Friday June 10th, Saturday June 11th and Sunday June 12th
Day One (which turned into day two after a 10 hour flight)
Los Angeles LAX to LHR London Heathrow
So these are the notes I typed out each night or the next morning. I was going to make changes but then I thought I should leave them as I wrote them and only add things in that I forget or didn't have the information on when I wrote these notes.
We were picked up by a limo at our house to take us to LAX airport. They picked Phil up first and then came and got us. (company uses this service) We had plenty of time when we got to the airport. We were actually very early because Phil had a flight an hour before ours. We all sat down and had a nice meal before our flights. Something I wasn't told in advance, because Mark knew how I would react, and he was right, that we both had center seats and not together! Well it turned out okay, they were able to get us an isle and center together. Sometimes I wonder why it even matters. Mark puts in his headphones and falls asleep, getting angry if I try to talk so I may as well sit alone!
Flight was very good and very long. I could not fall asleep. I got up a lot and walked around. I do of course love the little individual screens with the movies. So arriving in London I was obviously pretty exhausted. Never did the passport things before so I was going a little slower then Mark who is a frequent flyer and has little patience with me. I am use to being dropped off at our Ontario, CA airport, walking through the door and basically dropping off the luggage, landing in Tampa, getting my bag and walking right out the door to my dad who is waiting for me.
Well the walk from the plane to luggage was pretty long and the walk with the luggage was forever in my opinion. Sorry, I am a bit overweight and have COPD. (we learned quickly the next time to get one of those carts!) Now even if I was a perfect weight this would still be very challenging for me! Mark was kinda sort of, in not the nicest way saying to me, you should have known that you couldn't have handled this and stayed home. Yep, that made me feel awesome, NOT! I just figured we were both a little testy and let it go.
Needless to say we are in a new country, don't really know our way around and are a little grumpy from the plane. We were told by Phil, a UK born man who now works in CA with Mark, that he suggests the Express Train to Paddington Station and then maybe a taxi. That's what we did and it turned out okay. Let's just say I was excited, amazed and extremely overwhelmed and wondered how I was going to get around being totally lost in a big city. But I told myself to just push myself. See the hardest thing at that point was the fact that on Tuesday I have to check out of the hotel near Regents Park and get to the airport hotel because Mark will be flying in late that night and the next morning we head to Worcester. I wasn't sure I could do it alone. I didn't over pack but luggage can be heavy for me. So here I am tonight in the hotel not sleeping again.
Pushing myself to the limit, keeping up with Mark pays havoc on my lungs. We decided to go out from the hotel for a walk and grab some dinner. Well with swollen ankles and being up for well over 24 hours it wasn't that easy for me. We walked over to Primrose Park but when I saw it was hilly I just sat for awhile and Mark continued up the hill to look over at Regents park. We ended up at a cute little place called The Primrose and had a meal. Mark had a mushroom soup the was super thick and delicious, then he had olive mashed potatoes with fish. I had a delicious pizza and a lemon crepe for dessert. Then we came back to the hotel and had a glass of wine in the bar area. I took a quick shower and it was late enough that we could fall asleep for the next day. I did that for about 1 hour and here I am typing, praying to God to help me to feel well tomorrow.
Passed a church on our walk and of course the cute mailbox. I am in love with the chimneys. As Mark walked to see the top of the hill I took my first picture of the skies of London. I know that some of you reading this remember the cloth cords from years past. I was surprised to see one on the iron. We were at a Marriott. Didn't get a picture of Mark's dinner or my dessert. I do that often, I get so excited to eat!I have lungs that are burning, I'm all aching with chills. So I turned the air warmer, put on some socks and snuggled up in bed after taking some medication. Well then after about an hour I was all hot! I feel pretty good right now as I type this. I think it's 1:30am and I need to sleep. We are doing a Bus Tour tomorrow with Phil and a female friend of his named Ali. Okay I'm going to head to dreamland now.......that's the plan! I'm thinking that maybe I just need a good poop!
Day three: Sunday
So I never really got any sleep again. About 3 hours and boy did we have a full day today. Unfortunately it was windy, rainy and cold but we did The Original Bus Tour with Phil and Ali. It was awesome to see all the wonderful landmarks of London. Did a short stop at an art museum.
Yes that first picture is from the window of the tour bus. We obviously couldn't sit on top. The weather did clear a little bit for some pictures. That was The National Gallery we went to but we mainly went in to see the Sunflowers by Van Gogh. I always look when I go into a museum for the signs about the use of a camera. I didn't see any so I took the picture and then I got my hand slapped by a museum person :) The living wall is something that you see around London in different areas. This was outside of the museum. That ship in a bottle was outside the museum too. The giant horse head was over near the Marble Arch in London and it's awesome. As I went around this area a few times on the bus and with a taxi driver I did see a statue of a giant hand holding a VW. I was never able to get a picture of it.
Being such a miserable day, we were cold and wet, we didn't get off the bus very often. Hope to do the tour again so I can get off and see a few other things up close and personal like I saw Buckingham Palace. It was surreal, I loved it. The day we were there was the day after the queens birthday celebration. It would have been fun to see that. Also since we left the palace is now open for tours since she is on vacation. Also Kate's wedding dress is now on display to. I did have some fun shopping in the gift shop.We went to a pub, had some beers and I had my very first London fish & chips. I also fell in love with that vinegar and salt stuff you sprinkle on it. Yummy. You can see a picture of what is called London Eye which I would have loved to have gone on , The Jelly Baby statue, the Marble Arch at Hyde Park and St. Paul's Cathedral where Princess Diana was married. I never did have a chance to go back there. So now I have something to see the next time!!
We started out with breakfast at the hotel, had that afternoon snack and ended with a great dinner at a small quaint place where I had salmon. The hotel gave us a map with several places listed on the back. We grabbed a taxi and went to the first place we decided on and it was closed. We grabbed another taxi and went to the next place which was also closed.
Third times a charm. We went to the next place called La Collina which was so charming. We sat right by a fireplace in what you would think was the living room of a home years ago. Only had about six tables and I had the feeling that they hadn't been open long. Their description said "Italian restaurant that offers a brilliant menu, charming service, a garden and a kitchen you can watch in action from the table downstairs." We never went downstairs but there was a spiral staircase going down where they brought the food up from. Even though it was a cold/rainy day it was also a wonderful day.
Okay, only 18 more days to go!