Well, well, well – what do we have here? Jeff’s in the UK again? Yes my friends, I am! I only mentioned it briefly in a previous post and kept meaning to call it out again, but I’ve been too busy with my Travel Throwback posts. But still, probably not very shocking to learn I’m here again, eh? I’m flying solo on this trip, as Scott wasn’t able to make it, but we’re staying in touch every day (thank you, technology!) and time always flies on vacation, so I’ll be back home with him before I know it! Until then, I’ve got some exploring to do. 🙂
So! As I write this post, it’s Friday evening and I arrived yesterday morning. As Delta is the only airline that flies directly to London from Minneapolis, I chose them once again, but they recently changed their schedule as that direct flight always used to leave around 10 PM and it now leaves around 6 PM. That actually works out really nicely because the later flight meant a later arrival time (usually landed around 1 PM) as compared to this earlier flight, which lands just before 8 AM, so I then get (most) of a full day, giving me more time to enjoy London. Win! Of course, the flip side of that is that I had to stay awake for a whoooooooole day to get on the right schedule right away. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t sleep at all on the flight (didn’t even doze this time – ugh!), so it was more of a chore than normal to stay awake so long yesterday, but I managed to do it…barely. I was dozing a bit on a couple of train rides and then at home as I was finishing up my most recent Travel Throwback post (I had almost finished it before coming here, so I felt compelled to finish before starting the posts for this trip), so I finally threw in the towel at 8:45 PM. I know, I know – that seems so early! Turns out it was worth it as I stayed in bed for a whopping 11 hours! Anyone who knows me knows that I never sleep that long, but it was heavenly to do so this time (even if I did wake up a few times). So I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to go for my second day.
Hang on a minute! I think I should probably tell you about my first day before the second. Right then, let’s begin!
As first days go, this was a good one, with me visiting some of my favorite places. Having landed in the morning, the Customs line was longer than usual, though it ran with typical efficiency, so I didn’t have to wait long and my bag was waiting for me once I got through. I decided to go with my usual routine of taking the Underground from Heathrow into London, but the trip wasn’t as short as it was on my last trip, for two reasons. For one, I’m not staying in the same hotel I stayed in that time and also, I was stuck on the train at South Ealing for 40 minutes due to issues further up the line. D’oh! But I reached my humble abode eventually, so it all worked out. Where is that abode, you may ask? I’m back at my friend Sophie’s mom’s house! Although I loved the hotel I stayed in last time, I didn’t manage to find the same great price, so I decided to see if the house might be available and, much to my delight, it was! I love the local feeling I get when I stay here and, being in Lewisham, it’s still very convenient to central London, with two stations a short walk away. And if there was one thing I didn’t like about the hotel, it was the room size (great price + central London = a small room), so I’m already loving having the extra space to unpack, settle in, and have more than only a bed to sit on. So Sophie, thank you for arranging this again!
Since first days are always on the lighter side, I’ll let the photos below tell the story of my day. Suffice it to say that revisiting my London favorites is always fun, no matter how tired I may be!
Obligatory I’m-on-the-plane selfie before take-off.
Lewisham Station is my “home base” station. I actually like the 15- to 20-minute walk between here and the house as it helps me get my steps in and it has great connections around London.
Just a bright, sunny photo of the street where the house is.
I don’t usually pay attention to Villiers Street from this direction, so I made a point to for once.
Scott recently asked me what I like so much about Trafalgar Square and I don’t really have a good answer, but I love it! It’s just so quintessentially London to me.
I made sure to catch St. Martin-in-the-Fields in this photo.
A new addition on the Fourth Plinth! This one is called The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist and it’s a recreation of a 3,000-year-old monument in Nineveh, Iraq that was sadly destroyed by Isis (and it’s made from empty syrup cans).
I actually went into St. Martin-in-the-Fields in this time! Something I think I’ve done only once before. There was a concert happening there later in the day and I would love to have gone back for it if I hadn’t been so tired.
I love Leicester Square for the same reason I love Trafalgar Square – it just feels like London to me.
I was so tired that I wasn’t sure I would do a selfie, but I did anyway.
And that was pretty much it for day one! I also did some walking around and wandered through both Forbidden Planet and Fopp, but nothing called my name loudly enough for me to buy it (or if it did, I was too tired to hear it!). I was very grateful to hop on the train, get home, and relax with a little TV and blogging. Today, on the other hand, was much more full and saw me experience several new-to-me things. Click here to read all about it!