual walking around alone in a different city in a different country on a different continent. While walking to the power station, I started snapping photos of random street signs. Signs that were simply different from those at home. When I approached the Shell station, I took a photo of the sign and realized I had no concept of whether the gas was expensive or not. It reminded me of our trip to Toronto a few years ago. All of the signs were in liters rather than gallons.
After a short walk, I arrived at the power station. With the early sun, the light was much better than late Monday afternoon. I knew I didn't have time to walk around to the other side of the plant. If you're familiar with the Pink Floyd album cover, the cover shot was actually taken on the other side of the structure. If you're familiar with the movie Help! by The Beatles, the quick shot of the building was taken from this side.
With my Pimlico mission accomplished, I wanted to grab one more geocache. I hopped back on the London Underground and returned to Victoria. Just across the street from our hotel, there was a small section called Victoria Square. It was nothing more than a little park situated amongst several nice townhouses. I picked up the geocache and walked by the house with the address of 16. Number 16 was the home to the late Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond books and short stories. That was where he called home while he wrote the Bond books. I'm not the biggest James Bond fan, but I still found it interesting.
That was my final geocache while in England, so it was time to head back to the hotel. We only had a short time remaining before we needed to leave. Following a brief rest and flipping through English television one last time, it was time to head back. We jumped back on the London Underground and switched at the Paddington station. There we caught the train back to Heathrow. The night before, they mentioned the possibility of light rain during mid-day.
Upon arrival at Heathrow, we passed through the necessary security checkpoints, picked up lunch, and bought a few last minute souvenirs. By no means were we running late, but as we approached the gate, they said we needed to board the plane. As we boarded the plane, a light rain started to fall. Shortly, we found ourselves off the ground and headed back home. We instantly ascended into the clouds and didn't see much of anything other than clouds the entire trip home. The only exception was during a brief stretch over Canada.
As I mentioned in my Day 1 blog, I'm a horrible plane sleeper. I resigned myself to the fact that, more than likely, I would fail to sleep a wink on the trip. I gave it one feeble attempt. On the way, I finished my book, and Susan crushed me in a game of Travel Scrabble.
Fast forward to our descent into O'Hare.
I've experienced some rocky landings before, but this one takes the bloody cake. Sorry. I guess we were in England too long. Little did we realize that the entire Midwest was experiencing intense windstorms the last two or three days. Our plane was both shaken and stirred. Oops, that was a James Bond reference. I thought I might experience my lunch again. Fortunately, we both made it without incident. We grabbed our things, picked up our bags and passed through customs. With the six hour time change, it was about 4 p.m., but felt like 10 p.m. We stopped for dinner at Armand's of Elmhurst, had pizza, returned home and quickly called it a night.
What a great trip. Wish we could go back right now.