Hello from my favorite (huge) internet cafe in Kensington. We’ve had a great day today! Thursday wasn’t so great. Here is a long summary of the events of the last couple days.

      Bridezilla at the Airport

      Bridezilla at the Airport
      On Thursday afternoon we arrived at Dulles airport, and Mike took fun pictures of me, my mom, and my aunt posing with our mountain of luggage. The good cheer ended promptly when Virgin Airlines security got very rude with us about our apparently misused definition of ticket vs. e-ticket. She refused to let us through, because of a stupid misunderstanding of our reservations. She was very obnoxious, and my temper flared. I was pissed. I yelled at her in an very uncharacteristic manner that surprised Mike and my parents, and that caused me to be labelled as a security risk.

      They pulled my luggage aside and covered it with neon stickers announcing my risky status. I watched as she took the box that housed my wedding gown, and covered it with these stickers that said “Do Not Load.” You just don’t do that to a bride. At least not while she’s watching. Suddenly I was certain that my gown would not be loaded on the plane. I started to freak a bit more. She was so cold to me, even when I explained that we were heading to our wedding and I was concerned about my gown. But at least she let us through to check-in.

      At check-in, the staff said that Mike and I didn’t have any reservations. We had a printed confirmation of tickets purchased three months ago, but somehow those reservations weren’t included in Virgin’s computers. That’s when I started to cry.

      My mom pulled out an AmEx card and said to the staff, “FIX IT.” I told them all that we were going to our wedding and we needed to get on that plane. One of the guys behind the counter said, “OHHHHH… now I get it. I got married once, too, and I remember how that went.” Then they started to be nice to us. Finally. Mike congratulated me for handling a stressful situation, “almost without crying.”

      After lengthy security checks of our luggage and ourselves, we got through. My gown was even approved for loading. Mike thought I might need a mocha frappucino, stat. He took me to an airport Starbucks, where I requested no whipped cream. They gave me whipped cream anyway. I was pissed, and Mike was scared. He grabbed my drink, pulled off the top, scooped up all the whipped cream, and shoved it in his mouth swiftly. Then he put the top back on and handed it to me like nothing had happened. I started laughing and immediately felt better.

      On our way to the plane, Mike said to me, “Look on the bright side. You can write all this down and it will be a funny blog.” That’s my boy.

      London Security
      You’d never know by casual observation that any bombings had happened here so recently. People here in London are just carrying on like normal. The only outward sign that anything is different is that there are lots of heavily-armed police in the city. That is a very strange sight here in England. Something else that I’ve noticed is that people are really jumpy around abandoned bags. Just twice today I’ve had people ask me whether a bag is mine. I don’t blame them.

      Feeling Like a Londoner
      I realized today that this is my seventh trip to London, and my ninth trip to England. I’m only 30 years old, and I’ve been to England nine times. That’s pretty amazing.

      Mike has been away all weekend, and it’s really funny how my family keeps asking me things about London and England, as though I’m a local. And most of the time I can answer. It’s cool how comfortable I am here. I know to look to the right before crossing the street, to order “skimmed” milk instead of nonfat, and to specify “eat in” or “take out” at sandwich or coffee shops. When I take coins out of my pocket, I can pay without looking at the numbers on each coin. I don’t even carry my camera around with me, because this place feels so homey to me that I no longer have that tourist feeling. It’s nice.

      Fighting Crime
      This afternoon I was walking around London by myself on a mostly deserted street. Suddenly I heard a lady yelling, “Stop him!” I looked up, and saw a man running toward me with his hands full of something. A small lady was running behind him, still shouting to me to stop this guy. There was no one else on the street, so I reached out to grab the guy as he ran by. Just as my arms reached around him, I snatched them back and decided not to touch him after all. I didn’t know what he had done and whether he was violent, and I didn’t want to get myself in any danger by grabbing him.

      Somehow I managed to fluster him enough that he just dropped whatever it was that he had been holding. Then he continued running. The lady caught up to me and thanked me profusely. I told her that I didn’t actually do anything, because I didn’t know if he would hurt me. She said that whatever I did had worked, because she got her stuff back. She picked up the things he dropped, which turned out to be shoes. Apparently he had shoplifted a pair of wooden shoes from her homeopathic healing goods store. She was so grateful to me for helping her, but I really didn’t do anything but startle a thief. I guess that was good enough.

      So today I helped to stop a crime. I didn’t even have to touch the guy–I must have superpowers. I made the streets of London a little safer today, so I rewarded myself for my good deed with veggie sushi.

      The Producers
      My parents, aunt, and I went to see The Producers today! It was absolutely hilarious. Before the end of the first act, my stomach was already hurting from laughing so much. By the “Springtime for Hitler” scene in the second act, I was almost wheezing. It was even funnier than I could have imagined. If you haven’t seen it yet, go!

      Cold Weather
      I just got back from shopping for sweaters. In July! It is so cold here, I had no idea. It’s probably in the 40s at night, and no higher than 70 during the days. I brought no long-sleeve shirts, and only one sweater. The crazy thing is that most places have their air conditioning on! My hands are freezing right now at the internet cafe.

