Showing posts from May, 2014

London, Back Again - The Graduation Adventure Day 8

Thursday, May 29th
There are a few things I've learned during our trip so far.  I've learned to always confirm you're going to have a free breakfast before booking with Orbitz.  And I've learned if you're going to book a flight or a train ticket or whatever, have the booking coincide with the checkout time.
Now you'd think the second part should be pretty self explanatory.  It should be.  Though because we like to get places early, I think I don't think too hard about check out times.  So if check out time is 11a, having a 1p train out of town is going to make for a hard morning.  Which is what happened to us today.
Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, this is not a huge deal.  I know what you're thinking...Oh, you have to sit in the hotel's lobby for an hour just twiddling your thumbs while we're all at home not traveling in the UK.  Well, yes.  And remember, you have sunshine and warmth.  So, point to you.  But the waiting just gets annoying.…

Cardiff-Bound - The Graduation Adventure Day 6 and 7

(Why two days at once??  Just wait a minute and let me explain...)
Tuesday, May 27th
I've learned I can be in one hotel/location for four, maybe five nights.  After that, I begin getting antsy.  I want something else.  It's not really a change of hotel, but a change of scenery.  I think the last time I had a full week somewhere and noticed I had the need for a change in scenery was in Moscow.  So...that was what...2009??  This is the reason we are getting on a train today for Cardiff.
Well...kind of.  The Doctor Who Experience is the real reason we are getting on a train to Cardiff.  But that is not today's story.
The hard part about heading out for multiple locations is that we have to pack for multiple hotels.  The original packing for the trip is hard enough.  Packing the dirty with the clean and trying to get everything in place becomes increasingly difficult.  Today, we put everything back in the space saver bags.  With a little effort, everything zipped up.  And then the…

Down Time - The Graduation Adventure Day 5

Monday, May 26th
Oh, how we slept in this morning.  We knew we would.  I didn't expect we'd feel so great about that decision.  Now for us, sleeping in may have only been until 8a or so, but it didn't matter.  We. Slept. In.
Now the down side of sleeping in was the breakfast situation at the hotel.  Overall, our hotel has been nice enough.  It's in a very centralized location, so it's perfect if we need to pop back to the hotel to drop stuff off or head back to rest.  The room is small, but we really don't need much.  The shower is amazingly warm.  Seriously.  We both are beyond happy with the shower.  The beds are fine.  There are a ton of TV options at the ready.  We're happy.  But when it comes to the breakfast, it's more than a little...meh.
At first glance, the food is fine.  There are many of the elements of the English Breakfast.  You have eggs and sausage and beans and tomatoes and bacon.  There are some cereals and yogurts and pastries.  The lady …

Quintessential London - The Graduation Adventure Day 4

Sunday, May 25th
Jet lag is affecting us in different ways.  I'm up until midnight.  Wide awake.  Elias hears the rooster crow at 4am.  We ultimately sleep hard when the time (quickly or eventually) comes, but one of us is spending time being wide awake while the other one is happily snoozing.  This is kind of hilarious for me as I'm usually the early bird in any trip.  Nope.  Not with Elias.  He also mocks me for my love of staying in bed for forever after I wake up.  Mean.
The one thing I've learned so far about London is you figure out what you're going to do based on the weather.  I mean, I guess you kind of do that anyway on a trip, but for reals this time.  On Friday, we got hit with a bout of rain.  No big deal, really.  It was more annoying more than anything.  But it did get me thinking.  With a limited time to work with, we needed to budget how we attacked our trip.  To the Weather Channel App!!
Unfortunately, the weather in London seems a little meh around this…

London Calling - The Graduation Adventure Day 1 & 2 (part 2)

Part 2 - Chocolate Tea
May 22-23, 2014
We knew Afternoon Tea was on our To-Do List from the start.  Both Elias and I researched the heck out of tea in London.  Oddly enough, if you google "London tea", you get A LOT of hits.
So we had to narrow down our options.  One day, I was reading some of the travel blogs I follow.  As I scrolled through all of the wonderful places people were going, I stopped in my tracks.  Afternoon "Chocolate" Tea at the Landmark Hotel.  I paused and read along.  The pictures looked tasty.  The location was pretty close to our hotel.  And the price was...pricey.  Two out of three, huh??  I sent the link to Elias.  He wrote back very quickly saying this was the best idea he's ever heard.  We had to splurge on something.  Why not an afternoon tea??
The decision was made when to go to tea.  We decided to make an early night of our first night in London with the tea.  I remember how Elias reacted last year on the arrival day in Europe.  He …

London Calling - The Graduation Adventure Day 1 & 2 (part 1)

Part 1 - Hello, London!!
May 22-23, 2014
I don't normally combine two days into one post, but unless something monumental happens on a plane, what do I have to say anymore about how we traveled to wherever??  Plus, I'm breaking this into two parts anyway, so who knows my rhyme or reason for anything I really do.  Just ride along with me, shall you??
A few months ago, I told the story about why we are now in London.  Long story short, Elias graduated high school.  When he started high school oh so many years ago, I told him he could pick a place to visit.  That trip would be his graduation gift.  Four years of planning and thousands of dollars later (oh, this trip will not be a part of my "How I Travel Inexpensively" blog post I promise to write one of these days), we are in London.  Right. Now.

It sometimes boggles my mind.  Not only that this was a trip four years in the making, but that this is happening right now.  And it still makes me pause when I think I have a…