I don't usually get excited for trips until the day of, when I'm at the airport and all my bags are checked and I'm waiting with my Starbucks at the gate to board. Anyone else? We didn't even get an airport Starbucks this time around but when we left for the UK we had two magic vouchers to get into one of those lounges that you see seemingly important people walking into wearing suits and women wearing heels and hats.
Let's just pause for one second... Who wears heels on a plane? I mean really?? Get those birks out people, and while you're at it pack some fluffy socks, it gets cold up there!
We're back. Our flight left around 6pm Vancouver time so we needed dinner before we left. That little lounge was a gold mine! We at the most delicious chicken and rice saucy delight for dinner. I packed up tons of snacks for the plane like fresh fruit, cookies, milk for London. It was glorious, and we felt like VIPs. We definitely could have gotten an espresso to-go but as they say, it was a missed opportunity!
London did amazingly well on the plane, much to the surprise of all the eye rollers around us. I mean, I have definitely sighed loudly when I saw a baby close to me on the plane so I don't blame them. Since we had extra cargo, aka our little babe, we got to board first! Which sounds kind of lame but it meant guaranteed space in the overhead bins for all our stuff. I hate carrying and managing all the extra stuff so having it all up and put away was wonderful especially with our lap sitter. You also get two extra FREE checked items when you're traveling with kids. We brought our stroller and carseat and decided to gate check them in hopes of avoided damage on the conveyor belts. It was a good call, all our precious cargo made it safe and sound.
I packed tons of those squeezey food packs in London's diaper bag, heritage o's and little granola bars I found at Superstore- they were perfect for the plane and for being on the go. Airport security lets you bring baby food and milk, so pack as much as you want/can fit in that diaper bag of yours! I also packed a book, stacking cups, Sophie and a bunny. Those toys kept her entertained and busy during the flight.
We rented a car for our whole trip. Word to the wise... do NOT bring a car into the city of London if you can possibly avoid it. Traffic is a nightmare, not to mention the craziness of driving on the other side of the road. Those round-a-bouts are a death trap. Oh and the parking costs are out of this world, like in the hundreds to park for a couple of days. The train or tube is really easy to use and if you talk to any of the locals they will look at you with crazy eyes when you tell them you're driving into the city. "That's what the train is for!" We heard that a time or two...
I did like the convenience of being able to get all our stuff into the car right away, and for us it did make more sense because somehow it was cheaper to rent the car the whole time; they've always got different deals happening. We used Green Motion and they were awesome. Quick to get us going, and quick to get us on our way when we returned the car.
Once we drove into the city and found the flat, our first stop was Whole Foods Market. There is just something about having good (familiar) food that helps make your body feel better, especially after being up for so long! It was nice to get out in the fresh air as well and it was only about a twenty minute walk from our flat.
I cannot lie, our first night was ROUGH. We were exhausted, but London had been able to sleep on the plane, in the car and on our walk so by the time it was bedtime the girl wasn't tired. Norrie and I took shifts and we made it through the night, but not without a two hour cheerio party!
Here are few of my favourite snaps from day one:
My sleepy bean. This photo was taken at 11am local time... We got a bit of a late start to day 2.
Next weeks post will be about our favourite things to do around the city of London and my tips for coffee, museums and transit!