Friday, June 26, 2009

London Calling

As my cousin Kelsey says, my travel lately seems to random. . . and it is. I decided a couple of weeks ago to come across the pond for a vist - in fact, I was invited to a housewarming/bbq and thought "what the hell - you only live once". So after searching for a flight and being reunited with my VISA, I booked my trip over here (on Saturday) and now I am here. I will do my best to update this as my week goes on, as I am sure I will have a story or two to tell. . .

If you are a follower of my blog, you will know that this princess does not do long-haul economy - or at least not yet. After looking at flights, I decided that I couldn't make this my first economy trip across the pond, so I used a few of my points and managed to get a business class flight on Lufthansa via Frankfurt to London. Now not wanting to sound like a snob (but I am sure I will), I can honestly say that they still do not compare to Air Canada's Executive First (although I have been told that Lufthansa First Class is amazing). A few of it's shortcomings include the fact that their seat does not lay down completely flat, which makes sleeping a little uncomfortable. (I know - quit whining - it is still better than economy) If you are in the inside seat and your seat mate is sleeping, you have to crawl over them if you need to get up. The service isn't as attentive. It was good but not great. I asked an attendent for some snacks and she looked at me like I had four heads. On both BA and AC, they have snacks in the galley that you can go and help yourself to, Lufthansa didn't have this. I know it is minor, but when you haven't eaten in 6 hours and you are hungry, you kinda want something. In the end I got a glass of apple juice, a piece of chocolate and some type of snack mix. Overall, it was a good flight. I would not recommend a mid-day flight across the pond though - it just messes with your body. You leave at 1pm, which is really 8pm local time and you arrive at 6:35am - your body just isn't ready to sleep - unless you take 2 Gravol and drink 3 glasses of wine (which I did - but my sleep still wasn't great!). I am thinking the night flight that gets you in mid-day is the better way to go.

Looking back on a previous post, I sitll stand by my claim that Heathrow is a dump. This time I got to go to Terminal 1, which is in need a good renovation! Now I have to admit something - I brought Alberta Beef into England. Yes I did. Did I declare it. No. Why? Because no one asked. Although I did have a minor scare. When my bags came off the baggage claim, they both had a sticker on them indicating that they were HOT. I thought - "oh shit". I seriously considered taking those tags off of my bags but there were all of these customs people standing around the baggage claim and I thought that if I did that, they would for sure be on to me. So I picked up my bags and started to exit the baggage claim area, when suddenly a customs officer stopped me (my heart started to beat a little quicker - I thought that they knew that I had beef on me b/c of my stickers). Actually it turned out I was going out the wrong exit! That is also when I realized that my bags were tagged HOT because my connection time in Frankfurt was 1 hour. So now Tylor has some nice steaks sitting in his freezer!

Speaking of which, there are some things that never surprise me when it comes to Tylor - like getting all of the details correct! I did as I was told - took the Heathrow Express from the airport to Paddington Station (I so love public transit!!!) and then grabbed a cab from there to go to his house (one of those cool black taxis like SuperNanny is always in!). I gave my driver the address and told him where we were going (as per my email from Tylor - which had his address listed twice). Needless to say, Tylor was wrong. One would think that he would know that name of his street - but he doesn't! In his defense, he has only been here for a couple of weeks and his been gone for most it. So after driving around and stopping to ask someone where Dunsford Mews was and after consulting a map, we both figured "to hell with it" - let's try this Dunsworth Mews, as it seemed to fit the description of where I was to go. I told my driver, if the gate code works, then I guess this is the right address (and it was). Was I surprised that Tylor had given me the wrong name - no - not at all. In the end, it was the right place and he has a great place in a little mews off the road.

So what did I do on my first day. . .would love to say that I met the Queen but I didn't - that is tomorrow! LOL! Actually I had a nap (trying to manage the whole jet lag thing) and then decided to check out the neighborhood (Tylor lives in Nottingham Hill just off of Portobellow Rd). When I walked off of his street, I hit mecca - right there was a SHOE store! OMG! And they were having a SALE! Now you are probably thinking I went nuts - I did -but only in my head. I just looked, I didn't buy anything! I know - hard to believe! I wandered around the 'hood for most of the afternoon and came home around 6ish and just hung out (Tylor was in Barcelona). By about 9pm I decided to give into my fatigue and went to bed. Not 5 minutes after I did that did Tylor come home and wanted to go and eat. So I got up, got dressed again (see there are benefits of not washing your face at night :)) and we went out to some great little Italian restaurant a few blocks away. I was shocked at how busy it was so late a night and how late people eat. I keep reminding myself, that I am just the little Canadian bumpkin! :)

So today, once I get my butt in gear, the plan is to go and get a SIM card so I can use the phone, go for a run (I am trying to stay on my training plan) and go and wander about Central London. I think we have lunch and drinks planned - or at least that was the plan last night. Oh, and there is this store that I saw on our way to dinner, that had the best dress that I want to stop at! Yes, the shopping here is amazing!

1 comment:

JB said...

Say hi to Liz and the family from the Brown's. She'll recall my son as that colonial who had all her footmen rushing around looking for a cold can of Coke. True story I'll tell you some day. London is one of my favourite cities in the world right up there with Whitehorse and Inuvik. Lot's of great plays in the East End too. But that is a different life, now I'm the country bumpkin and you are the world traveler