I had the opportunity to spend my first weekend in the UK catching up with Eagle’s Nest friends and seeing a bit of the country, here is a narrative and pictorial review:
On Saturday morning, I departed the hostel for Harrod’s. My mission was dual purpose: get some goodies to take to Katie and revisit a place from my first UK trip with my parents years ago. As my mom tells it, I was quite miserable on our visit to Harrod’s, so I felt a certain reparation of spirits was in order.
I believe I successfully made amends with the Harrod’s spirits and hope I have a chance to return when I am back in London. I would like to visit the Champagne Bar 😉
Next on the docket: Travel by train to Portslade to see Katie! (Joe was not going to be able to join us because of a schedule conflict, sorry I missed you!) My original plan was to walk from Harrod’s to Victoria Station, suitcase and all, but I was strongly discouraged from doing this by the doorman at Harrod’s. Instead, he suggested a bus – of course, he didn’t know about my bus fiasco from the day before. If I wasn’t concerned about time, I would have stuck to my guns and walked, but as the situation stood, the bus was probably my best option. Thankfully the doorman told me which bus I needed, and with more than a hint of trepidation, I set out for the nearest stop.
Using the tidbit of information from the doorman (“Take C1”) I was able to decode the bus schedule! Now I understand how the maps work and might even be able to do it again. I feel a bit self conscious standing at the stop while double and triple checking my route, but it beats getting on the wrong bus.
To celebrate getting on the correct bus AND train, I ate my Harrod’s exclusive peanut butter cupcake. It was good, but I think I expected more chocolate. I’ll just have to go back for another 🙂
Full and happy, we made our way back to the train station and Katie’s flat. The remainder of the evening was wonderfully relaxing. We watched the third movie in the Chronicles of Narnia series, with a brief interlude of NCIS for me while Katie was making dinner (delicious red pesto with vegetables and pasta), then called it an evening. Being able to rest and refresh was exactly what I needed after a day of travel and the stress of navigating London.
Then Katie took me to the train station and waved me off. I was on my way to Oxford.
About three hours later, I arrived in Oxford and met Lauren H. at the train station. Nothing compares to having a smiling face waiting for you at the station. After dropping my suitcase at the local Backpackers, we set off on to wander about Oxford.
First stop was a small market for some food, which we took to eat while catching up at a grassy area outside Oxford Castle.
Full, we set off for the train station to head to Lauren’s tent in the forest for the evening.
After a light breakfast, we had a long walk to get to the train station. No time to waste!
At this point we are walking very fast and even jogging some to make it to the train. It was going to be tight! I think Lauren is a faster walker than I am, which we probably should have accounted for when planning our departure. That or all my picture taking…
This was actually a huge success. We had about two minutes to spare. So high fives and hugs were exchanged, a commemorative photo was taken, and then it was time to wave good bye from the train. Thank you Lauren for a wonderful afternoon in Oxford and for giving me a very special stay in your forest. It is something I will not forget!
Next post will be on the conference! Be PLAYful!