Had a fantastic vacation in England. Sadly didn’t get to see everyone we planned on visiting but hopefully next time.

We started off by staying at the Toronto Airport Marriot. I really recommend doing this. For about $20 over the normal night rate you get 15 days of free parking in a secure underground parking lot, free shuttle bus to the airport, it’s definitely one of the best deals out there. The 15 days can be before or after the night’s stay.

So off we went to the airport, a bit too early to check in so I sat with the bags while Alan went for a wander around the airport. A temporary check in counter had been set up for an El Al flight that was boarding dozens of Hasidic families. You know how they constantly repeat that safety message about not leaving bags alone etc.? Apparently there is always a moron who thinks it doesn’t apply to them. I’m sitting there just people watching, a couple of rows of seats in front of me is a middle aged Jewish couple also just sitting quietly waiting to check in. a man walked in to the airport with a smallish hard sided suitcase. Put it right beside them and immediately walked back out of the building. We all stared at the suitcase, looked back to see where he had gone. The lady caught my eye and I shook my head and said ‘That doesn’t look good…’ she said ‘Do you think I should tell someone?’ I said ‘Yes.’ and she went to find security. Two, young, tall, good-looking men in military uniforms, all close cropped hair and machine guns, showed up. One looked at the suitcase and we explained what the guy looked like and that he had gone out of the building about 5 minutes earlier. I was trying to figure out if it was even worth trying to move away when the other soldier came back in with the guy, who was now pulling a second suitcase. The soldiers were amazingly kind to him and explained that he just cannot do that and that he had scared a lot of people. Later his friend showed up and we could hear him complaining about people over-reacting when he had simply gone to get his second suitcase. First of all if I can pull two suitcases so can you buddy and second the rules apply to all of us you idiot!

Can you tell he ticked me off a bit? :o)

But once that was over we checked in and had a fabulous flight. British airways have come a long way from the slightly condescending BOAC days.


Something else I want to mention about the trip is the incredible deal you can get through http://visitbritain.com for train tickets provided you are a non-EU resident.  It pays for itself in just a couple of days and having seen the traffic over there, pays for itself in retaining your sanity immediately. Every driver in the UK appears to be playing a huge game of chicken. They are all crazy and coming from me, that’s pretty serious.