Monday, August 23, 2010

Chapter 7: In which we go across the pond - Day 1: London Arrival

It's a fact that I write a mean travel blog. Unfortunately, all my other blogs are half-ass. So, we are 8 days back from our trip to England and Ireland and I am just now blogging about it, but at least I am so shut up.

Let me start by saying that sleeping on the plane is important. Get tranquilizers or something because cheap airline wine won't cut it. Chris and I arrived in London exhausted. Then we had to haul our luggage on the train. I am now 100% against trips where no one picks you up at the airport. Even in Mexico, Vacation Express sends a shuttle to haul you 1.5 hrs down to the Riviera. Well, not it London. You are expect to schlep (and I mean schlep) your goods and services across town. Of course, Chris and I wanted to maximize everyday in London so we landed at 7 am. Big mistake! The train we took into town (which even though it was called the Gatwick Express, we now know was not our best choice) took us to the busiest tube station in town at morning rush hour. Not long after we go there they announced that they were not going to let anyone else in the station until some people left because it was too crowded. Not only was it too crowded but there is clearly no ADA in London because there are 100 steps up or down to get to anything. This is good for your fitness unless you have four 50lb bags then it is good for heart attacks and hernias. So finally about 10 am we get to the hotel. We stayed at the Travelodge on City Road. It was insanely basic with the 2nd hardest bed I ever slept on but it was pretty cheap for the area. Since we were early the front desk gave us flack and said no rooms were available. When I got my bitch face on, she offered us a disabled room for a 10 pound early check in rate. We took it because our other choice was standing around 5 more hours with our 200 lbs of luggage.

We dumped our stuff and embarked on our first site seeing adventure. It lasted 10 minutes before Chris and I started screaming at each other, it turns out we hadn't eaten in 7 hours (and only had 2 hours sleep in about 12). We quickly realized this and ate at Wasabi in silence. Once the blood sugars were normalized, we were magically happy. We also discovered that with a CitiCard we could exchange currency at CitiBank which had better rates than the Bureau de Change.

We then headed off to St. Paul's for our first of many tours. - In case you don't know, it's a really big deal that the German's didn't get St. Paul's in WWII. In fact, WWII is a really big deal in all of London since it really was a center of action.

This is me, standing on the Millennium Bridge with St. Paul's Cathedral in the background.

We then had a bit of a walk before I literally ran of steam. I think I looked at Chris and said, "I think that was my last step for the day." Back to the hotel for a power nap. I slept so soundly that when my phone went off, my heart jumped out of my chest. We then headed over to The Barbican to visit Chris's sister and our nephew Matthew.

Matthew at dinner

I was pretty late night for 2 people who now had slept 4 hours of the last 34. I actually think it wasn't until the next day when I noticed how hard the beds were. 

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