I can show you the World.
I never actually said that to Karen when we first met at that Bus Stop some 42 years ago, but I feel perhaps I should have. Sometimes when I sit back and think of the all the marvellous places, we have been I am amazed. How fortunate have we been to have seen so many sights in far flung places. They say that ‘Travel broadens the mind’, well our minds must be so broad that they must be permanently abroad.
And so, we are off again. This time on a 4 times rescheduled Eurostar trip with Barry & Ellie to Disneyland Paris. Now late February may not be the best time of year to go, but we had to fit around Barry’s holiday, and we hope that the weather will be kind and that the crowds will be light and that Covid will not stop us.
We had hoped that Neil would join us, but he wasn’t to be persuaded siting weather, lack of available holiday with all his other planned holidays and not wishing to miss his Korfball coaching.
It had only been just over 3 weeks since we had returned from Lanzarote, and we had crammed an awful lot in that period. The main events had been the celebration of Karen’s 60th Birthday. She was overwhelmed with all her cards and presents and couldn’t believe how kind people had been to her. During the day I took her to Bury St Edmunds for a walk and then afternoon tea in Harriet’s. At her request we then went and watched ‘Belfast’ at the cold cinema (no heating) before having a Fish & Chip Supper at home. The following night we went to Delia’s for a celebratory meal with the boys and Ellie. Even if I say so myself, we all scrubbed up very nicely and the food and service were as always sublime.
As if that wasn’t enough, the following day was then Neil’s birthday. So, after watching a not bad performance at Carrow Road despite a losing 4 nil score line, we all went to Middleton’s for another meal. Although the service was not great, we still all had a good time. My wallet is still feeling the pain though from both nights.
Our feet barely seemed to have touched the ground with these and other catch ups we have managed to cram in with family and friends. The week before this trip was half term meaning Karen was off work. She managed to fit in various medical appointments as well as several more meals out and then wondered why she was so tired. We hardly had time to fit in the lasted series of Ozark (no spoiler – but – why oh why?).
Our original booking some 2 years ago had been a direct Eurostar from Ashford International to Disneyland Paris. However, Eurostar through the pandemic are now only running trains from St Pancras and currently do not go through to Disneyland Paris. Instead, they said they would provide tickets from Gare Du Nord on to Marne le Vallee on the local RER service. We were not happy and could have claimed back the money (or rather the Nectar points which had prompted this trip) but decided to stick with it as we all really wanted to go for our first visit in 15 years.
The major inconvenience was that the train was now scheduled to leave St Pancras at 10.22am and they were now advising that you arrive 90 minutes early for the extra paperwork checks. Working backwards from the time we would therefore have to leave Norwich meant a silly o'clock start so we decided to travel down the night before. During the previous week I had booked 2 Travelodge rooms in Harrow (Harrow because I booked a car park space close to Epping station for the week as we planned to complete the last part of the journey on the Central Line).
So, after another afternoon trying out various Sofa’s in Aldiss, we left home at 7.15pm to pick Barry & Ellie up to start the holiday. They were both suitably excited. It was a dirty old night with the wind and rain make the driving a challenge. For various reasons Barry & Ellie had not had a chance to have their evening meal and so we stopped for them to pick up something at the Stansted Services.
The Travelodge was easy enough to find and seemed safe and clean which along with cheap are my main criteria certainly for an overnight stop. It also had free parking. Karen & I finished off a bottle of wine that had been started and we had brought with us before retiring for the night ready for what was still to be an early start the next day.