Following a blowout victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday in London, England, the New England Patriots immediately boarded a plane and flew back to Boston, avoiding the airport chaos that ensued following the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
One group of Wilmington travelers, however, wasn't so lucky.
Steve Fox and his wife, Colleen, arrived in London on Thursday with Phil and Stephanie Pereira with the intentions of sightseeing, taking in the game on Sunday and leaving for New England on Monday morning.
Instead, Hurricane Sandy had other ideas. The group was stuck in London and found out after about two hours on hold with their airline that their flight had to be rebooked until Wednesday morning.
Unable to return home to their waiting children, who were staying with Colleen’s mother, the travelers had nothing to do but wait. Thanks to CNN coverage and an iPad, Steve said he was able to watch local news coverage of just how damaging the storm was.
Despite spotty cell and text service in London, Steve was able to receive word that a tree had falled and hit his home, leaving some damage behind.
“Needless to say, that was hard to hear being overseas,” said Steve. “It was surreal to see the storm from another country, and it was a helpless feeling.”
Steve said the group tried to keep busy in an effort to not worry as much. That, however, as Steve put it, was “easier said than done.”
During their trip, the Patriots season ticket holders saw tourist sights like the London Tower, London Bridge, London Eye and Buckingham Palace, where they were able to see a Welsh Guard that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski so affectionately referred to as “That little Nutcracker dude that’s guarding the house.”
Despite being stranded away from their family and home during Hurricane Sandy, Steve Fox said the group was able to make the best of the trip. Still, Wednesday couldn’t come fast enough for the Wilmington residents.
“We are looking forward to coming home. There’s plenty of clean up ahead but we will have great memories to last a lifetime,” said Steve, who joked that there is one part of the trip that may not end as happily. “I can’t wait to see my cell phone bill.”