Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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May '12

England and Spain Adventure, Days 1 & 2: London

Getting Ready to Go

Doing laundry.


Getting There
We flew to NYC, then to London Heathrow.

On the plane.

The kids were really pretty good on all of our flights, all trip long, and people complimented us for their goodness. To which we smiled and said thanks, even though we were thinking, “Really?”

The flight overseas to London was six hours but felt like twelve. It was because the kids only slept three of those hours, and we slept one. We landed in London around 8 am, which was like 1 am to our bodies. It was strange to fly east and watch the sun rise even when my watch said it was the middle of the night.

Approaching London.


Waiting for our pushchair (translated: stroller) at the gate. It was funny to suddenly hear everyone talking in British accents. The kids were happy to be off the plane. It felt good to be in England.

The line through Border Control. L-O-N-G. Heathrow is notorious for this. Thankfully, we were standing near another family whose baby was screaming, and the officials let all of us cut straight to the front after just 20 minutes of waiting. Yay for tired kids.

And, people, THIS is why you go to England. Cadbury chocolate: mmmmmmm.

Our hotel. We looked extensively before picking this Hilton. London is one of the priciest places to visit in all of western Europe. It wasn’t the most convenient location (we had to take the bus plus the underground trains everywhere–nothing within walking distance), but it was affordable. If we had more money to throw around I would definitely have stayed closer to city center.

Our luggage. Our attempt to pack light with two adults + two kids = success. We traveled with John’s mother and stepfather, and we had less luggage between the four of us than they did the two of them. (And they didn’t have to lug around diapers, toys, bottles, and sippy cups.)

The day we arrived we were pretty tired, so all we did was take the free ferry the hotel offered across the Thames River to the other side, which is the area known as Canary Wharf. It’s mostly high-end businesses in big, tall buildings, but it has restaurants and shopping areas as well. We set out to find something to eat and a grocery store to buy milk and snacks for the kids.

We went to Waitrose.

Oh, how I love British grocery stores. We stocked up on a few essentials like thick, creamy, so-not-low-fat yogurt.

Also, Cadbury chocolate, several liters of semi-skimmed milk, and croissants. I think I ate croissants, either plain or with chocolate, nearly every day in Europe. If you ignore their lack of good nutrition, they make a perfect breakfast.

Did I mention we were tired?

We ate dinner here, at Zizzi’s Italian Restaurant, which is a decent chain we saw in every British city we visited.

John and I split the Fiorentina pizza, which I’ve always wanted to try since reading about it in a British novel. (It’s “spinach, buffalo ricotta and cheese. Finished with a little garlic, nutmeg and a free range egg.”) Yeah. It was good.

I actually nodded off during dinner, and it wasn’t even 5 o’clock yet. So we went back to the hotel and went to bed early, around 6:30 pm.

And that was the end of our first two days–almost. Read on to the next post.

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