Raj: We are almost packed and ready for our early morning departure tomorrow to Washington DC to spend a month in USA before returning home - hard to believe the end is fast approaching. We've spent the past few days doing a little sightseeing but mainly finalising the essentials for USA - accommodation and transport, leaving the rest until we get there.
Earlier in the week we visited Camden Town Market and Vikki almost bought a pair of Dr. Marten's but declined even after my encouragement - go figure. On Nige's recommendation we tried a fried Mars Bar at the market which was a hit with the kids. I prefer my chocolate hard, and so with the last of our pounds I've stocked up on chocolate and I'm happy to carry the extra weight. In lieu of spending $300-400, we decided to buy a cheap full size suitcase and lug the extra weight around for our last month. We'll have to make space or throw some stuff out to make room for new purchases in USA. The souvenirs have definitely stacked up, and even I decided to buy a few things for myself (and I'm not a big clothes shopper). The food here has been amazing, and last night we had a traditional english meal - a 3-bird roast (chicken, turkey and duck) and Yorkshire pudding, with potatoes, veges and gravy, finished off with apple crumble and ice-cream. Yum! I'm confident that when asked to remove my belt at US airport security my pants will not fall down!
So now it's farewell London and to my family here who have been amazingly hospitable and generous. We're ready to move on so bring it on America. I only hope that Congress can constructively work through their budget spending issues on "Obamacare" to avoid a shutdown of the US government which would ruin our stay in Washington. Many government services including entrance to museums such as the Smithsonian would be closed. That would be a disappointing start to America for sure.