Thursday, April 15, 2010

London - Part 1 of 6

As always, Henni, Lars and I had a wonderful trip to London! And as always, I spent far too much money there ;)

Like my account of our trip to NYC I'm going to split this up into several posts, as I think it'd get too long otherwise. So without further ado - part one!

Part 1: Wednesday - The one with the Arrival, A Case of Mistaken Address and A Case of Mistaken Dessert!
Lars, Henni and I met up at the airport at around 10am. The flight wasn't until noon, but we're all in the camp of 'better safe than sorry'. Besides, it gave us time to grab a quick snack/lunch before boarding the plane. When we arrived to London Heathrow, we quickly found our way to the baggage arrival, and it didn't take long before it started running... only to stop suddenly with a very violent jolt. Cue confusion and a bit of worry, especially when we heard that the belt had broken and the baggage would be delayed until it had been fixed, but fortunately it took no more than 15 minutes, and after that ours were some of the first suitcases out.

As per tradition, we'd booked rooms at a small hotel right by Kings Cross station. Nice and central while not too central. We got to our hotel without problems and here got our first, and thankfully only serious, disappointment of the trip - the hotel was almost fully booked, so we couldn't get two rooms next to each other. Instead Henni was on the third floor and Lars and I on the first. Granted, not a big deal, but still somewhat annoying.

Anyway, we dropped off our luggage and headed out. Lars wanted to go to the souvenir shop at the Transport Museum by Covent Garden, and I'd been told about a Christian book store I wanted to visit that was - according to Lars - close by, so we took the train to Convent Garden together and would split up afterwards... only to discover that Lars was mistaken!!! The address for the Christian bookstore actually put it quite a bit of a walk away from Covent Garden and not right next to it as he'd thought. He'd been so sure that he hadn't checked a map, and he's so often right, that I hadn't considered double-checking either. Ooh, we teased him mercilessly about that! ;)

It wasn't too long a walk though, so Henni and I set out confidently, and found the reason for Lars' mistake when we about half way passed Stable Inn. Henni had mentioned wanting to see that, but as it seemed rather out of the way compared to everything else we wanted to do, we'd put it on the "maybe" list. We both agree that it must have been Lars subconscience that caused him to make that mistake, so we'd get to see it anyway ;)

After having browsed in the bookstore for awhile we did take the tube back to town though ;) No reason to ruin my legs on the very first day! I'd brought my crutch but had actually managed to forget it at the hotel - trust me, it was the only time I made THAT mistake! We took the tube to Tottenham Court Road as we wanted to look around Foyles for a bit. I got thoroughly confused walking out of the station though, as they're renovating so my usual points of reference were all gone! Lars laughed at me when I told him this, until he walked past it the following day and had the exact same reaction! Ha! :) We got our bearings, and made our way down to Foyles where I immediately found 4 books I wanted to buy. However, Foyles is known for being more expensive than Borders or Waterstones, so I just made a note of them and didn't buy anything at all :-D

From Foyles we walked further south through Soho to Leicester Square (and got very confused by a sign towards LS pointing in the opposite direction from what we knew to be right! Good thing we're so familiar with London by now :) ) and on towards HMV and Trocadero where we browsed a bit (still not buying anything other than gifts for others - go us ;) ) until it was time for us to meet up with Lars for dinner. It's pretty much become tradition that we eat at TGIFridays on the first evening, because we know where it is and that it's good food, but I'm thinking that may start to change... We've been in London often enough by now to find other and better places, and we weren't too impressed by the speed of their service. The food's still good though :) Especially their Dessert Minis... even if the waitress did get both of mine wrong! ;) I'd ordered mint chocolate and raspberry, she brought me chocolate and blueberry cheesecake. I sent the chocolate back right away (thinking it was an easy thing to mis-hear), but was about half way through the other before I discovered it was wrong! Ah well, it was still yummy, and I had been wavering between that and the raspberry, so we joked that the waitress had just made up my mind for me.

Because of the speed (or lack of same) of the service, it was rather late at this point, so we took the train back to the hotel, and hung out in our room for a bit playing games and drinking tea. Very cozy :)

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