We started the day at the beach

and finished in London. That was the plan. Stay with a friend in Redondo Beach and wake up the next day at Heathrow.

Redondo didn’t disappoint. It was a beautiful blue sky day and after a brunch of benedicts and bloody marys we took our last walk along the coast for the foreseeable.

It was October 15th. And there was no online check in for Air New Zealand. That’s right. We had to do the old fashioned thing and go to the airport 3 hours early to get a good seat – or in our case, to upgrade to premium economy.

Oh I cannot explain the joys of premium economy. And ANZ has this new plane that is fantastically worth the upgrade fees. Leather seats. Ridiculous leg room. And no need to ever put your chair in the upright position. It’s more like a pod. The entire time we felt just like this:

Although we never actually shared a plate of… what is that, nachos?

I watched all of Bad Teacher (surprisingly entertaining) and part of some other movie I fell asleep before the end of. Nine or ten hours later we landed and sailed through customs and immigration, just in time for a two hour drive up to the in laws which, thankfully, I slept through most of.

So we went from Redondo Beach, CA to Gaddesby, Leicestershire in 24 hours. From the beach to this:

Beautiful cottage. No snow upon arrival. It may have been chilly there, but not *that* dramatically chilly. Old photo. But beautiful cottage nonetheless. And cold. I cannot explain how cold this house is. And Leicestershire. It was cold. Inside, outside, everything was cold. Could it have been all that sun at the beach had ruined me for the cold?

It was so cold my mother in law bought me the best gift ever. A hot water bottle. Not just any hot water bottle. A purple polka dotted one!

I slept with that every night clutched to my chest like at teddy bear. Even when I couldn’t sleep due to jet lag I hugged it. I hugged it at the dinner table (is that rude?), in the snug watching TV. I even hugged it in the car once. Yes, I was pretty cold.

And jet lagged. And sick. And exhausted. But I was well looked after and well fed. We visited a few pubs, family, and then on Wednesday it was time to go down to London and face reality: the accommodation we were put up in for DW’s work.

And that is what we will talk about in the next chapter of our story that all started at the beach.

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