Phew! Depending on how you count, I’ve slept something like four hours out of the last 48. Leaving NYC at 6:30pm, on a flight that ended up being nearly an hour shorter than expected, where they did NOT dim the cabin lights at any point, landing in Shannon which was cute and cozy and completely packed with soldiers and tourists; passing out hard on the flight to London, and then continued adventures! I am beat. But still doing so well.
Getting to London was no problem. For the record, I still have not actually seen Ireland besides the interior of the Shannon airport. We landed in the pitch darkness and then when the sun came up the land was blanketed in fog. I fell asleep as soon as my connecting flight took off and only woke up when we touched down to Heathrow, so-yeah, that grand reveal will have to happen later in the trip.
I love how public transportation is so accessible and easy to use, literally everywhere I have ever been. I am convinced that the public transit haters in the US are simply missing schema, if a system is so easy that, I after no sleep, no caffeine, can successfully navigate the tube, this is an accessible and easy to use system.
I arrived at my hostel, St James, in Earls Court road with no problem. I am also treated to a gorgeous sunny London day-crip and breezy. My room wasn’t ready yet, so I dumped my bags and headed out on the town. The goal was Harrod’s, but I got completely side tracked by a walk down memory lane. I accidentally found myself in front of the Sainsbury’s I used to frequent, took pictures of the Foundation House where we went to class, and wanderd in and out of many of the old haunts.Garfunkle’s is still there, as is the Waitrose I went to on my first frantic night in 2003. I found Partridge’s, home of the $14.00 box of Lucky Charms, and the Sandwich Shop that was always willing to extend credit to broke students. I believe that this is the point where extreme fatigue began to set in-I walked forEVER trying to get to Harrod’s. Which is dumb because I know full well that if I just stay on my own street it drops out right in front of the store. But I kept wandering in circles, getting more frustrated and determined to make it work. Maps did not help, directions did not help. Ah!
I eventually made it. Reveled in the air conditioning, the perfume counters, the evening gowns fit for the red carpet, and wandered the food stalls. Harrod’s is still an icon and likely always will be, but I’ll admit that it wasn’t the mind blowing experience I remember. Possibly I was tired and grouchy, or possibly I am old and jaded. Or a combination. So passes the world.
I caved on budget and took the tube back to my hostel-only 3 stops, but I was so beat down by life at that point. My room was ready (actually somewhat nicer than our house back in the day) and I slept about two hours. Met two of the roommates (there are seven besides me). That was a good and very needed nap.
Around 5:30 I went in search of dinner, fully intending to get chips for he sandwich shop, but they were gone already! Next goal was to go to the Settle inn where I was once employed, but it’s gone too…there’s a Whole Foods in that storefront now…ain’t dere no more. So, I wound up at the Goat (new ownership, sanitized…bummer) but the bangers and mash were amazing, the crier was cold, and the service was friendly. I took a long, meandering walk home, and now I’m about 20 minutes from being down for the count again. Forcing myself into a schedule. So I don’t lose any minutes! That’s what planes and trains are for. Just don’t ask me what day it is, the date, or the time. No idea.