The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust, 1871 - 1922
EN
EN

LadyDebz

TravelJournal user

About me

I'm 56, Female, from United Kingdom

Where am I now?

I'm currently in Sen monorom, Cambodia

Actions

Subscribe to this journal
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

My route

United Kingdom
United States
Qatar
Cambodia

Link to this journal

My journey - 2016

May 2016 - Oct 2016

And so my journey begins...

1

2

3

4

5

6

And so my journey begins...

Departing Norwich Airport.

7:33am

Where are my travels going to take me, you ask.?

I start by flying from Norwich to Amsterdam to catch a connecting flight to Washington DC, there I will be reunited with my daughter Charlotte who is to be married in Virginia on 4th June. From there I travel to Austin, TX for a reunion with an old school friend from Cromer and then onto Hockley, TX to spend valuable time with family and friends. Then, via Qatar I fly to Cambodia, to embark on Missionary work - during the monsoon season, which should be interesting, if a little wet.! The plan is to return to England in February 2017.

So... that is what I'm doing at Norwich Airport, stressing over whether my luggage will just scrape in under the baggage weight allowance.

After an early start and a lovely send off (thank you Larraine), I made it to check in early and why did I panick so.?   The suitcases just scrapped in by a couple of grammes; that was the panick, trying to get all my cases UNDER the allowed baggage allowance.   And all those layers of clothing, well worth the inconvenience.!  Hmm, do you really think so, I'm starting to get rather too hot now.!  Have you ever ever done that.?  Worn about six layers of clothing to maintain your hand luggage is less than 12kg, only to take it all off and pack it in your hand luggage once you've cleared weigh in.  What a bizarre process, but we all do it, and it works.!

Life is never quite that easy, as I was about to find out...

I place my hand luggage and coat on the rollers and start to walk through the scanner, only to set off one alarm after the other, lights flashing and I'm pulled to the side.  Red faced and anxious about where my hand luggage is on the rollers (Charlotte's wedding dress and accessories are inside it), I'm asked to raise this limb and drop that one, while someone rubs strips up and down me. They don't tell me what it's all for, just keep a serious face and a stern voice  when telling you what to do.  Unknowingly I've set off either the drug or (probably in my case, and) the  explosive alarms.!  DRUGS, EXPLOSIVES - anyone who knows me will tell you how absurd that is.  Eventually I'm told all's good and am allowed to retrieve my hand luggage, which appears to be in the tight clutches of a security officer - what now.?

By this time I'm shaking, have a huge knot in my stomach and feel physically sick.  I approach the security officer and nicely but rather nervously, say "that's mine - I'll take it thank you".  "I don't think so, I'm told - we have a slight problem, could you open it please".?   People now are starting to think that I'm the morning's entertainment, are  stopping to watch me and can't work out if I'm a potential terrorist or drug smuggler.  I hasten to add... I am NEITHER, and am now getting more and more embarrassed.  After twenty minutes of unpacking, retesting and then totally emptying my hand luggage, it's discovered that the amethyst crystals are the culprits and not good items to go through the scanners... If only I'd known.!  And NO, I didn't deliberately try to conceal twelve large pieces of amethyst crystal in my hand luggage Mam, as if.!  Why is it, that you can never repack a suitcase quickly, neatly or even get everything back in it again, especially with people watching you.?  But I managed it, eventually.

Okay; you'll be pleased to know I've made it to Washington DC airport without any  further ado but pray this hasn't set a presidence for future flights.

Yayyyy, non eventful flight... thank you KLM and arrived safely. Straight through immigration, boarder control and into glorious sunshine.  Met by a jubilant daughter and future son in law; and now off to catch up on all the news and wedding plans.

From this travel experience, although embarrassing (they were only doing their job), I  would highly recommend:

Departure - Norwich International Airport
Airline - KLM

Links:

  1. http://www.myevent.com/CambodiaFundraiser

20th May 2017 - Legal Wedding

10:14pm

Well, I arrived late yesterday into Washington DC to be met by my daughter Charlotte, her fiance Nicholas, his parents and a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

This morning we are going to the Old Court House, Loudoun, where Charlotte and Nicholas will be married by the local Judge, with myself and Nicholas's parents as witnesses - I'm so excited and really thrilled that they waited until I got here before they got married. Their wedding ceremony in the Blue Ridge Mountains isn't until 4th June.

After two weeks of non stop rain, we wake up today to glorious sunshine. So the "newly weds to be" have decided to go on a run; well the wedding isn't until 12.30.!

After helping Charlotte choose her dress, shoes and doing her hair; some gypsaphylia twisted in with it tied at the back, we are on our way... only to arrive far too early.

With 45 minutes to kill we decide to call in at Starbucks, couldn't be more stress free. After all the stress and anxiety of obtaining their marriage visa, it's so great to know after today everything will be all legal and on 4th June, they will be able to enjoy their day without having to worry if all the paperwork is in order etc.

Okay, so we load back in the car and drive to the court house, it's a lovely old building set in beautiful gardens, which we all enjoyed walking through. The Judge was a lovely lady and gave Charlotte and Nicholas the choice of where they'd like to be married.... you got it, they chose under the biggest and oldest tree in the grounds - it was beautiful. The Judge conducted a great, relaxed ceremony with members of the public watching and applauding when she pronounced them husband and wife... which just added to the magic of the day.

Afterwards, Brides choice; we went to Melt, a pretty awesome burger joint for the Wedding Dinner and then home to chill....

What a great day.!

Arlington Cemetery & Iwo Jima

9:32pm

Okay, well I've done all the sightseeing over the years but I thought this would be pretty cool to share and maybe, you will too.

