August 23 – We spent a fair amount of time touring Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London. We wandered through the towers and along the wall, checkout out the various rooms of artifacts and historical information.
I think it goes without saying the Crown Jewels were the highlight of the show. There wasn’t much of a line thankfully. They are as divine as one would expect. No photos are allows so I don’t have any extra shiny things to share so you’ll have to make the trip yourself. 😉
That was the extend of my exploring. I needed to get back to Reading so I could get to work for the evening. Jennifer and I got a gelato and discussed her route home since she was staying behind in hopes of seeing more of the city.
I got the Tube to Paddington then the rail to Reading where I caught the bus. Having taken the bus before I felt very confident as I handed the driver the ticket and took my seat. I did not know that between then and now there was construction on the original route and the bus route had been split into 2 different lines, 3 and 3a. It was not until we got to the end of the 3 route and were turning back toward Reading that I realized there was a problem. Of course that prompted a conversation with the driver who apologized he had not looked close enough at my ticket to realize I was on the wrong bus. I asked if their was another bus I could transfer to rather than going all the way back to Reading and he did not believe there was one. Shame on me for not paying better attention!
On the way back to Reading I sent Jennifer a message warning her about the difference in the bus in hopes of preventing her from making the same mistake. Of course we arrive at the Reading station minutes after the proper bus had just left so I got to hand for a half hour waiting for the next bus. Oh well, it could have been worse.
I was feeling a bit frustrated but relieved as I departed the bus and crossed the street. As I approached the community where my friend lives I was greeted enthusiastically by a young boy. It took me a moment for me to realize it is the dear neighbor boy. He seemed just thrilled to see me and any bad feelings I had carried simply melted away. This was one of those moments I believe will stick with me for a long time.
I was relieved when I got word from Jennifer she was on the train from Paddington to Reading. She later confirmed she was on the correct bus. Mary and I decided we would walk out to the bus stop to greet her since it was dark and Jennifer wasn’t familiar with the area. Apparently we had waited too long to head out to the stop. Mary got a phone call from her that the bus had come to the end of the line and the driver made her get off the bus. She had missed her stop. Fortunately Mary knew where she was so we got in the car and picked her up.
Everyone from our group was finally accounted for!