We are officially abroad! It feels funny to be back here and to be blogging about it on a page I normally try to dedicate to my book series, The Geneva Project, rather than my fun pet-cation adventures that I usually blog about on my Pet Friendly Florida site. But since I’m not longer in Florida and my book is what ultimately made me decide to travel back to London, this seems like the right place to write about it.
So I’m not really sure where to start because I’m not positive if this is the second half of day 1 or if this is officially day 2 already. I have a sneaking suspicion I lost a day even though I haven’t managed to sleep yet. Our flight left Orlando at 7pm Monday night and we arrived in London Gatwick at 7:30 am UK time.
We flew Virgin Atlantic and even though the British crew of the double decker plane were exceptionally accommodating, there’s not much you can do to make an 8 hour flight that enjoyable. Even though my butt was numb and leg space was cramped, I still felt spoiled. We had personal TV sets and unlimited beverages, including wine. They even had a vegan meal for me, along with snacks and breakfast. Every seat had a nice blanket and pillow awaiting the passengers, along with a comfort kit with sleep masks, socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, ear plugs and pen. They really thought of everything.
I’m not sure whether being 3 years older has made the difference or if it’s the fact that the first time I flew to London I took a heavy dose of Nyquil and woke up right as we landed, but this time I wasn’t as raring to hit the ground running. Perhaps it was the 45 minute commuter train we took from the airport to St. Pancras Station that did me in. Or maybe the additional cab ride from there to our hotel in Islington. Either way, I was beat! Even a hot shower did little to revive me.
Maybe I should mention that I had my own Chris Farley moment on the plane. I’d like to think there’s something to blame for wiping me out! Philip and I watched Rush on the flight and I don’t know if it was the gory hospital scene or a combination of the wine and stale warm pressurized cabin air, but I had to make a beeline to the bathroom mid-flight. I’m no stranger to reversal of fortune, being lactose intolerant, but losing my cookies in an airplane bathroom was a new one! And hopefully something I’ll not have to repeat ever again.
Perhaps, I need to stop referencing my favorite stupid comedies and go for more of a Midnight in Paris vibe? No matter, we arrived unscathed, with all our luggage and our hotel room was ready for us. What more can I ask for really?
Fresh faced once again we set off to find lunch and caffeine. We walked to Bill’s Café 2 blocks from our hotel and it was perfect. Exactly the quaint little European Café atmosphere we were craving. We split a tapas platter, made a game plan and got our coffee’s to-go. Next stop, sight seeing, Double-decker bus style.
Once we finally found the bus stop we sat up top and had the whole bus to ourselves. Yes we are crazy. I don’t think the high even cracked 40 today and everything is listed in Celsius and me with no iphone service to translate! Regardless, we had a great time taking in the sites and listening the history as we buzzed by the bustling city. Phil commented on how fast paced everything seems here. He said, “Everyone walks so fast!” To which I responded, “Well that’s because it’s freezing and they’re trying to get from one indoor venue to the next as fast as possible!” I know that was my goal most of the day!
Even though we scurried along at the pace of Londoners, amongst the sea of their matching black puffy winter jackets, we still found our niche. We paused for photos, good food, and to hold hands. Glad that we have this opportunity to come back to a place we love with the ones we love.
A highlight for me today was when we found platform 9¾ at Kings Cross Station. I was so excited to take a photo where Harry Potter’s adventure began. It was a fitting beginning for our London Book Award trip. Maybe someday fans will tour sites where The Geneva Project began. Don’t worry, I promise to pick warm and tropical destinations!
Lunch at Bill’s Cafe
Kings Cross Station