Friday, June 1, 2012

London!


Ben & Winston
London…was a blurry trial run.  It is crazy to be so close to such a destination that it doesn’t really feel like you are traveling.  We drove the hour to Epping and hopped on the tube (greatest invention, layout and most efficient public transportation I have ever seen, I'm in love) and rode the remaining half hour or so into Victoria Station.  We wound our way out of the thousands of people coming and going through the station to hunt for our hostel.  We were right near Buckingham Palace, and I knew our hostel was in the other direction from the palace so we stopped and asked a doorman in the raddest top hat and green tails for directions.  We both were dressed too warm for the beautiful sunny day that was upon us, and were getting hungry for lunch.  We kept marching around, referring to our directions, to various maps, etc.  When we finally found it, we were both ready for some pub food and a cold beer.  Alas, the girl at the front desk of the hostel told us that we couldn’t check in without passports, even though our confirmation stated ANY form of government issued ID would be sufficient for check-in.  Being that we both have 4 other forms of ID, including British drivers licenses, we thought we would be fine.  Not so much.  RAGE.  On top of that, they decided to still charge us for the night even though they wouldn’t allow us to check in.  MORE RAGE.  Off to the dispute department I go.  Eff YOU White Ferry Hostel. 
We decided to go find some food and beer and try to hunt for sleeping quarters for the evening.  After some fish and chips and Kronenberg we were feeling much better and called the husband’s favorite hostel to see if there were any rooms open for the night. There were! Hooray! But husband failed to give his name and rode on the statement that the hostel guy gave to ‘come on over’…so by the time we got there the room was gone and I got slapped in an all girls dorm and he in an all dudes.  EPIC RAGING.  I slept in the dudes’ anyway.  Luckily a couple other chicks thought like me and the rest of the occupants happened to be out taking various mind-altering substances until 5 am so they didn’t notice the extra bodies as they stumbled around mumbling various Cheshire-cat-like statements and touching each other. 
We saw Wicked while we were there, which was amazing…especially from 4th row seats!  I’m totally on the ‘bad’ witch team now. 
The next day we did some touristy things, Buckingham Palace, St. James Park, Hyde Park, Big Ben, London Bridge, etc.  See pictures here!  There was also a marathon going on that day, which added to the zillions of people marching around.  They are building and prepping for the Olympics as well of course, which is cool to see.  Even with that many people everywhere, the city still emanates chillness and a relaxed atmosphere.  The architecture is beautiful, and there are still a ton of places that I want to go in the city that can’t possibly be crammed into one weekend.  So once the Olympics  are over, there will be many more weekend trips to London to explore.  Its really nice to know its only a short drive and tube ride away… what a privilege :)
On the homefront, all of our stuff gets here next Friday! Cannot WAIT! We are sleeping under a sheet and cooking in the most wretched pans…lol.  Next weekend will be unpacking joyousness! The job is going great, I work with a fabulous group of people and love what I am doing.  Driving on the other side of the road is fine, the roads here are horrifying however.  A huge part of our orientation was about how many airmen have been killed in the surrounding area in car/motorcycle accidents.  It is a ridiculous amount. We tragically lost another one on Monday, my heart goes out to his friends and family :( I am not looking forward to the roads in winter here. 
This weekend, the exploration of farm shops continues!
With love and gratitude,