Today we've decided to go to Arlington Cemetery, somewhere I haven't been and am interested to take a look and wander about. It's always amazed me, watching American films and TV series, when they span across the cemetery... is it really that big.? Well today I get to find out.

After much ado, driving round a badly signposted diversion, we park in a very closeby underground car park and walk, literally two minutes into the main entrance of Arlington Cemetery. Lucky for us I found a deal online and we brought our tour bus tickets in advance, $10 each and you can get on and off as much as you like, all day long.

All I can say is yes, yes and YES. You can not imagine how vast Arlington Cemetery actually is; I'm amazed and to be honest... pretty sad. Gleaming white gravestones stretch for miles and miles, in every direction, set on top of beautifully mown, dark green grass and beautiful trees, everywhere. The atmosphere is serene, even the people walking about are respective of where they are. For me, the sad thing is... for each gravestone I see a soldier, a nurse, a child and a victim; I pray quietly to myself. Enough, let me tell you some things you may or may not know about Arlington Cemetery:

It was established 13th May 1864, us owned by US Army and presently covers 624 acres. It was established during the Civil War in the grounds of Arlington House, which was owned by a Confederate General Robert E Lee. The government purchased Arlington for $26,800 in a tax sale. Arlington Cemetery is divided into 70 sections, section 60 is burials for Global War on Terror, 21 is for Nurses, 65 is for Military Chaplains (of any nomination), 27 is for more than 3,800 former Confederate slaves and the Confederate Army sections have peaked gravestones rather than rounded ones. There are 28 burials a day, every day at this cemetery, with over 417,000 already having been buried here; of which 5,000 are unknown soldiers. With this in mind, Arlington Cemetery is undergoing plans to be made even larger and to extent it's 'life span' for a further five years, by room for 30,000 new gravestones.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers sits on top of the hill, overlooking Washington DC. Consisting of seven pieces of Yule marble, weighing 79 tonnes and costing $48,000, it was opened to the public the April 1932. An unknown soldier from WWl was interred 11th November 1921, from WWll 30th May 1958, Korean War 30th May 1958 and Vietnam War 28th May 1984 - these remains have since been identified. The Tomb of the Unknowns has been perpetually guarded since 2nd July 1937 by US Army. Each guard duty is changed every half hour during daylight in summer, every hour during daylight in winter and every two hours at night (when closed to public), regardless of weather).

Crossing the road, to a lovely green park, you can not miss the US Marine Corps national monument - Iwo Jima. Unveiled 10th November 1954 (19th anniversary of the founding of the Marine Corps), dedicated by Robert Anderson and presented to the American people by General Lemuel Shepherd (20th Commandant of Marine Corps). The centrepiece depicts six marines raising the second (and larger) US flag atop Mount Suribachi on 23rd February 1945.

The sculpture is cast bronze on a black, diabase granite, topped by an 18th flagpole. The statue took three years to complete, cost $850,00 including site development and was paid for totally by donations... NO public money was used - Amazing.!

If you ever go to Washington DC, Arlington Cemetery is well worth a visit - if nothing else, it definitely puts life in prospective.

4th June 2016 - Wedding Ceremony

11:19pm

Well, the 4th June has finally arrived... and so have we; to the most beautiful setting for a wedding ever. Charlotte & Nicholas have found a huge log cabin, set in 200 acres of the most beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and to top it all off, the weather is glorious. Along each of the longest sides of the cabin the walls are sliding glass and open up onto huge verandas, looking out onto awesome views. Inside the cabin it's just as one would imagine it to be, full of warmth and rustic charm... I'm afraid NO words will do it any justice and I will try to download some photographs.

There are only to be, about 27 family and friends attending, including children from across America and England. Charlotte's Dad is giving her away and her two young cousins from England will be herb girls, although she won't be telling them until a few hours before hand. Charlotte has only ever wanted to be married in the trees and that dream, today is definately coming true. Nicholas has built a beautiful archway of trees and flowers for them to be married in front of, surrounded by trees...It looks amazing. I'm so proud of them both, as they've worked so hard on the planning and putting together of everything for this wedding, having even made a vast majority of things themselves from the heated food cart to the mosquito repellant and candles.

I've had Charlotte's wedding dress under lock and key, so no one has seen it, they are all in for a wonderful surprise.... she looks well, no words can actually describe how beautiful and radiant she looks. I do believe I've got Nicholas to wear the green bow tie that Charlotte had made for him, she'll be so surprised and happy.

When Jess, the Officient asked Charlotte and Nicholas to do a rehearsal of what they were going to do, that was when Charlotte told her young cousins that she would like them to sprinkle herbs in front of her as her Dad led her toward Nicholas; they were so excited it was a great surprise and they did an awesome job. The nicest thing was they were in the clothes they wanted to wear for the wedding, and not some fancy bridesmaid dress - exactly how Charlotte wanted it to be.

An hour before the wedding ceremony and my best friend Candy Lea from Texas and I, have taken Charlotte away from everyone and moved her to our room upstairs for a relaxing hour on our own. While she showers we fill our room with chilled wine, food and chocolates.... Us girls chat, eat, drink and laugh. We get dressed, help Charlotte to get ready and then look out the windows watching people arrive and settle down. We take some lovely photographs, and reminis a little, chat about the future, laugh a lot. And as I take her downstairs to her Dad, Charlotte knows I love her and will always be there for her, no matter what.

The wedding ceremony was awesome, something so special and personal to them... it was priceless.

Display:  New entries on the bottom  |  New entries on top