Mind the Gap - London Part 1

As the Cheery, British, Underground Operator would ask you: Please Mind the Gap...between the last time I blogged and now! I kind of have a good excuse:

We've been in EUROPE! Yes, touring around Europe for 14 days with the hubs. It was UHHHmazing to say the least. I have always wanted to backpack through Europe. So when I got my job last year, we started saving.

And perhaps this is a glimpse into my weirdness, but I HATED planning this trip. I told Bryan that I had way more fun planning our wedding than planning this vacay. I think the reason was that there were so many unknowns. And, I mean, Europe is HUGE. It was certainly easier once we picked the countries to go to. But then it became: where do we stay, what do we see, how do we get tickets, how do we get from one country to the next, what do we pack, what do we pack it in...? At one point in the planning, we were getting up at like 5:00 in the morning to make international calls because of the time difference.

In the end, all of my worries were a lot of nothings. We were sufficiently ready to go and only had two minor "uh-oh's" once we were over there. 

So without further ado... I'm going to blog our trip by city. We went to 6 cities: London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Basel (Switzerland), and Prague (Czech Republic).

Bryan and I arrived in London on Thursday at noon after leaving Wichita on Wednesday at six in the evening. The flights over were smooth and uneventful. 
In London, we were staying with some friends of friends: Geoff and Sylvia. So after we arrived, we made the 25 minute journey to their house in the London Suburb called Bexleyheath. Little did we know, getting there would actually take about an hour. There wasn't really any reason for this except that we were taking the Tube (there version of the Subway) and didn't know how to navigate the system yet. So after a few unnecessary transfers, we finally made it!

Looking jet-lagged, on the way to Bexleyheath.

The gigantic escalators from the underground to outside...we were at least halfway up at this point.
Sylvia and Geoff picked us up from the station. We got settled in at their home and got to know them a little better. That evening, we had tickets to see Les Miserables. If you are thinking, "Wow, they were dumb for getting tickets to a play the day they arrived from traveling for umpteen hours," you are smarter than we were! We were very tired and almost decided to not go, but made ourselves anyway. 

Ahh! Driving on the wrong side!
Our Bexleyheath Home
Waiting at the bus station...looking a little sleepy.

This is literally and terrifyingly how close the oncoming train is to your train. Takes your breath away.
ChinaTown and the awesome London Taxis.

The musical was fantastic. Truly. But...we left at intermission because we were totally falling asleep! 

Day 2 started a lot later than we intended. We wanted to let ourselves sleep in a bit, but didn't get up until 11:30. After eating a fabulous breakfast prepared by Geoff & Sylvia, we set out for the city. Unfortunately, a lot of our afternoon was spent making train reservations for the rest our stay in Europe. It would have gone a lot faster but we ran into our first hiccup. Our debit card was declined! Even after I called Capital Federal and told them to put a travel note on our account. Frustrated was an understatement. We were finally able to contact my mom who contacted the bank and got the decline lifted. 

Once the reservations were made, we were starving! Being in London, we of course decided to get Fish and Chips! (I do have to say that eating was one of my top priorities on this trip. Okay, eating is one of my top priorities in life...I cannot lie.)  

We went to "The Mermaid Tail" to eat. Great pick! Fish, chips, and mushy peas were delish. After dinner, I wanted ice cream. We spotted a Haagen Dazs and headed for it. When we got there, we realized it was a full-blown restaurant. They seated us and we had a menu and everything...for ice cream! I'm pretty sure we're missing out over here because it was YUM city. We got four shot glasses of dessert. 

And since we were in London the longest, I'm breaking this up into two posts. 
London Part II coming soon!


Carol Dunham said...

Oh my goodness I am so glad that you are blogging your trip. Was so excited to hear that you went and checked FB regularly for any updates. I was very fortunate to have lived abroad for a year and can really sympothise with you on the whole jet lag challenge. So glad you all got to go on this trip and look forward to hearing more.

Aunt Carol

PS. When I got spent a week in England and a day in London Fish and Chips it was from a street vendor and they were wrapped in a newspaper!

audrey said...

omg. Love this post! I'm suuuper jealous! Can't wait to read more posts about your trip.

Gene said...

I went to London in '96 and saw Les Mis the first night too. Or rather I should say I found my seat and slept through Les Mis.