For the first time in the past three months, I’ve visited a new city that I think I like better than Madrid. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Madrid. There’s so much history, so many museums, great weather, great people, and a great lifestyle. What I mean is that I could actually picture myself living in London for an extended period of time. It reminds me of New York City in some way, while it still has a rich European history.
Though I know it’s not that interesting to read the play by play of my life, you have to read this one because I assure you will be falling out of your desk chair laughing! Thursday night we caught the 5:30pm EasyJet flight from Madrid Barajas to London Gatwick. I had previously purchased EasyBus tickets from Gatwick to Brompton Road, Central London for the bus that left at 7:25pm. I knew we would be cutting it close, but we wanted to make it to Esme’s grandfather’s house for Thanksgiving dinner as soon as possible.
Here’s the great part: EasyJet told us we had to check Dan’s suitcase when we got on the plane because it was full, but we knew we wouldn’t make it if we had to go to Baggage Claim, so Dan ripped the ticket off as soon as we got past the gate, hahaha. Then, we walked off the plane at 6:55pm. From there, Dan and I ran through the terminal and down the stairs, not knowing how far nor to exactly where we were running. We speed walked down the moving sidewalks and get to Customs. We scribbled our landing cards with information about ourselves, where we’re staying, etc. and got into the Border Patrol line in just a few minutes. At this point, the bus was leaving in 12 minutes. There were about 10 people ahead of us and ONE person at the non-EU/EEA Customs counter. Yay for American passports… Anyway, with less than 10 minutes remaining, all of a sudden five more employees showed up, and the line went by in an instant. After explaining to the kind man that when I wrote “4” under length of my trip, I really meant 4 days, Dan and I ran up the stairs, around the corner, out the main entrance, and down to the bottom floor of the parking garage to get on the EasyBus with one minute to spare. After a round of high fives (with just ourselves), a British music selection by Dan, and a few other confusing mishaps regarding buses, pounds, and maps, we finally made it to Eric’s to eat the remains of the Thanksgiving feast and chat with everyone over desserts.
I know that was super long, but I hope it had you laughing at the ridiculousness of my life, though it all ended well. The rest of our trip was much more relaxed. We got day bus passes for Friday and Saturday which let us see the city from a great height (double decker buses!) and take in all the sites rather quickly. I would definitely suggest doing this if you’d like to see London in just a few days, as we did. Even though we had the wonderful Miss Esme Blegvad as our tour guide, I’m sure you could get by with a bus map and a tourist map of the city just fine.
Friday, we walked around and saw Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, and London’s Chinatown after taking a bus to that side of the city. We also had sandwiches and tea on the steps in Trafalgar Square, where the Royal Portrait Gallery is, and explored the Food Hall, Pet Kingdom, Tea Room, Prosecco Bar, and a stairwell that cost 10,000 pounds at Harrod’s, the greatest department store in the world… that’s just my personal opinion.
Saturday, Dan and I headed over to Notting Hill for a traditional English breakfast at Mike’s Cafe and to check out the Portobello Road vintage markets and shops. Even though it was so busy, we had a great time and I even got to try on a 120 pound (as in the money, not weight…) fox fur hat, which was awesome!! Esme came to meet us then and we headed over to the Top Shop flagship store on Oxford Street, which was INSANE. Normally I am so overwhelmed by the flagships stores, like on Broadway in New York, but I actually managed to purchase a shirt and a super cute dress that I can’t wait to wear. Then, we watched some footy (read: English soccer) in a great pub called The King’s Arms, picked up two kilos of various Cadbury chocolate bars, Twining’s Tea, and true fish & chips and headed home to Esme’s house.
This is probably going to be a busy school week, so if you don’t hear from me, please don’t get worried. I’ll be working away, but relaxing by having great English tea and Cadbury chocolates while watching all of my favorite Christmas movies.
Pasate la semana bien, amores:)