London Trip Day 1 (June 1st - June 2nd 2011): Crisis Averted

And so it begins; another adventure through the great unknown. Or in this case a trip over the pond to London for eight days of exploration. The trip to London started easy enough. Jenn and I worked a half-day, and Jenn's Dad picked us up at our apartment and we headed down to LAX for our non-stop flight to Heathrow airport.

The trip down to LAX was smooth, you can never complain when traffic is moving especially the closer you get to LA. We all carried on so we printed our boarding passes ahead of time and made our way straight to security. We were a little over zealous and passed by all of the good eateries and made our way to the gate. Our flight was delayed a half-hour but we made that time up and some in the air. The flight itself was smooth. It seems like the more we fly these 10-hour flights the easier it is to deal with them.

Hanging Out at the Airport Waiting For Our Flight

Leading up the trip Jenn told me that she had five our six movies lined up to watch on the trip and I even spouted off a few. However we both only got through one (Just Go With It) and either slept or stared off hoping to sleep. The flight came and went and 9 1/2 hours later we reached London Heathrow and made our way through customs and off to the bus to take us to the car rental agency.

We Knew We Were Close When We Saw This Sign

After a lot of deliberation in the "trip planning" we decided to rent a car and tour England rather then retrace our steps on past trips. When we got to the car rental agency (Sixt) I was told that because I am 24 (not 25) I would not be able to rent the BMW 1 Series that I had reserved. So instead we got a less expensive VW Golf and a Garmin GPS. It was a quick inconvenience but we got keys to the Golf (sporting only 600 miles of use) and took off. Having driven on the wrong side of the road before (Scotland on our Honeymoon) I volunteered to take the wheel with Jenn taking shotgun and her dad in the backseat still a bit out of it from the long flight.

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Tour of Our Room (Room # 401)

I somehow managed to get us to our hotel, the Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour in one piece. In all honesty though the Scotland driving did very little to prepare me for maneuvering downtown London with its crazy drivers and all to common "round a bouts."

Front of the Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour

When we got to the hotel our room was ready however Jenn's dads wasn't. We dropped off our luggage in our room and headed to the lounge for a late lunch. Jenn got Pasta Bolognase (it wouldn't be right any other way), I got a Club Sandwich with a beer, and Jenn's dad got a chicken sandwich. Not only was the lounge extremely relaxing but it was reasonably priced and the food was actually quite tasty.

From there we got the keys to Jenn's Dads hotel room that he received an upgrade on with a harbor view and a balcony. At first he wasn't all that stoked about being on the 1st floor but when he saw the room he let the front desk know he was happy. We went our separate ways to unpack and unwind for a few minutes when we got a call from Jenn's dad that his camera was not powering on. He had just bought a brand new Canon DSLR with extended battery pack and neither his standard battery nor the extra pack were working. So we went down to the concierge asked where a local camera shop was. We were told there was one that was only down the street a 15 minute walk. After a good 30 minute walk we made it down to Jacobs Camera Shop where we found that his camera was still working but just needed a recharge in all of his batteries. Crisis averted.

Walking Back From the Camera Shop

On our way back we stopped at a local Italian Restaurant where for the first half hour we were the only ones there. Jenn's dad had a glass of Pinot Grigio and Lobster Pasta, Jenn got a filet of beef, and I got rigatoni pasta. Jenn and her dad both got ice cream for dessert and I went with a cappuccino just trying to find anyway to stay awake for the walk back to the hotel.

Happy to Have a Working Camera

Jenn Loves Her Steak

Rigatoni Pasta

Would You Like a Lobster With That Pasta?

Although first days are never usually the highlight of the trip this was a great way to start our adventure in London.