Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In the UK

From Antarctica we made the journey back to UK via the same long route which we had arrived.  We had a few hours before our flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires, but that was easily passed with some practical stuff and playing cards, when we weren't talking to others from the ship.

We stayed in Buenos Aires for a couple of nights over Nic's birthday.  We didn't do much there, but we did go back to what does seem to have become a firm favourite restaurant, Minga.  Nic likes the chicken caesar salad, I like the empanadas, and we are both rather partial to the large, excellent steaks and the wines. 

From BsAs we had a connecting flight to London via Miami.  I say connecting, but it isn't connecting in the conventional sense, where your bags are transferred to the next plane and you stay airside.  No, here you have to get off, go through immigration, collect your bags and go out through customs, then drop our bags back off again, go back in through security and get to your gate.

We had just under two hours.  Our flight was at 8pm and we were supposed to be at the gate by 7pm.  At 7:10pm we were still waiting in the immigration queue and, when we asked if there was any arrangement for those with connections to get through quicker, we were told 'well you'll just miss your flight'.  Great, thanks!
Once we got to the desk, the guy was at least helpful and pushed us through quickly, and thankfully there was a connecting flights queue in customs, which was shorter than the normal one.  We belted it around the corridors to get tithe bag drop off area, then to security.  And we saw a huge queue, which we knew we had no chance of making through in time for our flight.

Luckily though, having made enough flights last year to qualify for the bronze level on the BA executive club scheme, I had priority access on my boarding pass, so they directed to a different security queue which was much shorter.  We made it through that in time and got the flight.

We won't be doing a connecting flight at Miami with less than a three hour changeover in future though.

Obviously given the circumstances of our being back, we weren't really doing anything very bloggable.  But I did go up to London during the run up to Christmas, so I thought I'd post a few pictures of that.
There is a Winter Wonderland every year in Hyde Park, where they have a ferris wheel, some other rides and an ice rink.

They also have lots of the German style market stalls, where they sell Christmas decorations, lights, candles, jewellery and all sorts of other things.

And of course there are plenty of food and drink stalls.  Again the german influence is there with Glühwein, Bratwurst and lots of other goodies.

Oxford Street had a Marmite theme for its Christmas lights this  year, which did seem a bit strange, but it looked quite good still.  I can't say I either loved it or hated it though!

Selfridges always looks good with its fantastic doors, but it does look even better in its Christmas get up.

And then there was Covent Garden.  I thought the giant Rudolph was quite an impressive but still tasteful adornment for the old marketplace. And the barrel Christmas tree was a bit of fun too.

Also rather impressive was the lego advent calendar.  It was entirely made from lego and when opened, each door revealed a little christmassy scene.  The turkey dinner was good, as was the wreathe, but I particularly liked the snowflake.

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