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“Lost” conjures images of children in the woods lured to candy-covered cottages, or writers staring at the blinking cursor asking “what happens next?” Maybe the GPS is stuck in adventure mode! We arrived at the last conclusion during my two week trip through the UK with four girlfriends.

No, this will not be a three-hour slide-show of every toilet and tube station in London. I’m too cheap to pay to go to the toilet!  I drive sixty miles from town to house, “hold it” could be the family motto.  There were so many unexpected treasures when we weren’t 100% sure where we were headed. A least I wasn’t always sure – more about that later.

I loved the tubes! Yeah, they can get crowded and loud, and Lord help the germophobe or claustrophobic, but for all that it’s an amazing mosaic of humanity: professionals, shoppers, tourists, young and old, students, mothers with baby buggies AND groceries, musicians with instruments, people of every shape, size, and color…and smell.

Image may contain: 4 people, including TheBlonde Kristine and Cheryl Fuhrman Simmons, people smiling, people standing

L-R Kristine, Holly, Celine (center), Cheryl

The first night in London – BTW “flat” does not mean flat. In our case it meant stairs. Narrow kind of dark and steep stairs DOWN to the front door and bedrooms and stairs UP to the kitchen and sitting room. Anyway, we took the tube to Covent Garden. This area of London was as fictitious to me as the television dramas where I’d heard the name mentioned. We arrived with GPS in full adventure mode, taking us around sketchy dark alleyways and cobblestone streets. To be fair, there are A LOT of cobblestone streets. Holly and Celine (upper left & center above) had been to our destination, but they had slept, it was getting dark, and the streets were coming alive for the weekend. I guess you could say we were only lost-ish, and only until we saw the beacon ‘H’ across the road.

Warning: Obnoxious name dropping commencing. We were guests of the deceptively adorable (he’d make a great serial killer) and talented Martin Delaney and his fiance the lovely, charming and talented Emerald O’Hanrahan at The Hospital Club. Wonderful, gracious hosts and the perfect antidote for jet lag.  None of us knew for sure where we were going or what to expect – that’s a pretty good definition of lost to me, and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect evening. We DO expect to be mentioned in their acceptance speeches in the near future. #thatsmystory

w/ Emerald & Martin

Day two – Lost & Found Item – Princess Diana Fashion Exhibit.

I think I was too young or maybe my parents weren’t impressed enough for me to invest in the late princess. I was never star struck; saddened sometimes by the turmoil of her life, impressed by her philanthropy, appalled at the tragic circumstances of her death and certainly I’ve watched with pride for her sons as they have matured into good men.

As we walked though Kennsington and compared the royal histories on display, her impact struck me. Even as her fashion changed and matured, so did her role and how we – the world – perceive the royal family and anyone with high visibility and influence. It’s no longer acceptable if these people wish to be respected to simply show-up for the photo-ops.

Sunday, I took us to the wrong location for brunch!!  Right restaurant, wrong one. Mortified doesn’t begin to cover it. But, as we’ve learned, adventure mode/misunderstood directions can lead to grand detours. We ended up brunching in a little place with a pink-haired drag queen manspreading beneath the table and diagonally from us and the best pain au chocolate – we got the last one of the morning too!  If we couldn’t do a Las Vegas Denny’s this was the next best thing.

We had time to walk from Trafalgar Square, up or maybe down the mall past St. James Park to Buckingham Palace. The Queen was in residence. We waved, she did not. HA! Our stroll took us down to a lovely pub and more stairs to the loo. The PLAN was to grab a thirst quencher, water, soda, the oh-so-American iced tea and make our way back to Trafalgar.  Yeah, right!  We parked our backsides at The Bucket O’Nails where we were invited to “pull a pint.” Pull we did!

Two hours later….we called our Ripper Tour Driver to fetch at the Bucket instead of at Trafalgar Square. He was most accommodating and amused. The tour was fun, informative and yes…I got lost as we wove through the back streets, and seedy locations.

Image may contain: 4 people, including TheBlonde Kristine and Cheryl Fuhrman Simmons, people smiling


Finally, finally….we were able to reconnect with our brunch dates and MY bucket list item for London-dinner with Giac Farci and Suzanne Luton.

Giac has been an unrelenting supporter of our writing, health, and happiness for many years. It’s always a bit unsettling when you meet “internet people” for the first time. It only took a few moments and introductions to feel like dinner with old friends. My navigational error of the morning brought us a lovely relaxed dinner with friends.

It can be frightening not having a complete map/outline/plan. Some of us even stress about the lack of a plan, BUT sometimes it’s OK to take the back road, side trip, detour…Frost’s proverbial road less taken. Imagine the difference!

This only scratches the surface of the London leg of our trip. We had misadventures in Ireland and Scotland…poor poor Barry! You’ll have to come back for those stories.

Have you ever been lost, literally or figuratively and ended up someplace WAY better?



ps – I am participating in 2018 Supporting Veterans One Book At A Time – a FaceBook auction raising funds for VETSports. Two signed copies of our Award Winning Eden’s Fall with a bonus batch of cookies are up for grabs along with dozens of authors and vendors who have donated books, crafts, and services to the event. Please click the link and join the event to see the amazing items up for auction. Eden’s Fall is Lot #78 & #96.  The auction runs through Sunday, Nov. 11. Image may contain: food