Thursday, March 29, 2012

rakka and leff do europe 2012, day one, london

i'm not even going to be coy with the opening of this series of posts. you know that leff and i went back to the uk, i know that leff and i went to the uk, so let's just start talking about ituk ok?

we did do quite a few things differently this time.  for starters, we had a direct flight on ba instead of routing through iceland.

that needs more exclamation points and a capslock. DIRECT FLIGHT!!!  i felt so posh on my direct flight even back in steerage which was jauntily/tauntingly referred to as the "world traveler" cabin. fun fact:  on ba, meals are included with your ticket price. i had a curry on the flight home! i am such a world traveler.

not fun? terminal 5 at heathrow. i am assuming that it is in another postcode from the rest of the airport. whatevs! about an hour after landing i was minding the gap yet again

this time on the heathrow connect which makes two ealing stops. here is a terrible picture of ealing broadway for your viewing pleasure.

leff and i are weird about not taking our luggage on the tube.(YOU ARE WELCOME, LONDON COMMUTERS!) this is how i was able to see the butt of the jelly baby statue on the way to elephant and castle from our cab. (you can vaguely see it too if you click to embiggen on that photo. apologies for shittiness of picture but, you know, transatlantic flight, moving car, blah blah blah)

yes, i typed elephant and castle. DO NOT BE ALARMED!! e&c is not as dodgy as one might think esp if you're not stupid about things and don't let your city radar down. which, um, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT YOU ARE IN LONDON!!

anyway, back to the differences. on this trip, we used airbnb almost exclusively instead of staying at regular b&bs. (not a paid advert, btw.) we met some really lovely people and had some spectacular views in two really great flats (the third. ugh. i'll wait to tell you about that a bit later.). here is what we saw FROM THE FLAT IN THE STRATA!!


i loved this flat. i stayed up way too late most nights watching the traffic. (and the eye and bt tower and part of big ben (YES I KNOW THAT BIG BEN IS THE BELL SHUT UP!))

but back to our first day back in the smoke. (ha! no one calls it that anymore but me and old british dudes.(also, smoke was an appropriate nickname this trip!)) leff and i crashed HARD for about an hour before we hopped on the northern line to angel.

what were we doing in islington?, you might ask. good question! i will tell you the answer! james bowen and his ginger tabby bob were having their book signing at the islington green waterstone's! THIS IS THE VERY EARLY LINE!!! SO MANY PEOPLE SHOWED UP!!

i am not kidding! we were in line for almost an hour (!!) before james could sign our book!

bob was not phased by all of this attention. do not tell my cats but, * looks around room to make sure they are not paying attention *, bob is the greatest cat in the world!

(get a copy of the book! i am not even amazon affiliating it because that would feel wrong! usa: hard copy, kindle uk: hard copy, kindle )

guess what else happened at the islington waterstone's. oh, you know, some friends who live in london showed up. HAHAH!  i still laugh that it is possible for me to write that sentence because i am really just a nobody from appalachia. still! I HAVE PROOF OF LONDON PEOPLE! (heee!) here's nyx and kiki!

kiki's lovely friend amanda was also there! sadly, i do not have any good photos of her so, did it really happen?!? yes, it did.

guess who else was there....GLEEEEEEEEEEEEEW!!!!!!!!!!  who just happened to be in london from boston on business. I HAVE NOT SEEN HIM IN YEARS!!! miss you, glewseph!

i really love pubbing it up with people in the uk. for reals, i drink too much beer, forget to eat, am jet lagged and then babble on about icepos and sexy neanderthals.

* shrug * when am i not talking about these things? also, I HAVE INFECTED THE BRITISH ISLES WITH SEXY NEANDERTHAL COUNTING AND SCREAMING!! i am so awesome. also, YOU ARE WELCOME, BLIGHTY AND FRIENDS!

bullet points:

* tfl employees are always crazy polite and helpful even when they are under a lot of stress. THIS IS WONDERFUL especially considering how many times i managed to fuck up my oyster card on this trip. OH JUST WAIT! i have tube stories to tell.

* i need to stop being so daft at border crossings. i told the passport control guy at heathrow that i didn't ever want to leave the uk. (!!! WHAT IS MY PROBLEM ?!?) he laughed at me and mentioned that perhaps he was not the best person to whom to admit this and then stamped my passport. heh. oops. * sheepish *

* the publican in islington told me that he liked my shoes when we were leaving for the night. we then talked about converse FOR HOURS while everyone was waiting on me. sorry, peeps! you know that i am terrible. * shrug *

* i could queue with british people forever. it's always so entertaining. in fact, next time i might just start a queue in order to talk to people. i am sure that others would join me on line as it is a national sport there. (at least that's what kiki tells me. heh.)

day two will be our first full day in london! the city! st paul's! what else did we do?! I AM NOT SURE THAT I REMEMBER!! check back soon!


mary said...

I absolutely love this post, mostly because I can actually feel how over-the-moon you are about the trip. I can't wait to read the rest!

r4kk4 said...

thanks! i do get quite moony over the uk. ;D

Anonymous said...

So great to finally meet.

I still maintain Elephant & Castle is a weird place to stay!

See you again soon.

Kiki xx

r4kk4 said...

yay! i will see you at the horse's book signing! :D