      Bachelor Parties
      Mike is on his bachelor party all weekend. He left last night and (hopefully) will come back tomorrow after he is able to wake up. I really hope his friends don’t torture him too much.

      Our hotel is across the street from Kensington Palace. I told Mike that I’d spend the weekend looking for the princes, so I could have my own bachelor party in his absence. He didn’t like that idea much.

      OK, that’s more than enough for now! I hope you all are doing well! I’m reading most of your posts, but haven’t had a chance to respond. Thank you to all of you for your send-offs and congratulations! πŸ˜€


      Oh gosh, I’m sorry, I don’t really know. My parents bought it for me, so I don’t really remember. I do know that it seemed huge, so I’d guess it was closer to 42 gal, but I’m not sure. Sorry!

      Charlotte, I went to your personal journal entry to ask additional questions about the trunk you used to transport your dress. Do you recall what size (gallons) it was? I am seeing them in 22 gal, and one with wheels in a 42 gal. but I have no frame of reference. Thanks again for being so helpful. HHF

      Oh my gosh, I’d have been angry, too! How frustrating and demeaning! It really doesn’t take much effort for people to treat customers with some empathy, yet a little kindness makes all the difference.

      I’m glad you finally got a refund!

      I never read this entry of yours! What an awful airline experiance! Im glad it all worked out though. And its nice to hear I wasnt the only one who erupted at airline people when treated rudely during stressful wedding events.

      My story involved our honeymoon just days after the wedding. We were going to Cancun and so was Hurricane Wilma. Arrival date? Same day. I called up USAirways to see if we could cancel or arrainge something else and the lady with the accent who greeted me wasnt answering my questions. She kept telling me I couldnt get my money back and if I reschedule Id have to pay for a new ticket. So I asked for someone else. This priceless idiot repeated the same stock phrase she was saying, word for word. When I asked him to please explain what he ment he REPEATED the same darned thing again WORD for WORD but VERY slowly like I was a child who wasnt listening.

      I was extremely insulted and angrier than I can recall being in years. I just handed the phone to James. He had no idea what the man said to me or how he said it otherwise he would have yelled at him and gotten his name down. But I was so mad that I couldnt say anything at all. When I am totaly furious I lose the ability to come up with a sentance because I am fumeing too hard.

      James was able to get him to tell us they would refund the money if the flights are canceled (which wasnt official yet but was going to happen). We had to call back several weeks later to re-request the refund which finally was issued to us.

      I understand that with the hurricane there were all sorts of problems, but this man was an arse!

      I completely missed the gown story first time. I love the part about Mike and the whipped cream. Thank God he could stay calm and make you smile at that moment. I would have been uncharacteristically crying and yelling too.

      Also, God bless your mother and the American Express Fix it Moment.

      Char, what an incredible journey thus far! WOW! You go girl for getting all down and Jersey! I thought I felt a pang in my chest as a bit of Jersey ran to you for the rescue!

      I would have responded earlier…I am still learning how this LJ thing works! I need to post a picture, I don’t know how to do that yet….


      I can’t believe the stress you had to deal with at the airport! Wow! I would have lost my mind.

      Did the airlines finally find your reservation, or did you have to “fix it” using your moms Amex? Hopefully they fixed it all for you πŸ™‚

      I’m so happy for you! I hope you have a wonderful remainder of your trip, wedding and honeymoon πŸ˜€


      The airport stuff would have been enough to set anyone off, bride or not!! Good luck with all the last-minute wedding prep!

      Wow sounds like you had a bit of a rough ride at the airport. How dare they treat bridezilla that way! No honestly thats really bad. Glad you over now and sorted!

      Airports, blah. I’m glad things worked out for you in the end.

      When you get back, I want to take you and Mike out to dinner! πŸ˜€

      excellent post … make sure you archieve it so you can go back & show your kids someday. great story with loads of imagery of you & mike. Love it!

      awwwwh. i loved the fact that mike ate the whipped cream off your drink. it’s just…i dunno… awwwwwh.

      and im gushing once again. πŸ™‚

      you go have a great, wedding!

      and damn, now i’m craving to see “The Producers”…

      congratulations, charlotte. have a great one.

      OMG, that airport fiasco was something else. What a cold jerk that woman was! Too bad you couldn’t rip out her throat πŸ™‚ About Mike and the whipped cream…that’s SO cute he did that!

      Yay on the crime fighting, too.

      Have fun, be safe and I’m loving your updates!

      sounds wonderfully adventurous!! thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

      Crime-fighting Bridezilla!!! I sense a reality show here. πŸ˜‰

      I think since you got in the not-so-good stuff at the beginning, you will have a fabulous wedding and such.

      i would have DIED if i had that drama at the airport. hopefully that’s it for wedding blunders.

      Hi It’s Me Mickey

      I changed my live journal user name from “radicalwriter” to “jupitersjourney” and I wanted you to know. Your trip sounds like it was just a fantastic adventure for sure… I’m so glad you’re back home.

      Huge hugs,


      Glad you’re having a great time now that you’re in london. and mike was right- the whole experience made for a great blog πŸ˜‰

      Charlotte Geary


      Lifestyle, event, and portrait photographer with a vibrant, joyful style and 17 years of professional experience.

      Located in Reston, Virginia near Washington, D.C. and available for travel.