Homeward Bound

We get up and about, and go into town. Steve and Crystal have been asking what I would like to see today, and we decide upon a trip to the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Although we arrive soon after 10am, the Museum is busy today, and the earliest tickets we can get for the main permanent exhibit is after 3pm, too late for our purposes. However, there are sufficient other exhibits we can see to make it worthwhile our time.

First we go to “Life In Shadows:Hidden Children and the Holocaust”, which tells the tale of Jewish children in occupied countries during World War II, and how they were hidden and protected. It is a very good exhibit, with plenty to see and think about – letters, photographs etc, and also a lot of audio-visual material, from children who survived to be adults. However, it is worth remembering that over a million children didn’t survive.

An online version of this exhibit is here

Along one wall of the exhibit area is the Children’s Tile Wall, which displays tiles painted by American schoolchildren, to remember the children murdered in the Holocaust.

The other exhibit we visit is “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race”, which examined the pseudo-scientific reasoning behind the eugenics program that ultimately led to the the Holocaust.

We leave the museum in time to have dinner before Steve and Crystal drive me to the airport. Crystal suggests the Silver Diner – a fairly authentic reproduction of an American 50’s diner.

The Silver Diner is fun, and the atmosphere is just right. I order a tuna melt sandwich, and am persuaded by the waitress to have a cup of crab chowder with it, which turns out to be an excellent choice. Finally, what else can I finish on but that most American of deserts – apple pie!

Steve and Crystal drive me down to the airport, and we arrive at 6:30 – plenty early enough, just how I like it. I check in, and dump my bags, and am given a free upgrade to Business Class. What an end to the trip!

I had been intending to use the time at the airport to eat, but our meal at the Silver Diner was closer to tea-time than lunch, and I knew that I would be fed on the plane, so I just have a drink and sit and read until time for boarding.

Business Class is neat – a seat and footrest combination that can extend into a short bed. After dinner (surf and turf, with salad), I recline the seat, but don’t go into total bed mode, as I have more legroom semi-reclined. I listen to some music over my new headphones – which *do* cancel quite a bit of the engine noise, and drift off to sleep, waking up on Sunday morning about 30 minutes before landing.

I do my usual trick of walking through the “Something to Declare” channel at customs. There is nobody there at first, and when someone appears, they are so surprised that I have a list of what I have bought while in the States (only souvenirs and some gadgets, but totalling a few hundred dollars) that they thank me for my honesty, and let me pass through. Meanwhile the “Nothing To Declare” channel has queues as bags are being searched.

I take a standard Underground train – there is an express which is faster, but it will mean an additional change of platforms. The journey to Walthamstow is easy, and from there I get a cab to my Mum’s house, where my car is parked.

The vacation is over.

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