Sunday, June 10, 2012

London: Getting There

The Saturday that we flew to London was the shortest Saturday of our lives (we lost 5 hours due to the time difference).  We left home at 4:30 a.m. heading to the airport for a 5:50 a.m. flight.  Check in was uneventful and I still couldn't fully believe that by the end of the day we would be in London! In London!!!! 
Decked out in glasses and ready to go, here we are on the 5:55 a.m. plane.  We got to see the sun rise which was lovely! (Instagram pictures)
After landing in Newark, NJ, we boarded our plane within about 40 minutes.  It was time for the longest flight of our lives thus far. 7 hours and 55 minutes if I remember correctly.  

The flight was not bad at all.  There was tons of food.  I felt like the flight attendants were coming around with drinks, snacks, or a meal the entire flight. And, my favorite part, there were so many movies and TV show options to watch!! I watched The Vow, which I've been wanting to see for quite some time now.  And I also caught some episodes of Friends and New Girl, even though I've seen them all many times! We were about 1 hour away from London when I decided to watch one more show and that's when THIS appeared.
SCANDAL!  Scandal is hands down one of the best drama television shows I've seen in a long time. Maybe the best period.  So I re-watched the pilot and by the time it was over, we were in London baby!

This is where just having our carry on was great!  We hopped off the plane, made a quick stop at the loo and headed toward the train.  Isn't the girl icon funny? Is that hips or a skirt on the woman? LOL
We took the Heathrow Express which will get you from the airport to central London in about 15-20 minutes.  We arrived at Paddington station and purchased our 7 day Travelcard.  This gave us unlimited access to the Tube in Zones 1 & 2 for 7 days. 
So, listen up, here is my first tip on money-saving tips for London:  If you purchase your Travelcard (or oyster card) from a rail station (you'll know it's from the rail station due to the symbol that you see on the bottom left of the card) you can take advantage of tons of 2 for 1 deals at a good number of attractions--the eligible attractions change throughout the year so just check online and you'll also get a brochure when you purchase your Travelcard).  We had to get a Travelcard to get around on the Tube during our stay so it cost us not 1 red cent extra, we just purposely purchased our card from the rail station in Paddington when we arrived.  We used it to get into the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the Winston Churchill Museum 2 for the price of 1! 

Now, back to the story.  After purchasing our Travelcard, we headed to our hotel, the Lancaster London Hotel.  The hotel was  PERFECTLY located one block from Paddington station.  We walked from Paddington and were at the hotel in about 5-7 minutes.  It was dark and I didn't have the camera out for a picture of the hotel that night, but here's a picture from the next day:
We checked in and headed to our room!  It was about 11:00 p.m. London time.  One of my favorite things about our hotel were the yummy cookies that were left for us each night.  I'd never had Walkers cookies.  We had four different types and they were all yummy!
Second favorite thing: warm towels! We'd never stayed in a hotel room with a towel warmer.
Next up was charging my cell phone (using my trusty adapter) and unpacking my snacks and clothes!
Around midnight we realized that we were hungry! So, we stuck with the safest thing we knew--ordering pizza. And it was pretty simple, dial 6 and the pizza people brought the pizza and soda to our room. 
I didn't get to take a picture of our room before we started unpacking, but here is a picture from the next day, it was pretty spacious as was the bathroom!  And check out all the windows!
The bottom picture is the room when you walk into the door and walk through the hallway leading into the room.  The top picture is standing in the opposite side of the room.  Oh, and here is a picture I snapped of the bathroom on Saturday night after unpacking. 
So, that is the short version (although it doesn't feel so short when you type it out) of how we got to London! 

Stay tuned,

p.s. During our trip I became a total Instagram fan! It was an easy way to snap pictures of what was going on and share them with friends and family! So throughout these posts you will see some of those Instagram pictues.

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