Athens-London-Los Angeles

Got up at 5:30 AM and had breakfast with Bev. Norm was sick all night and I gave her some Pepto pills for him. At the beginning of the cruise, I gave a woman passenger some milk of magnesia tablets for her problem. I saw her the day we left and her problem was the reverse.

We left the ship at 6:30 AM and boarded the bus for the airport. What a sight to see Jeff and Joy sitting in the front seat grinning from ear to ear, and “Fancy Lady” was in the middle of the bus. How degrading! Jeff said later that they were bound and determined that she would not get the seat her last time out.

We boarded British Airways flight 561M at 8 AM for a 3 1/2 hour trip to London. The altitude made me much worse, and besides my sore throat, my head stopped up and I started coughing. We had a two hour layover in the London airport which was pleasant. After buying cough drops for me and Cadbury flake candy for Julie, we joined our friends and finished our shillings on a mug of British ale. The Walkers had their “playmate” cooler filled with food from the previous night's midnight buffet --- clever. Jim and “Fancy Lady” had a run-in checking baggage through x-ray --- she accused him of taking her carry-on bag. Hers was similar and it came through shortly afterwards.

We left London on British Airways flight #283M about 12:30. Had to break up the Uno game Joy had going on the floor, but she picked it up again on the plane. We had the same seats as the flight to London, behind the Battersons and the Dahlgrens. Jeff told Joy that sharing a state room with her for two weeks was enough “togetherness” for a while. He told her to call him in a couple of months and then added, “And I think I’ll put on the answering machine.”

Norm was suffering in front of us and I was dying in my seat. The 11 hour flight almost did me in. I got ear phones and watched the Agatha Christie movie evil under the sun, hoping it would take my mind off it. But the cough got worse, I could hardly talk, and I thought I was going to need oxygen. The flight attendant gave me a Vicks inhaler so I could take a breath occasionally. Another woman brought me water during a coughing spell.

We arrived in LA at 3 PM, and got through customs without problems or opening up our luggage. Jay was waiting for us inside the terminal, thank goodness, but he didn’t bring a stretcher! A week in bed and a jar of Vicks did do wonders though.

Getting the photo album put together and writing this journal extended the vacation another two weeks. But it was a wonderful experience and the memories will last a lifetime.

Efkauristtoe, Jim!