Saturday, October 04, 2014

First Day in London

This chair was
in a bathroom.
We landed in London, and Rob was so sick he stopped the plane.  And it went downhill from there.  We had a card that would allow us to pass through customs quickly but Rob had dropped his and not bothered to pick it up.  Ugh.  I offered to give him mine so he could go through and sit down comfortably but he insisted on heading to the long, slow-moving line with me. 

He started getting sick again and had to leave the line.  But he was leaving with my passport in his pocket.  I had to call him back and the security people were confused.  As soon as they realized what was going on—that my husband was ill and we were together—they let me go with him towards the bathroom.  I didn’t go into the bathroom with him, sitting on a bench, trying to look as nonthreatening as possible.

Beaded pillow.  One of several.
I mean, think about it.  What, exactly, would trigger a search in this tense climate?  We were causing a significant distraction after stopping the plane.  I would not have blamed anyone if they had dragged us separately into rooms and made us answer a long string of questions as they searched our luggage.  Would you?

But they didn’t.  In fact, they hustled us to the head of the line, not wanting Rob to throw up in the main customs area, I suppose.  We managed to get our luggage and find the driver who was there to take us to the airport.  Now, normally the ride from Heathrow to our hotel is only about 30 to 40 minutes.  That is, if you are not driving with someone who is constantly throwing up.  And Rob was.  We stopped four times on the road and one time the driver pulled into a parking lot so Rob could go into a store and find a toilet in which to throw up some more. 
Even the tissues in the room
were made to look like roses.

We arrived at the hotel flustered and not surprisingly stressed.  Rob was still nauseous and just wanted to lie down.  But our room wasn’t ready.  Nope.  And the hotel was fully booked.  However, there was one suite that would not be needed for a guest until 8pm so they graciously allowed us to stay there until our room was ready.

Which is how we ended up hanging out in the Cinema Suite at the Taj Hotel in London.  And it is gorgeous!  Seriously.  Watch this video before reading on because I want you to picture and fully appreciate the luxury with which we were greeted, the place where we were allowed to rest until it was time to go to our own room.

(The bed in which Rob was collapsed can be seen at 2:55
only the canopy bed had velvet curtains over the sheer rose patterned ones)

Around 2, after I had taken a short nap because I was determined not to trash anything in any other room and stayed by Rob’s side when I wasn’t exploring the full suite, we were brought to our much smaller suite.  Rob immediately collapsed in the bed while I was left to unpack for both of us. 

This was our bed
before Rob collapsed
into it.
Does any of this sound vaguely familiar? 

Anyway, we had some things in the suite, including fresh fruit and a basket with cereals, eggs, and such, and there was milk in the refrigerator along with some small creams like the ones one would find in any convenience store.  So I was able to snack on some fruit and have some espresso.  I hadn’t eaten anything and Rob wanted to go ahead and try to eat a little something.  I suggested that I make him some eggs.  Why was he pushing himself like this?

Surprise!  Rob had ordered tickets for us to go to The Globe Theatre to see Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors.  Can you imagine anything more perfect for starting off a London trip?  But Rob was sick and the smell of the eggs made him throw up.  Since I had gotten dressed up for the play, I asked Rob if he would be okay with my going downstairs to the Library, a small room off the lobby of the hotel, where I could enjoy some wine and canapés, a perk that came with our lovely suite.  Giorgio, a lovely young man who was there almost every night we were there, brought me a glass of champagne.  Later, he brought me a slender plate with three small bowls on it in which there were some spiced nuts, some gorgeous large olives, and some freshly made crisps.  These salty foods plus the champagne were the first bites to eat I’d had since getting off the plane.   Then he brought me a small plate with canapés. 

Living room area.
Now, I won’t bore you with the details but nearly every night we went down to the Library and every night the canapés were different.  Sometimes a puff pastry filled with diced meat and fresh vegetables, or a slice of toast with something on top, or a tiny savory tart, or a small skewer of meat.  You could never know what it might be and some more delicious than others.  For instance, I loved one with lentils that I could tell was spiced with cumin, another night there was a smear of pâté on bread that I adored, and I could bore you with the puff pastry deliciousness. 

Every night, it was drinks, followed by the salty snacks, followed by a plate with three different canapés. 

Fresh fruit, rose petal in a bowl,
and a card welcoming us
to our lovely room.
While I was downstairs, the turn-down service came to our suite and left a surprise: an elegant plate with chocolates and flowers.  Everything on the plate was edible and delicious.  And because Rob was still crashed out in the bed, I called down to request a DVD which came with free popcorn and soda.  (I requested diet soda, of course.)

But I was too exhausted to even watch the movie.  The stress of watching over Rob, worrying about his glucose levels, and everything else, I was close to tears.  This was not how we had hoped to start our vacation, needless to say, and I was beginning to think that maybe we should just not bother traveling at all. 

The hope was Rob would wake up feeling better than he had when he went to bed.  Our fingers were obviously crossed, even in our sleep.   

Plate of chocolates, one piece with gold flakes,
a couple of macarons, and edible flowers
Even the long slender stick and swirly thing
are edible.  Seriously, how lucky is Rob
that I left him even one piece let alone three?


  1. I'm hoping the following days went much better!

    1. Betty, We eventually left the hotel room. More posts coming!

  2. Well, I thought Rob was feeling better :(
    It's horrible enough to feel like that at home, but to be in another country and feel awful would be terrible!!
    Hope he's all better soon!

    Sounds like your hotel was amazing!!

    1. Vicki, I'm happy to say he is feeling better but I'm definitely "milking" the suspense by not just throwing out the whole trip in one insanely long blog post. LOL!

      The hotel was amazing. So much so that, if Rob and I ever go to another country where they have a location, we will make every effort to stay there again. But hey! I'm ready to go back to London now. I wonder if they're hiring and would hire me to work there? Hmmmmm . . . .