Friday, August 8, 2014

summer travels: day one

We left the States on Friday, July 25. We were planning on heading to the train station right after work, so everything needed to be packed the night before. I ended up getting out of work early, which meant I had a few hours to sit around and wait for it to be time for us to leave. No worries, I sorted baby clothes and found this weird show on hulu based in Sweden with Amy Poehler and her brother.

Finally, it was time to leave! Our dear friend Chrissa picked us up and took us to the South Attleboro train station, so we could take the train to the airport in Boston.

Once at the airport, we did some waiting. If you know me at all, you are probably aware that I struggle a lot with anxiety, especially involving public modes of transportation. I was afraid they wouldn't let me on the plane because, even though my passport matched my tickets, it was still in my maiden name. I was afraid they were going to make Nick check his backpack because it was technically 3 inches too long to carry on. I was afraid the plane was going to crash in the Atlantic Ocean. You know, small things. I actually went to find some dinner in the food court, and while I was in line, the fire alarms started going off. I tried to stand my ground and wait for my sandwich, but I am a rule follower. I couldn't just stand there, but at the same time no one was leaving! I abandoned my sandwich and walked back to Nick and our bags, basically in tears. He laughed at me and went back for my sandwich. After a while, the alarms stopped. Not sure what happened, but security people were walking around looking(?) for someone?

Finally, at 9:00pm, I boarded the biggest plane I had ever been on. The ride actually went very smooth. I watched some movies, played some games, watched some tv, ate some food... slept MAYBE two hours. We watched the sun come up over Ireland, and landed in Dublin right in time for breakfast. Then, we got off the plane and learned that our flight to London had been canceled. Cool. After waiting in a line with grouchy New Englanders wanting to start their vacations, we got a new flight and had a couple of hours to kill. The Dublin airport is incredible, just so you know. There is a Victoria's Secret in Terminal 2. Why? I don't really know. This one lady gave us whiskey samples... It was 8am. She said, "Hey, it's Dublin!"

Our flight to London Heathrow was pretty short. We took the tube to Victoria Station and stored our bags there, then set out to explore London!

Our first stop was Buckingham Palace. It was so big! And so crowded. I couldn't believe how clean London was, though. There were so many people everywhere, but the streets were spotless.

Next, we walked to Big Ben and Westminister Abby. Unfortunately, there was a huge protest going on around this area, so we couldn't get very close. This actually caused me quite a bit of anxiety, but everything was fine. Then, we walked around the river and saw the London Eye. We had "lunch" at Giraffe along the river. There was actually a huge Festival of Love going on, which was kind of fun.

Then, we made our way to King's Cross Station, for Harry's sake. We walked through the West End on the way.

We walked through Hyde Park to see the Peter Pan statue. If you didn't know, Peter Pan is my favorite story. I love that JM Barrie actually gave this statue to the park.

We saw a glimpse of Kensington Palace, and walked by St. Albert's memorial. We also accidentally joined a "Walk for Syria" with hundreds of Muslims.

As it was getting dark, we made our way back to Victoria Station, got our bags, and got on a bus to Paris. Our bus driver did not speak English, but we made it ok. I will tell the story of the bus on the next post. It's a good one. :)

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