Down to London Town (again)

 

On my own I wouldn’t be too keen to go to England in the middle of winter.  However, since my friends had a wedding come up, I could not resist hijacking their holiday so that I could too escape from the mundane trappings of the familiar.  Plus, the tickets were super cheap!

Our duration being only a week, the nerdy planner in me burst out, researching the best sites, afternoon teas, and winter events few and far between.  From my last European trip, I knew there was a certain art to scheduling tours and meals.  Overall, the week totaled $1K not including the plane ticket.

I hung on through the dreary last days of 2017 anticipating the trip, singing from this golden movie:


I had in mind some differences for this trip compared to last time.  First, I no longer had a constant paranoia of being mugged.  I used to be on high alert and was afraid of carrying any currency or ID, but this time I was carefree running around midnight on the streets in search of the next point of interest (or Pokemon).  Second, I was able to speak to some locals to dispel or confirm my perspectives on English life.  Yes, they are very aware of Americans, or shall I say obsessed with us, like the rest of the world.  I still couldn’t get a hang of their currency, but it seems they have trouble with it as well.  Lastly, I had to brave the bitter winter conditions.  I expected constant rain and some snow but apparently London doesn’t encounter much in terms of snow and I was only drenched a few times during my stay.  My group stayed near the Waterloo Station, which I highly recommend as it is pretty accessible to most of the sites one would have to see.  The station has an array of shops of restaurants, as did some of the major stations, which is a convenient and safe way to get food and other essentials.  My only regret is not having more time to enjoy the local Netflix selections, the options I saw overseas disappeared as soon as I returned home, much to my chagrin.  That, and not being able to find a sim card.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and fell in love with London.  I can totally see myself living there, with the juxtaposition of old and modern, tasting authentic chocolate and gluten free delights, basking in the nearness of Ed Sheeran.  If it’s meant to be, here’s hoping it will.

Time stamps:
– Harry ❤ Meghan
– Trump’s new book
– Layover during Bomb Cyclone
– Gas $5.79 in London
– Exchange rate =  x1.34
– Big Ben undergoing plastic surgery 😦

 

Hacks/Notes:
1) book everything well in advance
2) spend all your money on the last day
3) get preloaded Oyster card for Underground transportation (we ran around $70 for the week)
4) Harrod’s chocolates are easy, elegant, and unique souvenirs
5) ear plugs and extra coats are musts for the plane ride
6) always arrive early to famous sites
7) for gas pains, Gas X = Windeze

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