We arrived in London Heathrow and took forever to get through customs. We rode the 100 mph Heathrow Express to Paddington Station – just 15 minutes and the scenery was wonderful. We fell victim to our first tourist trap, looking for Paddington the Bear and found him in a nice kiosk in the middle of the station. Paddington the Bear is a special book that Brad and Squid bond over, and Squid now has her first souvenir of our UK travels.
We rode the tube to hotel. I loved hearing the 4 different languages in one tube ride: Italian, Spanish and German, in addition to English. We also met a couple of ladies from Atlanta who were really helpful in making sure we didn’t get left on the wrong train. Just outside of the tube station at Tower Hill, right across from the Tower of London, was a lovely little park. Squid and Wes had great moments at the park on its interesting play structures.
Since the Tower of London was closed, we went in search of the Fish and Chips shop that my sister, Teresa, recommended. Sadly, it too was closed, as Sunday evenings get closed up a bit early. We walked around the perimeter, and enjoyed the beautifully-lit Tower Bridge. We stopped for dinner at a pub on the way back to the hotel. I suspect it was a bit of a tourist trap but it was empty enough with as many Brits as Americans. Fish and chips, minced beef and onion pie and yorkie beef wrap made up our first meal on Britain’s shores.
The next morning, we found a Tesco market nearby and picked up a simple breakfast and snacks for the train. Tesco owns the Fresh and Easy markets in So Cal, so it was quite familiar. We’re heading up to York this morning, which leaves from King’s Cross station. We found Platform 9 ¾ before hopping on our train. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hop on the Hogwart’s Express, since we’re all muggles. It has now been confirmed that we’re not wizards.
Pulling out of King’s Cross station, we passed right by Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club, which was a nice surprise, especially for Brad, the die-hard Arsenal fan. Squid pointed out a beautiful, green rolling field with dotted with sheep! Something for both of us on this train ride. The kids, in between bickering, are diligently doing homework. Wes has science, while Squid is writing in her journal, which her teacher assigned as homework. More to come later, including yarny adventures!