The boyfriend has talked about needing to go on a trip. Our last “out of the USA” trip was about four years ago to Rome and Firenze. He’s panicking that I’m visiting family in summer, which pretty much eats up that season as a travel option. Tossing around ideas last weekend, we came up with London.
Yea, London! Maybe we will make that our next destination. Christmas in London? Time to save up, although the boyfriend is better at saving than me. London sounds nice and civil and contained. Not too much stress trying to figure out the days. Different, but not so different that we would be out of our travel experience domain. India and Turkey, for example, are. Even Rick Steves says those destinations are for the more experienced travel. London sounds just right.
Flash forward five whole days. It’s early evening and we have our nightly chat. We cover all the little details of the day, bits of news, and plans for the week. Soon, he’s tired and off to bed. I’m wide awake and staying up (one reason that two households work well for us) and I go about my evening.
I pick up the laptop and do a little writing, watch a little TV, and munch on leftover spaghetti. A couple of hours later, I check my email. Wait–there’s an email about a flight to London. Is this real or is this a potential itinerary? I look closely. Its says confirmation. Confirmation? It’s hard to register. And, there’s a message from the boyfriend. I read it and read it again: “Forgot if you have United miles, but we can add that later.” Add that later?!? OMG we are going to London! And that stinker didn’t say a word! I could never keep a secret like that! I’d be dropping hints like, “Have you checked your email tonight?” “I think you should check your email.” “Check your email before you go to bed.”
London!!! Pubs, fish and chips, tartans (oh wait, that’s Scotland), Big Ben, fish and chips, pubs, fish and chips…you get the idea. That’s all I really know about London, except that it’s where the Queen of England lives, and I don’t really have a desire to see Buckingham Palace or the changing of the guard. It’s late and I’m tired now, but I have to do some Googling first. And that is how I learn that people don’t seem to go to London to stay in London very long. Instead, they use London as a hub and take advantage of the tube–that’s “London” for really fast train. Travel websites advertise “Best day trips from London,” “London and Back,” “Sightseeing in England and Beyond from London.” There’s a smorgasbord (pardon the mixed metaphor) of trip offerings from Stonehenge and Paris, Bath and Brighton Beach, to Oxford and Windsor. And Richmond. Something about the description of Richmond sweeps me away.
“It’s rare that foreign visitors venture this far out,” the travel author says, and then, “Big mistake–this is one of the loveliest parts of England.” I read the description of the green, “a gorgeous area edged with towering broadleaf trees, beautiful old mansions, picturesque townhouses and characteristically English pubs” and imagine walks along the River Thames with “a sprinkling of pubs helping to break up the journey.” Pubs seem to be a theme in any town description. Then there is Richmond Park, which “abounds with gentle rolling hills, lakes, woodland and hordes of rambling wild deer.” I’m there.
What I would really like to know though, is whether anyone else out there has been to London. If so, what day trips, lodging, and pubs would you recommend?
Fish and Chips–here I come!
- You must be somewhere in London… (sa1200.wordpress.com)
- 6 London Myths Exposed (tripbase.com)
- London on a shoestring (leggotunglei808.wordpress.com)
- Top 10 Favorite Cities Visited – #10 London – United Kingdom (itsalwayssomethinggoingon.wordpress.com)
- 10 free things to do in London (gadling.com)