Hey, guess what? It’s European Adventure time. It’s my first visit. I’m traveling with my friend Anne and it’s going to be damn AMAZING. Our itinerary includes: London, Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. It started because I wanted to go to Amsterdam (the other cities were added and I’m beyond excited for the trip.
So travel started on Saturday at 12.25. Whoo! To say I was ecstatic might be an understatement. I had a layover in Detroit, where I met Anne (who was flying in from MN). Then we were on a flight (with lots of movie options) to London.
[this is where all the flying happens and we land at Heathrow…we take the Heathrow Express to Paddington – 15 in ride]
We’ve made it! We’re in London. It’s surreal. I didn’t sleep much on the plan and it was about 6.30. We get to spend the whole day here and we can’t even check into our room yet. That’s ok. Let’s just store our bags and get exploring.
In the early morning, a little bit of coffee and tea is in order (enter Leclerc & Laurent). Anne got a double macchiato. I got a cup of English Breakfast. I got a cuppa in England!!! It was delicious, but I was also anxious to start our adventures. Our adventures started off with some nature (not just nature, but a heck of a lot of wildlife) by way of Hyde Park. Once we got through a good portion of the park. BAM! Buckingham Palace. [cue the rain aka sprinkles]. The flag was up, which means…there’s a human in residence. I was more interested in which human it was than not being able to take a tour. Also there was a really cool giant fountain across from the palace.
After that, we walked down the street towards St. James Palace, which, let’s be honest, really didn’t mean anything to me. What is the significance? I don’t know. I still don’t know. Anne told me, but what really caught my attention was that it was the most castle-y think I’d seen so far. There were embrasures all over. What do you say is an embrasure? It’s the groves that make a castle look castle-y. You don’t even understand how cool it was to be so up close and personal. Now I was trying to figure out how to get closer to the castle (haha).
After the St. James Palace, we headed towards Piccadilly Circus. It’s really just the beginning of the theater district. We had a bit of time to kill so wandered the area a bit. We wandered in what I would like to think of as South. It was headed towards Westminster Abbey. We got distracted when we saw a movie/tv set, but couldn’t tell what they were filming. Also, while walking…Kingsman! (Yes, like from the movie.)
We then took the Tube (we’re taking the Tube! not the subway (it’s a subway)) to Shoreditch (which at the time meant nothing to me). We were about an hour early for our Sunday Roast lunch reservations, so we walked over to Brick Lane to check that out. OMG, it smelled so good. We couldn’t wait to come back . We figured we’d be too full after Sunday Roast (we were). The beigel (yes, that’s how you spell it) show was also on Brick Lane (I will return) and the line was insane, out-the-door long.
Sunday Roast was at Jones Family Project. Anne got 2-courses and I got 3-courses. We were going to split the dessert, which was just as well because we also had a magnum of prosecco to finish. The server wasn’t sure we knew what we were getting ourselves into so he pretty much double-checked with us to make sure we knew it was the equivalent of 2 bottles. Yes, we were well aware and had no qualms about our ability to finish the bottle.
We finished most of our Sunday Roast. It’s was delicious and comes totally highly recommended. Sunday Roast is a thing over here. When it was first explained to me, I thought…oh, Thanksgiving dinner (the description included stuffing). It’s really a roast with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes, bread of some sort and veggies. So good.
Needed to walk off the prosecco and Sunday Roast, we decided to be ambitious and hit up the British Museum. It’s free and in all honesty, turned out to be quite amazing. Full of artifacts and not just a bunch of paintings and stuff. We had about an hour before close. There’s a quick 1 hour highlights tour we could walk ourselves through. How perfect was that! It was really good…I would totally recommend the British Museum.
Yay! It was finally time to check into our hotel. We had been up for almost 24+ hours at this point. We couldn’t just take a nap or go to bed. We had to stay awake. With our travel plans, we could not afford time for jet lag recovery. We stayed up for an hour or so and were going to go to dinner, but were still full so off to bed it was…until I woke up two hours later.
End of Day One