a couple of months ago, jamie and i began throwing around the idea of going to europe. it seemed like the perfect time to go -- we had saved for our adoption only to see it stall much longer than expected, and quite honestly, we needed something to look forward to after months of uncertainty and unfulfilled anticipation.
we flew out of raleigh on may 4th. we got lucky and got bumped to a direct flight to london after our flight to newark got delayed. we both hate flying, so having to endure one less takeoff and landing (plus 2 hours in the air) was a good way to start our trip. the flight was uneventful -- food, movies, failed attempts to sleep, etc. after we landed at heathrow, we went directly through customs (we packed lightly and didn't check any bags. yes, we are awesome), and then found the tube. i, being extremely map illiterate, had no clue which direction to take us when we got off the tube at victoria station. so we just started walking. and thankfully, this kind british gentleman on a bicycle noticed we seemed out of place and asked, "lost, are we?" he pointed us in the right direction, and off we went. then it started to rain. then i got us lost again. at that point, i was ready to go home. then a nice british lady pushing a baby stroller got us back on course. we found our hotel, put our bags down, and went off in search of breakfast and wifi.
we found a restaurant called the shakespeare. jamie had his first full english breakfast (fried egg, bacon, sausage, baked beans, tomato, and mushroom). we planned out our tube routes for the day and studied maps to avoid getting lost again. the jet lag caught up with me during breakfast, and i had a brief period of craziness before recovering with a cappuccino.
first, we went to the british museum (check out jamie below). we saw the rosetta stone, some mummies, some ethiopian art, and a bunch of other stuff that i honestly can't remember. we really only went for the rosetta stone and the mummies.
next, we went to the british library. seriously, we're a little dorky. i wanted to see all the old biblical manuscripts and bibles. we also saw several famous literary manuscripts and an original copy of handel's messiah.
at that point, we had walked a whole lot. but because it was such a beautiful day, i convinced jamie that we should go over to big ben/parliament/westminster abbey so i could take pictures just in case it was raining the day we'd planned to visit and tour the abbey. so far, i hadn't actually felt like i was in london because we hadn't seen any of the major sights. i should probably say that i had been dreaming about going to london since i was in 6th grade, so i really couldn't wait to be face to face with big ben.
and when we stepped off the tube, there he was.
let me explain the picture below because it makes me laugh. we were super-paranoid about asking anyone to take a picture of us together because we had read way too much about pickpockets and thieves. jamie attempted to take a picture of me in front of big ben, but he's blind, and well...that didn't work out well just because there's a certain angling you've got to do to get everything in the picture. i think one of the parliament guards felt sorry for us and offered to take a picture of us even though he's not really supposed to. however, he managed not only to catch jamie with his eyes closed but also to CUT-OFF BIG BEN! well, at least you can kinda tell we were there...
we walked across the street to see westminster abbey. there are seriously no words. more about that when i get to the day we actually went in. we were there a week after the royal wedding, so not only was i flipping about this 1000-year old church, but i was thinking about william and kate and how i'm little obsessed with the royal family.
we topped off the day with dinner at a pub right around the corner from our hotel. we both had burgers, and jamie was right when he warned me: british burgers are way inferior to american burgers. they put a lot of breadcrumbs in with the meat so the burger is half meat and half other stuff. not cool.