August 8th.

After 7 aborted attempts to leave the US, beginning May 21st, we finally scored a flight via Dallas on June 27th. The previous flights, direct from Phoenix to London, were cancelled one after another. We tested for Covid before leaving (free in the US) and then quarantined for ten days on arrival and took two further tests each (360 GBP for four) before release. Had we known the full saga in advance we would have abandoned the whole trip, it caused so much stress and anxiety. We just took in each disappointment and proceeded on to the next step.

The flights over took sixteen hours, as opposed to a direct flight time of 9.5. We took an American domestic flight to Dallas (2 hrs) then a 2 hour layover before boarding a BA 777 for London. The aircraft had the old revilerd Club class layout of one seat facing forward, one aft. With six across a 777, it seemed very claustrophobic compared with the old 747's which used to ply the Phoenix route. They are now sadly retired. One lady across the aisle from me asked to be moved. I hope it wasn't personal, just that we were only 3 feet apart, an offense in the age of Covid 19.

Honeysuckle Lodge

Upon arrival, our luck seemed to change. We stayed in the Premier Inn, Bath Road near Heathrow, on the first night by invoking the 'long journey stopover rule'. At the hotel we were received with the usual friendly greeting, no questions asked about vaccination status (we both are) or anything else. The hotel was quite empty. There were distancing and one-way rules in place but the restaurant was open as usual. Breakfast, usually a buffet, was served to order at the table. We began to decompress. I had the usual argument hiring a car at Europcar over extra insurance and collected a dent (later fixed) in a motorway services area while reversing to a parking slot. Other than that, the trip up to Willington was uneventful and we settled into our quarantine abode - Honeysuckle Lodge at Mercia Marina. We are still there - but went boating for two weeks and are going to Kent on August 12th for 8 days. More details will follow, plus as many photos as I can. I forgot to install the photo editor on my new laptop, so most photos may have to wait until we get home.

Lodge Interior
Lodge Interior


To be continued...