We just had the wonderful and unforgettable experience of visiting England and France for two weeks. What made it even more enjoyable was that we were able to travel with friends and stay with friends in both England and France. The entire trip was like a dream really - it was almost surreal!
It is probably going to take me a while to catch up on posting but I thought would take advantage of jet lag waking me up at 5:30 am to get started.
We arrived at Heathrow Airport - (7:00 am local time) to a two hour wait to go through immigration and customs. But we didn't mind too much because we were so excited to finally be in England!! We also were amazed and delighted to see the diverse ethnicities of the people around us. There were only a handful of Americans in a huge crowd of people from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Very interesting!
Once through the line we made the unfortunate realization that the one and only thing we forgot to do before leaving the US was to call and activate international coverage on our cell phone. Uh oh. As we had been awake for 24 hours (nothing you could really call "sleeping" happened on our several hour flight) - I took a quick cat nap in the airport while Wes fussed over the phone.
On the train ride into the city we met a young exotic couple just returning from 2 weeks in the Galapagos Islands and 6 weeks in Ecuador. He was from England and she was from Italy. It was obvious that traveling the world and blending in with the locals was their "thing" and I tried to imagine such a life. He carried with him a large disc-shaped metal drum. He told us there were only a handful of these drums in the world. Wild!
Finally we hit the streets of London and knew the first order of business was to find wifi so we could connect with the outside world and most importantly, our friends living in England (it is amazing how paralyzed we felt without a cell phone!). We wandered around in circles a few times considering internet cafes and unsuccessfully attempting to use a pay phone - all the while admiring this beautiful city (we were near Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery). I could still not quite believe that I was actually there!
We finally settled on McDonalds for our wifi connection and to my dismay Weston ordered a burger and fries. I refused to have my first meal in London be American fast food! But it all paid off because we were finally able to get connected and make our communications. Whew.
It was finally time to start seeing the sites. We had an afternoon to kill before we would take the train to the home of "B&H" - our friends living in England where we would be staying. We first wandered over to Covent garden. We perused the shops and ran into an antique market. The stops, restaurants and street performers made the whole area very lively and festive.
Enjoyed a late evening talking and laughing. There is nothing like old friends!