UK Adventures Chapter 1: Arrival

Well – so I may have fibbed a little on the timing of my posts about my trip and that sorta thing… but mostly because I got addicted to internet television and busy with actual school work for my Masters Degree… anyway here is the rest of the story in minute detail, b/c I don’t know of any other way to write:

2 April I headed to London at the ass crack of dawn to go pick up my dear friend Kate (ratgirlstudios – link to the right) from the airport. The plan was to pick her up around 11am when her flight got in, have lunch in London, then hop on our train at around 4ish back to Notts. Like I said before – the best laid plans yada, yada… I got to London around 10:45 on the coach… it was late because traffic on a Monday morning in London around Buckingham Palace is worse than anything the States could possibly imagine… took us 45 mins to move 1/2 a block.

After finding a coffee shop to hop online, I discovered that I needn’t have rushed to find one. This is when the motto of our UK Adventure Times was born: “Blame Canada!” This point onward, anything that went wrong or not according to plan was blamed on Canada, which is slightly unfair, but that’s just how it goes. Kate’s flight from Michigan to Toronto was delayed by an hour and a half, which meant that she missed her connection to London, the next flight being the next morning at 9am Toronto time instead of 11pm… which means that she was getting to London at 9pm GMT. This obviously meant that we were going to miss our pre-booked train back to Notts.

So I hung out in London all day by my lonesome, wandered aimlessly through Hyde Park, took a quick nap, & basically just a vagrant for a day. When it was getting close to time I decided to buy us coach tickets for the last coach back to Notts, b/c train tickets the day of are astronomically expensive (I couldn’t phrase my frustrations at this better than David Mitchell) , but we will get back to that.

Tickets bought, Kate’s second flight was on time according to the boards at the airport, so I thought everything would be fine. I knew she didn’t have any checked luggage so it should have been easy to make it from Heathrow to Victoria Bus Station in 2.5 hrs after she touched down. Boy did I underestimate British Passport control. 45 mins after her flight hit the ground is when she strolled out of security. Not great but we still had an hour and 45 mins to make it to the Station – shouldn’t have been a problem. It was. After shenanigans and the achingly slow underground ride we arrived 10 mins too late for our coach.

Wrapping up this stage of the story: we thought there might just be one more train back to Notts instead of a coach so we headed to Kings Cross and let’s just say we were totally Chamber of Secrets. No trains until 7am! It was midnight. Too bad we didn’t have a flying car (this reference isn’t going to get old b/c we eventually made it to Scotland where Hogwarts is suppose to be). So we bought tickets for what we thought was the next train after speaking with 2 employees and we to the 24 hr coffee shop to wait it out with the Nazi barrista that wouldn’t let me put my sprained ankle up on footstool.

Kate drew this while we were waiting

We got on the train exhausted (I got a little sleep in the coffee shop but Kate didn’t) only to discover that they wanted another £20 per person to ride the train (that put each ticket up to a total of £74). I almost cried.

Finally back in Notts we went back to my place and crashed.

End of UK Adventures Chapter 1, tune in next time for Chapter 2: Nottingham & Manchester



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