Marianne and I love to travel, and have been fortunate enough to have visited England several times. Unlike the airline pilots to whom we trust our lives in order to get us there, we often fly by the seats of our combined pants when it comes to arranging lodging once we arrive...It sort of adds to the adventure. Arriving at Gatwick Airport and then snaggin' a train to Victoria Station is the mere warmup. We called one of the many B&B's (Bed and Breakfasts) nestled in London's Norfolk Square. No rooms there, he told us. But, stop by and he promised he would find something for us. After a fun cab ride, (Note: I don't really recall any of the particulars about that specific cab ride, but ALL cab rides in London are fun) we arrived at our destination and collapsed through the front door. "Oh, the Yanks!!!", exclaimed the proprietor. We hadn't spoken a word. He "profiled" us correctly by our clothing. We wore "colors".
He had found a room for us. Right next door was the Cardiff Hotel, run by a sweet little Irish lady named Mary Carol. She had a room with a private bath. We Yanks like our privacy, you know. It was on the 4th floor. I asked to see the room before agreeing to take it. She handed over the key, and up I went. When I say "up" I mean almost "straight" up. Because the width of the stairwell was seemingly all of 3 feet, I was able to brace myself on the walls to assist in my climb. Breathless, jet lagged and knees buckling, I finally stood in front of the door. I prayed that the room would suffice because I was about to have a heart attack. I slid the key into the lock, turned it, and........nothing. It wouldn't budge. Back down the stairs I rappelled. "The key didn't work. Perhaps you gave me the wrong one.", I wheezed. "Jiggle it.", replied charming Mary. Back up I went. Jiggled the key. Opened the door. It was the smallest room I had ever seen. Somewhere on my way back down the stairs, I decided that the room was PERFECT for our needs, because I didn't want to repeat this process all over London. By the time I got back down to Mary I could only manage a nod. Marianne spoke up and asked if there might be someone who could assist us with our 237 pounds of luggage. "Certainly there is.", Mary said. "I believe you're married to him!!!"