Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 1 - We've arrived, and we're ready to collapse

United Lounge in Chicago

As a follow up from yesterday, we did make it to the airport lounge and I was just sitting down with a glass of wine along with some crackers and cheese when they announced our flight was boarding.  Never one to waste a good glass of wine (Cabernet), I drank it rather quickly, picked up our snacks and headed over to the gate with hubby in tow.

I did slip my video camera out and filmed portions of the lounge, which I will watch to select a still frame I can share here. Every time we arrive in London Heathrow airport, we tend to forget that no matter what airline you take from the USA, you have to walk at least 3 miles to get from the gate to Immigration.  Then you need to stand in a never-ending, slow-moving line of people, who, just like you, are waiting to show their passports and landing cards so they can enter the country.  Since we're staying for 8 weeks, the immigration officials tend to look at us as if we're daft, because we're visiting during their off-season.  But we like cooler weather.  Normally, we're here through Thanksgiving to mid-December.  This year we arrived earlier, and we're leaving earlier.

Floor Plan and Stairs

Our flat is on the first floor, that means we had about twenty stairs to drag our very heavy luggage up, because when counting floors, the Brits start with the ground floor, which in the USA is the first floor.  That means if a place is listed as being on the first floor in England, it is actually on the second floor as far as we Americans are concerned.  Hubby and I knew that.  Honest.  Even so, the moment we were faced with all those stairs, we groaned.  Literally.  Will try to take a picture of the stairs tomorrow.  (Sorry, didn't get a picture of the luggage.  Even though we had two less cases, which is a good thing since United charges $100 for a second case, we still had a hard time of it.)

Living Room
The place is small, but well-equipped and clean.  I'll share a few pictures here, and more later.  Hubby is already taking a nap.  Lugging around two pieces of luggage that have a combined weight of 71 lbs and have to be lifted up stairs and across some sizable gaps between the underground train and its platform, can wear a person out.

Flat is on the right, above Paul Smith
Also, my cell phone ran out of juice, so we had to beg a sales person at Paul Smith for permission to use their phone in order to let our landlady know we've arrived.  She gave us a quick tour, showed us how to use the oven and clothes washer, as well as what they use to clean the hard wood floors and hoover (vacuum) them.  The place is small, but very conveniently located, despite the three thousand stairs, so I think it will work out well for us.

Okay, I think I'll have a bit of a lie down myself.  Be back on later this evening.


I'm back.  We rallied around 9PM GMT, got dressed and went to Cafe Rouge for dinner (very continental of us).  It's one of our favorites.  (Forgot to take picture of our dinner - just not used to photographing food.) After that, we walked through the Leicester Square area to the neighborhood Tesco grocery store and purchased some staples, then limped back to the flat and unpacked.

We're acting like we're 80 years old with all the aches and pains both of us acquired in the last twelve hours.  It's a little after 1 AM, London time, so I think I'll close down for tonight and post more tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the cheery update--glad you got there safe and sound! Looking forward to hearing about all your adventures! Though maybe it won't just be vicariously since I'm whinging about my own aches and pains all the time and I'm NOT 80, nor have I been lugging heavy bags about--I do have a proper three floors in my house though, with the accompanying stairs, so maybe that's it? Can't wait for your next installment :D