Tuesday, May 29, 2007

London, Day 1

Well, it's another summer which means another set of insane travel plans. My current itinerary puts me in London, then Italy (Naples, Florence, Venice), then Paris, then London, then Nairobi, then Rusinga, then Nairobi, then London, then New York. Are you tired? Because I certainly will be after hauling all of my crap across four countries and two continents.

I had a reasonably awful flight from New York to London yesterday. My seat wouldn't recline, and the person in front of my reclines all the way, so I was squished into a tiny box like area and couldn't sleep. When the woman next to me woke up, I asked her if she could get up so I could use the bathroom... AND SHE SAID NO. She had just gotten comfortable. I was so flabbergasted (I love that word) that I didn't say anything, and then she went right back to sleep. I should have kicked her and climbed over her anyway.

I couldn't remember which airport was Heathrow until I saw the huge line for customs. Suddenly, my hour long wait in January '06 with all of my equipment came flooding back to me. I gave small thanks that for the new travel rules which have caused me to have to check my equipment. Sure it could get lost or stolen, but it makes traveling so much easier. While in line, the woman behind me was practically doing calisthenics, stretching and jumping around so much. It almost made me nauseous to watch her.

I got my bags okay, and went to try and find my mom. Our planes were supposed to come it at the same time, but mine was delayed. I checked for her at baggage claim - no Mom. Checked at the meet and greet outside of customs ... no Mom. Finally decided to walk to the bus stop, which was our failsafe meeting point. No mom. At this point, I began to worry as I knew her plane was in. I decided to give her thirty minutes to show up before I went back to the terminal and had her paged. She showed up about twenty minutes after I sat down, with a small purse. "Where's your bag?" I asked her. Sadly, the answer to that question was ... Canada. We are still waiting for her bag to show up. Once we made it into London (four hours after our flights were supposed to get in) we went to Marks & Spencer to buy some clothes and things for my mom. I bought some things too, even though I had my bags. Then we had a little dinner and made it an early night.

Today was a pretty calm day. Still COLD and still RAINY - weather is just about the same as it was when I was here in February, a fact I find to be cosmically unfair. We went to Westminster Abbey (finally - I tried to do that twice before and it was closed for various reasons) and I saw all of the dead famous people. If you think about it, it's a little macabre to be worshiping surrounded by dead people. After that, we took a walk through St. James Park, then up through Covent Garden. We had cornish pasties for lunch (one of my favorite England foods unavailable in the USofA), and walked up to St. Paul's. So, it was a good sightseeing and walking day! Pictures forthcoming. :)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Coney Island

I had the perfect New York day today.

This morning, Thee Boy and I and one of our friends went down to Coney Island. We got food at the VERY FIRST Nathans ever in New York City. (Well, they did - I am not fond of hot dogs.)

The Original Nathans

I had carnie food (funnel cake with powdered sugar = delicious). We rode the Cyclone, one of the last remaining wooden roller coasters in the United States and a NY historic monument, then we went to the aquarium to look at fishies (my tank is better).


Shark Watch

After that, we headed to Brighton Beach (little Russia) to look for international foodstuffs, though eventually settled on taking the train back into Park Slope (Brooklyn) for some of the best Tex-Mex food available in New York (to my stringent California standards).

Seis de Mayo!

Ahhhh. Sometimes I really do ♥ NY.

(more @ flickr