Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Anarchy In The UK!

My goodness, I don’t even know what day it is. I can’t even post this until the morning because there is no internet access in our room, only in the main house. It’s been the longest two days! Monday around 5 we left to take the rental car back, and then check in for the International portion of our adventure. Since we needed the car back before 7, we ended up being checked in for the flight with nearly two hours of waiting in the terminal. The flight left a little late, but we actually ended up arriving on time, so no worries there. The girls were taken back by how big the airplane was- it had a middle section of seats! They also enjoyed their own video monitor, the kids pack British Airlines gives out (which includes an electronic game!), and being served dinner and breakfast. All for no extra charges (take that American Airlines!).

I ended up not taking advantage of the drugs supplied to me for sleeping, and was up the entire flight. Not that Bret and the girls slept any better. At least the flight wasn’t full so everyone could move and stretch out a bit more. All in all it was an uneventful flight.

THEN. We ended up spending an hour longer in the airport than we thought we would simply because we were at the wrong terminal to pick up Allison’s Oyster Card (the transportation card). She and Bret took a bus to another terminal to do that while Sam and I stuck around the one we came into with the luggage. I resisted the urge for a Starbucks, knowing we were going to take a nap when we got to the B&B, and we just sat there and people-watched. Even in the airport the atmosphere seemed different.

So once we got the Oyster card mishap taken care of, it was off to the rental car place. Bret was paying close attention to how the shuttle driver was moving through traffic, since we would soon be driving in it himself. And I must say, he handled London traffic amazingly. Once we got a little more in the city it was more stressful (as with any city really), and without the GPS we would have been roaming around in circles forever. Only a few missed turns and we made it to the B&B, after witch all four of us crashed for a few hours.

We all felt a little better after that, and then we ventured out to see what this bus system is all about. Lesson number 1- the Oyster card isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. What took us two hours by bus (granted we did make a few mistakes and needed to backtrack a couple of times), we could have done in one trip by rail, which isn’t covered on the Oyster card. We could get a day pass for that instead. The plus side is the girls rode in a double-decker bus for the first time, and we saw a whole lot of the southern suburbs of London. Everyone was very helpful when we asked questions about where we were going (and Bret asked quite a lot- the man is fearless!), but we decided that unless we absolutely had to, the bus system isn’t the way to get to the Underground.

Allison is especially excited to be here, I think it’s because of Harry Potter. She is just taking it all in like a sponge, and it’s really fun to watch. I’m so happy we have the opportunity to expose the girls to other cultures and countries. They area couple of very well- traveled ladies!

So now it’s time to try and sleep. Tomorrow was supposed to be Stonehenge, but weather said it will be raining pretty much all over England tomorrow, so we are going to hit some of the museums instead and make it an indoor day. I didn’t take very many pictures today either, so perhaps I will get some uploaded here in the next day or two.


No comments: