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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Arrival in London

I know this entry is long overdue! It has been such a hectic trip that I have not had a lot of time to catch up and when I do, I usually fall asleep at the keyboard! So here goes:

My DP for the trip, Jon Dunham, arrived on Monday night having come straight from the Boston Marathon where he was promoting his film The Spirit of the Marathon. On Tuesday night we traveled to London via British air and they were kind enough to put us in business class so we could film Catherine. I will say that this is definitely the way to travel and it will certainly be very difficult to ever fly coach again. J Unfortunately we had to sit on the runway in Philadelphia for awhile due to bad weather but the flight was great and we arrived in London on Wednesday morning. We ended up having to wait on the tarmac for 45 minutes in a bus because there was some “police activity” on the plane; evidently there was a dispute between a few passengers about some missing money so they wouldn’t let anyone move on to customs/baggage claim until they sorted things out. We finally got out of the airport and went to our hotel. We stayed at The Royal Lancaster hotel which is in Hyde Park because Catherine likes to stay in that part of town so she can train in the Park. Unfortunately, they somehow lost Catherine, Lisa and Mostafa’s reservations so they ended up at a different hotel across the street. But I will say that the Royal Lancaster is definitely a lovely place. They really spoil you to the extent that you have “biscuits” in your room at all times and a heated towel rack! That’s right, in the shower, on the far wall is a heated towel rack so the towels were always nice and toasty! But I digress….once we got situated it was time to get to the Tower Hotel which was where the headquarters for the Flora London Marathon were. I wanted to be sure we had our credentials lined up to best capture Catherine, Anthony, Jane, Lisa and Mostafa during race week. There really was no direct way get to this place; it seemed to be at the complete opposite end of the city from where we were. We learned how to take the “tube” and found our way somewhere nearby and then just walked the rest of the way. London was certainly not what I expected weather-wise! It was beautiful and sunny and we made it to the hotel and picked up our credentials. We poked around a bit to plan for some interviews would conduct during the week and then headed out. The hotel is situated at the base of the Tower Bridge which is a beautiful bridge. There was a water taxi so we decided to try to find our way back to our hotel via the Thames River. It was a nice ride and we got off at a stop where we thought would be near to a tube station but I wanted to get a simm card for my Kenyan cell phone; (my blackberry wouldn’t work there but the Kenyan phone uses simm cards) We found one and then found a cute little crepe place and had dinner before heading back to the hotel. I had to prepare some interviews for the next morning because we were scheduled to follow Catherine to the women’s press conference. The time difference was 5 hours ahead of Philadelphia so it had been a very long day since leaving Philly after 11pm Tuesday night (original departure was 9pm) and only few hours sleep on the flight so by 2am I was exhausted!

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