Monday, December 13, 2010

London Part 1

I can't believe it's already December 13 and I haven't even started sharing photos from my trip to London in—shock—September. Tsk tsk. (I hope no one's living vicariously through me because their life would definitely be a few months delayed!)

I traveled with my best friend, Dawn, who invited me to tag along on her business trip across the pond. Before leaving, we spent some time strategically planning our daily activities because Dawn has been there a few times before and "didn't want to do the museum thing," so I had to get my museum kicks during my solo-mio time. After putting in a full—cough—productive day at the office, I took the L up to O'Hare where Dawn and I joined forces (she flew from Des Moines) and settled in to our—cough again—comfy airline seats for the roughly eight hour flight (me in coach, she in first-class).

A delay landed us at Heathrow an hour or more late, and with an appointment to tour the Houses of Parliament that afternoon, we hustled our butts through customs and onto the Underground railway system for my very first time.

One thing I enjoyed about the tube were the tile mosaics identifying the stop and the easy to navigate signage system. (I sure hope the public transportation Justin and I encounter on our next trip are as clear!)

The one thing that still baffles me about the underground is actually how far into the ground you have to go. I swear the escalators are about 3 or more stories tall. Just looking at the picture below makes me dizzy.

Once we conquered the tube, we made our way on foot, through my first London rain shower, to the hotel, arriving to find our room wasn't ready—blast! Fortunately, we were able to leave our luggage with the bell men so we could make our appointment at Parliament. Although we arrived a tad late, the wonderful security guards escorted us in and let us catch up to our group. The tour was very informative, but being as that we had just got off an overnight flight, I don't remember much more than the basic structure of the British government and that the building was gorgeous. Check out this room where they hold ceremonies and meetings. I could have stared at that wood-beam ceiling for hours.

After the tour, we rushed back to our hotel, checked in, showered, and hustled back through the underground to see Deathtrap, a raved about play that had just opened a few days earlier.

The play was excellent and truly was a hit even though we both were exhausted, especially after splitting a bottle of wine! I think what "talked" me into seeing this show was the killer typography (pun intended).

After finding our way back to the hotel, we crashed into probably the most comfortable European bed I have ever slept on in the largest European hotel room I have ever seen.

Over the next few weeks I plan on sharing all my stories from this trip, but if you can't wait for the next post or are bored at work, check out my photos from this trip as well as several past trips on my flickr page.

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