Friday, May 9
We arrived very early and I slept through the Happy Birthday to QM2. Awoke a little after 6 and we were docking in Southampton. I took some pictures and then went back to sleep for awhile. Left my stateroom at 8:00 and went to the Britannia Restaurant on deck 3 where platinum and diamond members could sit and wait.
I met Phyllis and her husband and we sat and talked and I also said goodbye to Jim. They made an announcement that they were running behind a little before 9:00. My scheduled time was 9:15. They started calling different color tags and about 9:20 they said any remaining people could disembark so I got in the queue.
It took about 10 minutes to get into the terminal. Two of my suitcases were near each other and the other two were scattered. Once I found them I realized that there was no way I could stack four large cases on the trolley. I then started looking for a porter. I asked a Cunard rep where to get a porter and she directed me to the right place.
The queue to get out of the terminal was very long so it was taking the porters quite some time to get people out and come back in. I was the third person in line. Unfortunately, the person ahead of me was a ship's officer and needed four porters for about 25 bags (not sure who they belonged to). Then a person in a wheelchair showed up and they tried to give the next porter to her even though there were now three people ahead of her. The porter had other ideas and said he was going with me. He quickly scooped up my bags and took us to the front of the line to leave the terminal. I did not complain although on my own I would never cut in line.
We quickly found the driver from Smiths for Airports and we had to go to the car park. I tipped the porter £10 and wished I had had more to give him. The ride to London was uneventful (luckily the traffic was all going in the other direction) and I arrived at the flat about 12:15.
Carolyn and Gary welcomed me and Gary was a real trooper and got my luggage in the minuscule lift and up to the second floor.
Evidently my luggage was more than the lift could take and by the time we left to go out around one it had died. Gary e-mailed the landlord (we chose a flat with a lift specifically).
We walked to Selfridges and had lunch then back to Marble Arch tube station to purchase our Oyster Cards for the tube and buses. Took the bus to Big Ben and looked around and took pictures. Sat in the square for awhile (my shoes were rubbing my feet) then back to Oxford Street. Since we had a late lunch we decided to visit Marks and Spencer's food hall and pick up dinner to be eaten in the flat tonight.
When we returned, the lift was still broken and I had to hoof it up the spiral staircase. We enjoyed a quiet evening.