Before we left for England, people kept asking me if I was all ready for the trip, and I would always answer “No.” Right up until the day before we left, I hadn’t packed a single thing.We weren’t really sure how we were going to get from place to place in the UK (renting a car and learning to drive on the left side of the road is a little intimidating). We hadn’t decided exactly what sights we wanted to see or things we wanted to do.
In short, we were mostly planning on winging it.
And we’re okay with that. See, rather than having good planning skills, we have good traveling skills. We’re good at figuring out how to get around, choosing some great local places, having conversations with the locals that are always educational, and enjoying every moment.
So, whether or not we were “ready” by normal standards, we landed in London yesterday morning with suitcases in tow. We took a train to the city where Joe got a card for his cell phone and purchased our “Oyster Cards” for London transportation. Then we took the Tube (London Underground) to Victoria Station and walked to our hotel.
Knowing we were tired (especially Henry, who hadn’t slept much on the plane, and was pretty much sleepwalking as far as we could tell), we decided to stay close to the hotel. And by this point, we needed some food in our tummies. So we walked around our neighborhood of Pimlico and found a great British Pub where we ordered two plates of fish n chips and a plate of bangers n mash. Across the street was a local barber, where Joe decided to get his beard trimmed. Hanging out in small, local establishments is one of our favorite things to do in order to really get the flavor of a place, and some really good recommendations.
But, as good tourists, we decided to hop on a double-decker bus to the next neighborhood over — Westminster. We snapped some great shots by such iconic places as the Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben (which we’ve, inexplicably, decided to call “Big Bob”), and the London Eye. We took a ride on this incredible ferris wheel just as the sun was setting over London and the city was beginning to light up with its Christmas decorations.
Having decided it was late enough (only about 7pm!), we made our way back to our hotel and crashed into bed for a long night’s sleep.
Sometimes not having a plan is the best plan after all!
Check out pictures from Day #1 in our gallery here.