Vacation finally arrived! We set out on August 27 for London for just over two weeks of sightseeing and arrived home late on Thursday, September 11. That left three days to unpack and get ready to go back to work.
Usually vacation eve is an angst-ridden time, but somehow I managed to keep involved with my to-do list up until the last minute. I think it helped that we had an evening flight scheduled so there was no need to crawl out of bed at the crack of dawn and rush around trying to remember to pack all our stuff. On Tuesday I made sure all our paperwork and tickets were sorted and ready to go.
I had pre-packed some clothes and cosmetics, so Wednesday we had a relaxed breakfast and then spent the morning packing our new, bright-orange suitcases. We left the house around noon and headed for Dulles airport. The Washington metro area can be ridiculous for traffic, so we headed out extra early and stopped for coffee en route. The problem is that you either end up having too much time to spend waiting, or else you risk getting stuck in traffic and worrying about getting to the airport on time. As it was, we arrived in plenty of time. I’d booked offsite parking and it the shuttle bus got us to Dulles quickly. Security took less time than we thought and so we had a long wait for our flight.
I have a fear of heights and I was worried that I might have a panic attack on the plane, but once we boarded I was able to relax and watch movies. It was an overnight flight and our plane landed at Heathrow just before nine Thursday morning. The customs line was long but it moved quickly, and by 10:30 we were sipping huge coffees and just glad to figuratively be on our feet again.
The first day in England was mostly spent in transit. After our coffee we boarded the Heathrow Express train to Paddington Station and from there took the Underground to Euston Station. We trundled our pumpkin-colored luggage out of the station and rolled it down the sidewalk, clack, clack, clack. Fortunately the hotel was a only few minutes away. We arrived before check-in, so we dropped off the luggage and headed to the British Library.