Wednesday, October 27, 2010

London: Day One

Tuesday night, we were in Dun Laoghaire, packing and getting ready for our Wednesday flight to London when disaster struck: my parents realized they reserved the London hotel for the wrong dates.  We had no hotel.

Our London hotel informed us that no changes in reservations could be made until 9 am the next day when the registration desk reopened.  Mild panic.  Wednesday, we awoke, packed our things and headed down to the front desk to see what we could arrange with our London hotel.  We were able to cancel our wrong dates, but unfortunately, there were no rooms available for the days we needed.  Increased panic.  Dad and I stood at the registration desk with him on the courtesy phone to London and me frantically searching the internet.  Call to hotel #2: sure, they had rooms available!  But, tonight's room would be 700 pounds.  Big time panic.  9:50 am we were trying to book at hotel #3.  The bus to the airport was scheduled to arrive at 10:00.  Massive panic.  Finally, we reached hotel #3 and booked a room for just one night, figuring we could book somewhere else later since they didn't have availability the last night of our stay.  Panic slightly subsided.

The bus to the airport went well, check in went grand, and we were soon in the air for the one hour flight to London.  Then, things took a turn for the fantastically better.  We were given more food and drink for our one hour flight than is typically given on a flight from Arizona to Minnesota.  Free drinks (pop, juice, wine, beer, hard alcohol), and a choice between a snack (cracker and pretzel mix and two cookies) or a sandwich (chicken or cranberry brie).  It was delicious and a drink was much needed after the morning's chaos.
Navigating the tube
We landed and successfully navigated the London tube to our hotel.  It is glorious.  The lobby is stunning.  Our room is massive.  They gave us each a free drink in the hotel lounge.  After seeing how great it all was, we decided to try and book at least the next night and cross our fingers that something was available.  Amazingly, they had our room available for all three nights!  So, we are able to stay at this hotel without moving rooms at all.  Panic completely subsided.

Our satisfaction with the hotel didn't end there.  We decided to go for a stroll to see what was around.  Twenty paces of walking and there we were at Burberry.  Not the store, the brains of Burberry.  I had a moment.  Forty paces further and we were at the Thames.  Turning to the right, we strolled past the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and could see the London Eye.  We are in the middle of everything.  Did I mention we're (practically) next door to Burberry??
Tomorrow we're going to do a hop on, hop off tour of the city since we're here such a short time.  Everything is coming up roses!

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