The moment I stepped off the plane and into the terminal, I could sense the world around me was spinning with excitement.
Okay; perhaps it was just my jetlagged brain embracing the
seemingly more gorgeous than I’ve ever seen in my life men around me as the rest of my body seemed to tremble a disoriented jig.While my family and I waited at the baggage claim, some guy had the temerity to jump on the island surrounded by Suitcase Sea. Security came rushing over quicker than either my sister or I could enter the trance produced by a British guys accent.
As we stood aside with luggage; awaiting for my Dad to do I don’t know what, this gorgeous guy leaning up against a post stepped forward with the realization we were confused tourists. Beautiful British Man ended up helping us. Now, I don’t know what he said nor did I listen as I was too focused on swimming through his sapphire blue eyes.
I knew my sister was going to melt like a popsicle on a Carolina Summer Day every time a local guy would pass by, but I didn’t realize that I, someone who doesn’t really fawn over the XY species was going to be in such a massive trance. Thus, the Male Dewy Decimal System was born(and perhaps overused…)
We ended up catching a shuttle to I don’t know where as I was too focused on absorbing the excitement—even my nose was involved; busy inhaling delicious air that tasted like creative expression, rain, and originality.
Outdoors, the air was crisp and dewy; DURING THE SUMMER! I’m so accustomed to humid hell that the temperature almost put my body into shock mode. Adds fluttered about boasting extremely low prices as the walls seemed to hum with the announcements of books, plays, and movies I’ve never heard of despite their supposed popularity.
The ten minutes or so on the shuttle felt like a music video.
Cue some music and imagine a teenage girl gazing out a window,watching the world roll out in front of her green eyes as the sun hung a quarter-way between the sky line and the center of the sky…
The five of us proceeded to pile into a taxi surrounded by five pieces of luggage and six carry-ons. Clearly NC was far behind me as we drove through the city and to our hotel to check in,freshen up, and grab a cup of coffee before figuring what to do for the day.
We ended up taking it fairly easy as our bodies got adjusted to the difference in time and environment. I was slipped some pounds as my parents went over what to do if we got lost; primarily if I got lost as I was the only IPhone-less person.
We joined the buzz around us as we walked some streets to a major shopping area and got some at a pub with a menu larger than the place. A narrow spiral staircase, a bar about twice the size of my desk, a handful of high tables with a few much lower ones outside, and all sorts of England football pride decorated the place.
I had close to four vegetarian entree options available to me. Indecision, excitement, and disorientation all took over as I ordered a veggie burger, expecting something similar to a MorningStar processed patty.
It was on the greasy,pureed to death, seemingly-not-vegetarian side but I was too busy wrapping my legs around the table; hoping to not fall to factor the taste too much into consideration.
The BBQ sauce tasted powdery/awkward/Heinz BBQ sauce to my Bone Suckin’ Sauce loving palette.
Instead of bringing ketchup with the chips, they brought malted vinegar. My approval of this place shot up quicker than the realization that the menu was part of a pub-chain.
My family made conversation with the bubbly Australian waitress as my brother(20 as of 7/13) sipped his first legal beer and my sister inquired about shopping/fashion/etc.
I was satisfied nursing a glass of water and trying to stabilize myself.
My sister ended up leading us to some major department store to hit one of the major sales the waitress was talking about. As I stood behind her converting prices to USD, I bit my tongue, trying not to babble about how overpriced everything was. We also tried finding Top Shop until we realized it was too far away for our mental state.
My brother ended up retreating back to the hotel to do some technology related stuff with my sisters IPhone/I Touch or some crap as we ended up walking around/poking through some shops.
In second grade, I had a classmate move back to England halfway through the year and reestablished communication with her a couple years ago. During spring break, I had her tell me a variety of exciting/interesting things to see/do/shop at while in London, including a marketplace that sounded like a personal haven.
There was a lot of overpriced shit that I knew came from China and extremely touristy crap concealing the perfectly priced gems that I knew existed.
Betsy Johnson earrings that translated to a little under $12 USD even though I’m used to seeing them priced as high as $36 USD? Yes please.
Bazaar sounds like such a Neopet word to me yet it described this unforgotten-name-place perfectly. Products ranged from sunglasses to Beatles garb to vintage clothing to paper lanterns to Oriental Trading Company looking goods to touristy tee-shirts to everything in between…all smothered in the delicious smell of fresh baked pizza and Chinese and Indian Food.
My sister ended up wanting some John Lennon style sunglasses at a booth with some special two-for-x-price sale going on.
I ended up getting suckered to pick out a pair so my parents could get the special price. Then again, the only sunglasses I own that weren’t free VIA ordering contacts are a pair of TJ Maxx $6.99 scratched up, reflective lens, peeling paint 70’s blue/teal that managed to survive a lot longer than I had anticipated but take pride in/love wearing. The sole reason for my love of them is simply, the reflective lens allows me to shift my eyes as much as I want in reaction to someone without anyone but me knowing.
I picked out a squash colored pair with the same style as my beloved ones yet shushed myself from bringing up the rip-off price.
We retreated to the hotel in hopes of a suggestion for dinner/bedtime for my brother and sister. I wasn’t exactly tired as much as I was excited to sample more of what London had to offer.
My parents and I ended up going to a place called The Portman; about a five minute walk away from the hotel. Much larger than the pub we ate lunch at earlier, and a menu that shook me with the same sort of indecision. Plus, their daily special was sprawled out on a massive chalkboard with options just begging to be picked.
Thankfully, my Mom was thinking along the same lines as me as we opted to share a the daily soup(pumpkin), a salad(Goats Cheese, Asparagus, Basil Puree & Lavender), and a serving of quiche.
My father really wanted to try the desert of the day; a orange almond cake with fresh cream, so we demolished that too.
All in all, the first day in London was fantastic and I could barely sleep that night with excitement and jetlag to see what the other four days had in store.
Day two is coming soon 🙂