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Published: June 27th 2018
Our destination.. Helps to keep in mind what we are headed towards.
Days 1 and 2 Travel to LAX and on to London
We were up bright and early to pick up our rental car and pack the last bits before driving down to LAX. It was cheaper - and more convenient - than flying out of San Luis Obispo’s regional airport. The rental company upgraded us to an “SUV” and we ended up with a real “take the top and doors off and go 4 wheeling” Jeep. Not the smoothest of rides. Michelle loved it, Tony was ambivalent and Anne was a firm “no” on the vehicle.
Since we had time, and to break up the drive, we stopped by UC Santa Barbara to do a brief look-see and eat lunch. The campus is much flatter than CPSU and had many more roads and access ways for bicycles. Also, they have many of the majors that Michelle is interested in (Communications, Graphics, Theater).
We made it to LAX with plenty of time and it was a good thing, too. The main theme of LAX seems to be “here, stand in this line on your way to standing in another line”. By the time we got through security and to
UC Santa Barbara
Let the age of college tours begin
our gate we only had an hour until our boarding time.
Flying with Air New Zealand was a nice change from United. We filled a row of three seats on one side and had the luxury of odd little foot rests that came up to fill the legroom on each seat. Michelle enjoyed it saying it was more comfortable to sit cross legged than with her legs down. I don’t think the adults bend that way anymore.
Tony has us following an “avoid jet lag” plan. We woke up early in California, stayed awake all day while getting some exercise in the form of walking, and tried to sleep for a bit when our plane took off at 5:15 and again after the dinner service. I guess it worked, because we did not get very sleepy until about 9 pm.
The flight to Heathrow was uneventful - which is a good thing - and we arrived at noon the next day. There were more lines to stand in and a taxi ride to get us to our rented flat in South London. We are only a few blocks from the river and in a rather residential area
Not to worry
Don't have enough unique identifiers for our luggage? Anne can whip one (or two) up on the drive to LAX.
so the restaurants are less touristy and we should be able to get to the local markets with ease.
The flat’s owner, Barry, was there to meet us and show us how to use all the bits and pieces. He also pointed out the local markets and areas where we can explore London a bit more deeply than we have previously. After a quick orientation tour with Barry we headed out to grab some food for immediate consumption and some staples to have on hand until we can do a bit more planning in the food department. We found a nice Greek restaurant on a street called “The Cut” which seems to have a variety of different foods and drink, plus a few live theaters.
After “lunch” we came back to unpack and rearrange the flat a bit to meet our needs. After unpacking, Tony moved around furniture and reorganized shelves to make things a little more open, and started making a list of extra things we would need (adapters, rubbish bins, etc). Michelle and Anne relaxed and talked about what to do this week while Tony is at the office.
At that point it was time
And So It Begins
The unofficial start of the trip. Dropping off the car in LA.
for another trip out to get a few essentials and find a place to eat. It was after 7 pm, and many stores were closed, so we made our way to the Boots at Waterloo station (singing Abba in our heads). Boots is like Walgreen's or CVS in the US, a bit of everything, which is precisely what we need. There are about 6 ways in and out of Waterloo station, but, of course, we wandered into a back corner where we had to basically walk ⅓ of the way around the station to get back into it so we could get out at a different entrance. So. Many. People.
Michelle suggested we go back to “The Cut” and eat at a noodle restaurant right next door to the Greek restaurant from lunch. It was an excellent suggestion, and we had a fantastic selection of great noodle dishes. Michelle finally got the hang of chopsticks.
Now is a good time to announce that our general food plan is to go to markets, pick up fresh ingredients, and do a lot of our own cooking. We were not ready for that this morning.
Tomorrow we plan an easy
Almost in the Air
Seated and ready to take off
day with a lunch trip to our favorite fish and chips place in Windsor and a bit of walking around.
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