Welcome to October folks! I’m hoping that you’re enjoying weather as lovely as I am, wherever you are. I’ve enjoyed a few sunny and 21ºC days in the last two weeks. I’ll take it! Now, if it only stayed like this until Christmas, I’d be one happy camper.
What have I been up to since I last blogged? Well, I made it to the Matchbox 20/Goo Goo Doll concert and fulfilled a 90’s music dream of mine. Hearing Push, 3AM, and Long Day (which has long been my I-had-a-crappy-day-at-work song) was amazing! And Slide… oh my heart sang! Although I was a little disappointed the Goos didn’t do Name. My friend went to their concert in a different city the night before and she said they performed it there. Ah well, what can you do?
I’ve also been to supper with an old roommate from University who I haven’t seen in years, a wedding, a bachelorette party for my sister’s friend (who coincidentally happens to be the sister of my friend), a birthday party, a wedding reception, and an Oktoberfest potluck. That’s like more social outings than I did in all of last year combined in just a little over a month.
And most importantly, I’ve been to LONDON!
For the last three years, Michael and I have been fortunate enough to jet off to Europe for a week or two in September (you may remember last year when I went on and on about France). Our birthdays are both in September (a day apart actually), and this year Michael was turning the big 3-0 so he got the final say in this year’s trip destination. We had less vacation time to work with… or so we thought until this summer when an extra week of vacation magically showed up on our pay stubs. Hooray for being a responsible employed adult for five years! You get more vacation time! It was too late to change the fall’s travel plans, but don’t you worry. We’ll put those precious days to good use in the spring. I hear Maui calling…
Back to the relevant. So London it was. One of the great European cities, easily explored in ten days, and there was a direct flight. Plus, they speak English, so we’d be able to communicate with the locals. An excellent destination for our first European vacation without Trafalgar… the tour company… not the battle or the square. The square we saw, and the battle I learned about in Portsmouth.
We decided on staying in London and doing a couple of day trips from there. It was really nice not having to pack up and change hotels every couple of days like you do on a bus tour. We did two full day bus tours with a tour company, one to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath, and the other to Leeds Castle, Dover, Canterbury, and Greenwich, and used England’s excellent train system to get us to Portsmouth and Hampton Court Palace.
It’s so easy to get around in London! Their subway system is amazing! We took the tube everywhere. Michael was really on the ball and ordered us pre-loaded Oyster cards for the tube before we left. You preload your card with money and just swipe it on your way in and way out of the tube station and it automatically charges you the lowest fare. If you need to, you can add more money to it. The cards were delivered to us at home in Canada before we left, so when we got off the plane at Heathrow we simply swiped our cards to get into the tube station, and off we were to Central London without waiting in any lines. Very convenient. Smartest travel move ever.
We stayed in Leicester Square. This is a great location! Very close to the Piccadilly Line of the tube, which takes you almost everywhere. There are also lots of restaurants, pubs, and shopping nearby, as well as being located close to Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Gallery. It’s also in the theatre district, so many of the musicals are close by. The only downfall is that with all those pubs comes noisy drunks, and some nights we did get woken up by noisy partiers outside. It didn’t really bother me too much. Not a deal breaker for me.
Stay tuned to hear more about what I saw and my favourite places!