We decided on a celebratory breakfast of Champagne accompanied by smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels to mark the start of our journey (and lets face it, it may be some time before we can commit to such luxuries again)
Everything was going so well .. until Grantham that is, and our train was terminated due to technical problems (sound familiar anyone?). It kind of messed up our plans to meet my pal Sean from LA at Kings Cross - so what followed was a real test of the "haulability" of our new luggage on a sweltering day in London.
After fighting our way through thousands of people returning to the station from a false security alert, we caught a cab to our new meeting point in Islington - finding the pub we'd chosen was unexpectedly closed, we then had a further trek (with luggage) 750m down the road to finally meet Sean at a friends apartment.
After a pleasant lunch with Sean and Nadia where we topped up our alcohol levels once again - we then headed by tube and bus to Brentford to meet Sinead and her new baby Fergus for the first time. After a brief rest, yet another test by public transport took us to Heathrow and at last we arrived at our hotel for the evening.
Tuesday morning - and time for one final breakfast rendezvous at the airport with Mel's friend Paul (who commutes to Heathrow from Northern Ireland) and at last we climb aboard our flight to St. Petersburg - Russia here we come!