It's been a while since my last entry about my Eurosprint earlier this year. I've been a bit of a slacker...shame, shame.
On June 1st we flew to London. We arrived at around 9am and immediately had to go through customs. Everyone was just whizzing through, until it was my turn. The customs guy asked me a ton of questions, I suppose I looked suspicious, with my dark hair and straight teeth. Nothing too out of the ordinary...How long are you here? Why are you here? Where are you coming from? Can you show me your return tickets (um, yeah, since you can't even print out your airline tickets from the Internet until a day before your flight. He worked at the airport, I thought he should know that. Well, I did have my itinerary - actually, I probably had several copies :-) and he was finally satisfied)? When we finally made it through, Dave told me that he was freaking out a little bit watching the customs guy "give me the business." Especially, when I turned around and pointed out (to the customs guy) that I was travelling with him and his itinerary was included on the paperwork that I just gave him. Dave didn't hear what we were saying, just saw me pointing. We're off to a smashing start in the UK!
When we arrived at our hotel, we were pleasantly surprised. It was located on a nice, quaint, quiet street very close to the tube, market, laundry mat, pubs and Internet cafe's. We were in heaven, if heaven had really small rooms. The desk clerk even let us check in, although we were a few hours early! I was prepared to, yet dreading having to walk around with my backpack all day! As soon as we got to our room, we quickly devised a plan. I'd go to the grocery store and laundry mat while Dave found a place to change money. Mission accomplished, not terribly quickly, but quite efficiently. It was so nice to have clean clothes without having to hand wash and have them "take over the room" as they dried.
Once our mission was over, we grabbed a quick bite at a cool little corner pub and we set off to explore London! It was a beautiful sunny day. People told me how incredible the London Eye was, especially on a clear day, so off we went! The view was pretty cool. However, with the exception of Big Ben, we had no clue where any of the big landmarks were. It would have been nice to have had some sort of ledge around the radius of the bubble showing the landmarks, so that you knew what you were viewing while on the 30 minute bubble-type Ferris Wheel.
After the London Eye, we met up with my friend Ben at the Glasshouse in Soho. On the way, we stopped off at Trafalgar Square! All I could think about was, "feed the birds..." from Mary Poppins. The battle of Trafalgar took place there. A huge memoriam was at the edge, looking as though it was being guarded by two enormous lions. People were constantly climbing on the lions for photo opts. Then we stopped off at Leicester Square; what energy the place had. There were shops and theaters galore! Glasshouse was just what the doctor ordered. The atmosphere was very Old London Pub. We had delicious pints and stimulating conversation.
On our way home, we stopped for Chinese "take away" 'cuz that's what they do in England and when in England...we ate it like it was the best gourmet food we had ever eaten. After that, my eyes closed before they hit the pillow!