Thursday, August 11, 2011


Fall of 1996....California Planning Sessions

On November 7, 1996, Jim and I met with real estate friends Randy & Patti and Jim’s sister Barbara at the Hilton Hotel in Irvine to discuss the possibility of a trip to Europe together in Feb/Mar of 1997 over lunch. After a three hour lunch, we had a tentative schedule and dates for a trip to England.

Airline tickets were purchased in November and we were all busy acquiring books on England. Barbara has been to England several times before and has volumes of information on where to go and what not to do! Plans are for four days in London with lots of time spent in Museums and shopping. Randy likes to eat at unique little restaurants, so we’ll have to work on finding reasonable ones to solve the problem of Jim and Barbara who are into good food, but they want it reasonably priced. Patti and I will go alone with the decision by the other three; except it has to be nearly smoke free for Patti who is allergic to smoke! This may be a problem in England which does not have the non-smoking laws of America.

In January we booked the Marriott Marble Arch in London for four nights and the Holiday Inn Crown Plaza at Heathrow for the last night of the trip. Jim arranged for a Van with automatic shift after we leave London. He and Randy will share the driving duties. Our Entertainment Book has arrived and we were able to book the hotels at half price by faxing requests to the hotels for booking and confirmations.

Early in February we booked a car through London Theater to pick us up at the airport. They also sent us information on plays. We will definitely be taking in at least one and maybe more…Miss Saigon seems to be the favorite choice.

We met at Patti and Randy’s home in Long Beach for lunch and a second planning of the iternary. One of the reasons we’re going this time of year is the flexibility on hotel choices, so we’re going to leave all the other nights open until we arrive in the areas. Discussed packing and choices of clothing. Barbara had tiny magnifying glasses on chains for each of the girls. To better read our maps, my dear!

American Airlines started a pilot’s strike on February 15th. It only lasted twenty minutes and then President Clinton called it off for sixty days. Our trip was back on schedule! Due to the strike, suddenly tickets were being drastically reduced to entice passengers who had scheduled their trips on other airlines because of the pending strike. Barbara was able to take advantage of this and redid her ticket for a saving of $150.00. She’d planned to upgrade by spending 40,000 miles to business class so she had to book through the airline when she initially purchased her tickets. Those who saved money up front with Cheap Tickets (yours truly) found them none refundable!

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