Do you  think that Queen Elizabeth would lend two of her Corgis to Dennis and me as service dogs? Well, Boy Howdy, it might take that to finally get the APs to Cambridge. All factors considered, getting to London’s going to be fairly easy, I think (distant rumbling heard—God laughing at my naivete perhaps?). The adventure starts when we get to Heathrow and have to make our way to “The Tube” to catch a train to King’s Cross Station where we will catch another train to Cambridge.

But wait, the adventure starts even before we board the train since we have to retrieve our already purchased train tickets to King’s Cross Station and thence to Cambridge from an e-ticket kiosk. All we have to do is comply with these directions:

How do I retrieve my British print at the station e-tickets at the train station?

  • Proceed to the self service kiosk
  • Select your language. Then choose “Collect Prepaid Tickets.”
  • Enter your e-ticket confirmation code or PNR which is an 8 character alphanumeric code unique to your trip and is included in the email confirmation you receive from Rail Europe. [N.B., I have not yet received this email confirmation]
  • Insert and remove any credit card when prompted. This does not have to be the credit card that made the purchase, it is simply to activate the printing of your tickets. Your credit card will not be charged.
  • Follow the simple instructions.

“Simple instructions?” If you could see me now, you will have noticed that my eyes have glazed over. I’m still working on “Proceed to the self-service kiosk.” I fear that without our spouses to guide us, Dennis and I may spend a week at King’s Cross station. But if we had the Queen’s service Corgis (what’s the plural here?), we might eventually wind up at Cambridge.

So, we will schlep our luggage on “The Tube” an hour into King’s Cross station (I’m thinking Dorothy Parker here: “What fresh hell is this?”) there to connect with a regular train to Cambridge.  There are 92 trains a day from King’s Cross Station to Cambridge, a 90 minute trip. At least we are traveling first class on the Cambridge-bound train.

If we make it to Cambridge, because, as you Harry Potter Fans know, King’s Cross Station, Platform 9¾, is where students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry catch the Hogwarts Express.  Should Dennis and I be so lucky as to board the train to Hogwarts, I am sure that, upon our arrival, the Sorting Hat would place us in Gryffindor “Where dwell the brave at heart. Their daring, nerve, and chivalry Set Gryffindors apart.” So says the Sorting Hat. Yes, Dennis and I are surely Gryffindor material.*

*By way of full disclosure and utter transparency, I should note that Gryffindors also tend to be short-tempered—thankfully! That means I won’t be eliminated out of hand, or, out of hat as the case may be. And since it’s not specifically mentioned as a trait that “sets Gryffindors apart,” Dennis, who is anything but short-tempered, but is brave at heart, will find a place in Gryffindor as well.

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