Let me begin by emphatically saying that nothing of our traveling experience has induced within me any spark of loving passion for flying. None. Zip. Babies crying, turbulence, can’t stretch your legs, toilets that sound as though they’ll suck you out any minute…. I miss my family. I miss my dogs. I miss my friends. I miss my comfortable, small life. I thought I was adventurous. Maybe I’m not.
In all reality, it wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d been able to sleep at all. As it is, I’ve been mostly awake since 5:45 a.m., September 23. It’s now 7:46 p.m.,September 24, London time. Given that we’ve passed through several times zones, I’m writing this at quarter to noon Idaho time. That’s…31 hours I’ve been awake? I think?
Anyway, none of that really matters.We haven’thad a chance to do anything really fun yet. Passing through Heathrow customs took a little over an hour, and then it took another hour and a half to get to our hotel. I saw a woman get slammed in the tube doors as she flew through them atthelast minute; her purse got stuck and a gentleman had to pry open the doors for her. Chris dropped his tube pass (which we purchased before we left) and a momentary panic ensued as we thought it was lost for good.
Three trains, at least a dozen flights of stairs and a near hysterical breakdown later, we were here. It started to feel okay. I just wanted a place to drop my junk and collapse. (Unfortunately, my internal clock is still on Idaho time, so, no matter how tired I am, my body still thinks it’s lunchtime!) Thankfully, we have a terrific concierge staff, and they got us quickly settled in. Even sent someone up when the phone didn’t seemto be working and I was super upset because I wanted to call my mother. It was as simple as plugging in the cord.
Both Chris and I were desperate to take showers and wash away the dirt and stress of the day. Ah, but we had no soap, no shampoo! The concierge pointed us toward a Boots pharmacy, just around the corner. I am in love. Between this place and the Tesco Metro up the street, we are set. We can get just about everything we need. Top that off with the gigantic Whiteley’s shopping center one street over, and it’s all pretty good.
Finally clean, settled and having connected with our respective parents, we went down to dinner. How strange, to have dinner when you think it’s really 10 a.m. Though we didn’t know it, we ate at happy hour, and thus ended up with a 20 percent discount on our food. A little over 10 pounds. Can’t beat that for good lasagna and tomato soup. It is true, however, that British food is bland. It was good, but I wanted to call for a salt-shaker or something.
What’s been most interesting about the area that we’re in is that we haven’t heard a whole lot of British accents. We’re in the Bayswater area, specifically Iverness Terrace in the City of Westminster. Lots and lots of Middle Eastern people live here, and we’ve heard several German accents. (Made me think of you, Faith!) It’s a little noisy, as the street above us is a main thoroughfare, but hopefully we’ll just be so zonked and confused that we’ll sleep with no problems.
That’s about it for now. We’ve gotten a few pictures, but today is just a day of stress. I’m thinking that tomorrow the real fun will start.
For all posts in this series, go here.