Day 1 began VERY early, before 4:00 am CA time for most of us, and ended VERY late, 8:00 p.m the following day, London time. I checked in to my hotel the evening before departure and received a room key with the number 13 on the fob and thought, “Huh, that’s interesting.” Interesting because I was wearing a German soccer jersey with the same number that I had purchase in my last trip. I bought it because our Fat Tire bike tour guide in Berlin was wearing the same jersey and explaine that he chose it because The player with that number had an average German name, Muller (like Smith in the United States), and was the teams most average player; which I found amusing. Wasn’t sure how arriving in London wearing that shirt would go over. (Story note: as I was listening to Albert King, “The Hunter” as I was writing and just as I wrote “London” he sang the same word!)
The next morning, we began our journey with a flight to JFK with a short layover then on to London. The flight was uneventful save for the terrifying turbulence coming in to JFK (one kid threw up) and another odd coincidence. I decided to watch a movie from the in flight choices and picked ‘Sisters’, which was not a wise choice. The only detail pertinent to this story from that movie is that at one point a giant penis was painted on a wall of a house.
After the movie I was looking around at what other people were watching and on a screen not too far from me was another large penis painted on a blue van; which I discovered was in the movie “Vacation”, which was also not a good choice. What are the odds?
Then we arrived in London:
And answered many questions that were surprisingly difficult to answer from customs officials, questions that seemed to have obvious answers yet the person I had clearly doubted my sincerity.
“Purpose of your visit?”
“What are you going to do while you’re here?”
“Oh, tourist things, see the sights.”
(Rolls eyes) “What sights are you going to see?”
“Um, Wesrminister Abbey, Trafalgar square….”
*sigh* “Are you travelling alone?”
“Nope, I’m with a group of students and teachers.”
“What kind of group is it?”
“Holy crap lady, let me in!”, I thought but did not say, but that is pretty much how it went, with MANY more questions.
Once we all ran the interrogation gauntlet we mosied to the Underground, walked several blocks and checked into our temporary residence, where we saw this:
Can’t come to England ant not get a photo of one of these. After about an hour though very tired, we hit the town. First stop was the Houses of Paliament:
Followed by Westminster Abbey:
…where this happened:
…and through us Californians for a loop! From here we headed to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery to round out our day: