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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 51.5002, -0.126236
We checked in at O'Hare and were pleased to find out we had all been flagged for PreScreening through TSA. For whatever reason, this meant laptops and liquids could stay in our bags, and we could keep our shoes on. After a breeze through security we grabbed a bite to eat at Chili's (tacos and buffalo wings) and headed to our gate only to find that, due to mechanical checks, our flight would be delayed a little more than an hour. Safety first!
Our leap across the pond was uneventful, and a few (named Rich) actually got in a little sleep thanks to benadryl and/or red wine.
Arrival at Heathrow was about an hour later than we expected, but after trekking through the maze and customs check, we were pleased to find our bags almost immediately at baggage claim. Then it was off on the Tube to Travelodge Royal Scot. Ironically, we had picked out this hotel as a possibility from 2007. We are very close to Kings' Cross/St. Pancras Train Stations, the sites from which Harry Potter departed for Hogwarts. We had a quick lunch (this time tacos and burritos—good English fare) at the station and then took a long needed afternoon nap.
After some rest, we regrouped and headed to Parliament. It was a very crowded area, so we were glad to cross to the other side of the Thames and find a less-busy river cruise. It gave us a nice overview of London's major sites and included a number of stories about nearly every bridge we traveled under.
Following the cruise, we searched out traditional pub fare for dinner and managed to find just that in a pub called “Hole in the Wall” which served us up a tasty measure of fish and chips, Guinness and cider. It was a good place to go because it was not a tourist trap. Built into an arch below the train tracks, the pub rumbled with regularity. A sign on the wall asked, “Are you peckish? Try our pub fare.” Peckish we were and they accommodated. Barb commented that it was nice to see people interacting and not on their cell phones.
After a two-day day, the Pilgrims are back at Travelodge and ready to rest up before tomorrow's London walk.
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