We are in London


I'm having my tea and looking out the kitchen window at the street before I take a jog around the neighborhood to scout out the shops, cafes (coffee shop? I hope.) It is 6:00am in London on Thursday, but at home in Alaska it is 9pm Weds. For the first time in my life I'm way ahead of schedule. The trip was fine, and Heathrow airport not half the nightmare everyone warned us it would be. Seattle and especially Dulles were much more crowded and disorganized. In London there were volunteers in pink 2012 London shirts helping us all the way through. Grandma Joanne's friend Gill (you say it Jill) met us, and said she had never seen the airport so clean. She has also lodged us in her London home rather than the country cottage because the 45 minute trip there apparently now takes about 3 hours due to the Olympic traffic. It is not so much the traffic that is an issue, but the security, which has closed highway lanes and whole access roads all around the city to official vehicles only. Our little neighborhood of hundred year-old brick row houses is about to become car-free as it backs right up on Greenwich Park, the Olympic horse venue, but we can walk over to the main gate from here. After we got settled Grandma Joanne took a nap and Gill took me on long walk of the the area. (It was hot, too, unusually so, about 85.)The security is most impressive, with huge anti-car bomb barricades in place, many police and more military personal, who all were very pleasant and friendly, as well as lots of  tall portable fencing and more concrete block and airport style security checks points. "Nothing will happen," Gill assured me. "They have to do this." Karen walked over to our house after a training session, dressed in her riding pants, brightly colored socks and neon green running shoes-- they are part of the official team and London 2012 gear she is supposed to wear. She also had a team shirt on and a lanyard around her neck with  the biggest ID tag I've ever seen- a laminated about 5X7 photo. She said there are six security guys assigned to the five rider team from several different entities-- and they really don't like it when she leaves the secured area, so she had to be quick and then get back. All of which made me a little nervous, but as Grandma Joanne said, "This is the way the world is now, and it is a shame, but it is what it is. Aren't we lucky to be here?" We certainly are. 



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