A fortnight ago, unknown to many people except for the closest of kith and kin, Mel and Jay flew into town for a one-week holiday. It has been awhile since we've seen Jay; at the same time, quite thrilled to finally meet Mel.
They arrived one gloomy and wet Thursday afternoon (15th May) in an Emirates plane from their base in Kuwait via Dubai. Although they had a few hours stopover in Dubai, Jay was not able to have a quick reunion with his brother Jul since the latter was already at work and could not make it to the airport on time.
After two delays I finally met the pair at the arrival area of London Heathrow Airport's Terminal 3 and it was nearly 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Quick hellos and how are yous were exchanged before we proceeded to London Underground to catch a tube train to King's Cross, wherein we caught another train to Peterborough. It was about half past nine in the evening when we reached my home. The kids were already asleep but Aai was still awake. Late hot supper was served.
I toured Jay and Mel in London the following day. Before that, they accompanied me and Cean (eldest son) to school and then we took a late morning train to London. Our main itinerary for the day was the Tower of London, a World Heritage Site and very popular to tourists. We then proceeded to see Tower Bridge exhibition and London City Hall. I then brought them to Westminster area for a quick look at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and London Eye.
Now that they know their way around London they went back there again on Saturday. Their itinerary was Buckingham Palace to watch the 'changing of guards' ceremony. After taking lunch in St James Park they went back to Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament and London Eye. Alas, it was another wet day so they weren't able to get a great view of London from the Eye.
And on the Sabbath they rested. We treated them to lunch after attending Mass in a church near the city centre. As visitors to Peterborough, it is customary for Jay and Mel to visit Peterborough Cathedral. We ended up the day window shopping at the city's shopping centre, Queensgate.
On Monday, we took them to Burghley House, the largest and grandest house of the first Elizabethan age, which is located in nearby Stamford, itself a famous old market town. Before we went inside the house for a guided tour we visited the new attraction, Garden of Surprises. The boys really had a wonderful time. Inside the house was a different matter. You are immediately transported to olden times, seeing all those kitchen utensils and stoves, hundred of paintings, royal beds, antique furnitures and more. You have to be in the house in order to appreciate it.
The next day, they are back in London and this time they went to Kew Gardens, St Paul's Cathedral and the National Gallery. On Wednesday, on their last tour in the famed city, they went to Madam Tussauds, the famous wax museum, where they rubbed elbows with world famous celebrities in all their waxed glory.
On Thursday, they decided to rest and started packing their things for a trip back home to the Philippines. The kids bonded with their uncle Jay and auntie Mel. When we told Cean that they were leaving the following early morning, he started crying and kept on telling his Mum to stop them from leaving. He was upset. And John Paul? Not bothered at all.
They left for London Heathrow in the early hours of Friday morning. They were obviously very happy during their one week stay with us and even talked about coming back. We told them they can come anytime. And here's an interesting fact, Jay and Mel have been to more London tourist attractions that I have been to and I have been living in this country for six years.
Today is the 3nth birthday of Jay and his twin brother JT Alan. I wish them a healthy and prosperous life ahead of them! You did not think that our recent visitors were Mel Tiangco and Jay Sonza, the famous hosts of the now defunct talk show, Mel and Jay (later Partners with Mel and Jay), did you? No, they were my younger brother Jay and his wife Mel(rose), modern day Filipino heroes (OFWs) based in Kuwait.