We arrived at Gatwick airport south of London and took a train transit from north terminal to south terminal where we walked through the airport to the train station and bought tickets for the Gatwick Express which goes directly to Victoria Station in London. This the the station closest to Buckingham Palace and where are hotel the Rubens is located. We booked at the Rubens because of its convenience, location and although the price was more than we generally spend it was at the same rates as the Comfort Inns, and other hotels in London. So the Rubens is a really really nice 4 star hotel right across the street from Buckingham Palace and the pictures we had seen of it were incredible, so I was really excited about us staying there. When we got to the hotel the pictures were no exaggeration, it was awesome! I went to check in and the girl at the desk asked so politely if I could take a seat and wait that her manager wanted to talk to me. So I waited just a little and then this amazingly nice lady came over and told me the hotel had a bit of a problem and they had overbooked and asked if they could arrange for us to stay at one of their sister hotels on Kensington. I told her we really had chosen Rubens because of their reputation and location was ideal for me and Mary to see the sights and able to walk to Victoria Station in the morning to get back to the airport for our morning flight. I didn’t know how to get to the other one. She said they would take care of everything and would get us a taxi and tell them where to go and that they would take care of the taxi to pick us up in the morning and drive us to Victoria Station.She then went on about how nice the other hotel was and that in fact that the other one was a 5 star hotel and very very nice.  I was a bit indecisive because I really really wanted to stay where I was, but what choice did I really have. The manager offered us to have a seat in the lounge and have a refreshing drink. Large glass of apple juice for Mary and Merlot for me. I told them small glass, but when it came it was huge. I wonder what the large looked like. So we relaxed and sipped on our drinks. She gave Mary some chocolates which Mary was so happy to recieve. After that I checked the back pack and we walked over to Buckingham Palace for a few pictures. We were loosing daylight fast, so I ran, literally ran some of the way down the long street along St. James Park so we could see a few more sights. We had our picture taken with some of the Queens guards, or whatever they call them. After literally walking all over Warsaw, London was no problem. I just wish we had had more sunlight. So we went back to Rubens and got the back pack and they put us in the taxi to The Milestone on Kensington. Well, the manager did not lead me on about how nice it was. It and all the staff were exceptional. They treated me like someone special and they told me my breakfast was included. The guy there gave me a short tour of the hotel, lounge, conservatory,parlor with tea and treats, restaurant then took us up to the room and showed us around. It was incredible!! Fruit on the table for us, robes, slippers, a playpen bed made for Mary. She just giggled and pointed and went over and threw her doll in and kept saying “Gigi, Gigi!!” which is baby. She was so happy to be in it and played with doll and new London teddy bear. She slept so good too in it. She slept in a small crib at her foster home and with us in Libiaz but when we lived in Warsaw she was in a double bed. She really likes the smaller beds. So the sheets on my bed were like 2000 count or something, the absolute softest sheets I have ever been between! The pillows were perfect too. Oh, I only wish Trey could have been there too. I called him to let him know we had made it and explained everything to him and I was laughing while I was describing every part of the suit to him! I could not believe this was me and Mary’s room. We had not eaten supper, but I did not want to leave the room. I just wanted to stay in it as long as we could, because we didn’t get there till around 6:30pm and would be leaving early in the morning and because I just wanted to put on the robe and relax. We decided to just go down to the parlor and ordered soup and a mini chips and fish. The parlor was really fancy and had four little seating areas like seperate tiny sitting rooms. We sat at a tiny round table for two. We enjoyed our shared meal while listening to a piano guy playing next to us. The staff were so friendly to us and came by and played or tried playing with Mary. After a while she gave them some smiles and she got down and explored the room. We went back to our room and Mary had her luxury bath and then we went to sleep. I wish I could say I slept great, but my brain wouldn’t shut down all night. I just kept thinking and thinking about what we had done and what we would need to do in the morning and what time to get up and leave the hotel and how long it would take in the taxi to the station and getting through security and to our gate. Oh bother.  In the morning we had room service and it was fantastic!!! My  cup of cappucino was a bowl, not like the tiny 4 swallow Poland ones! The orange juice was amazing, oh it all tasted so wonderful!! Mary ate a ton too. So our taxi in the morning was a Land Rover and he dropped us off at the Buckingham Palace Gift shop so I could get my London Christmas ornament and then we walked to the station on that drizzling rainy day. It was great! So our London layover was an amazing retreat, I don’t know many American 3 year old that get to spend the day in London with their Mommies and stay in and eat in a 5 star hotel!!! I don’t know how much Mary will remember, but I have lots of pictures to show and remind her.


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