We have arrived in London! We got in about 3:45 pm London time and we were so out of sorts with our schedules all out of whack. My first impression of London was the smell of Tang. In fact it was sort of a theme because the orange juice they served on the plane was definitely powdered and very Tang like. Poor Joon had an unfortunate accident with the tangy orange juice and ended up wearing it and possibly ruining her stuffed Pusheen. Anyway, after we got through customs and were funneling up and down the many stairways towards our car service, we smelled this very strange orange-scented cleaner. Like Tang! Cheerio! That’s my first impression of London.
My second impression is that it is very bright! Maybe it’s because we are farther north latitudinally than Southern California and the sun is closer during the summer or maybe it’s because I’m used to living by the ocean with a marine layer constantly in the air. Or maybe it was just unusually sunny! Very sunny for three in the afternoon.
My third impression is: why are there ladies dressed this way? Is there some sort of comi-con-kawaii party going on in the park? I didn’t have the guts to take a picture face on but if I see more of these ladies I definitely will because they are everywhere.
After a quick walk to the River Thames we figured out we were hungry and settled on the worst food chain ever: Garfunkles. I think this is where all tourists go first because we don’t know any better. We later figured out there are a ton of really nice restaurants on the other side of the square so I am not going to say that all food in London is terrible. But Garfunkles is definitely terrible. I think some of the terribleness is a bit sentimental though. Dense mashed potatoes that taste like they’ve been under a heat lamp all day, watery iceberg salad with bits of cabbage, mashed peas that look like guacamole but definitely are NOT. We were such blundering Americans.
By this time we were all getting very grumpy and tired because our internal clocks were clashing with the bright sunshine. We yelped a coffee shop thinking a shot or two of espresso would fix us up.
But that didn’t work at all. My plan was to stay up all day and go to bed when the Londoners do so we could beat jet lag but the kids thought that was a horrible idea. Nothing could keep them up and in the end I had to give in.
Of course me being being the extreme morning person that I am, I could not sleep at all with the sun shining so bright. My brain completely works off the sun and does not care at all what time it is. So I sat in our apartment and sulked for two hours straight while everyone else slept like the dead. I think possibly jet lag gave me a sour attitude but no desire to sleep which is terribly inconvenient when everyone else is sleeping. How could we be in London, just steps away from so much to explore and all anyone wanted to do was sleep?!! But also, how can you make kids do things when they are tired and grumpy? Sometimes you just have to accept your limits.
Why didn’t I go out and explore London alone you ask? Honestly, I was too afraid and I knew that Payam would be sad to miss the things I would be doing without him. The girls could care less but I know Payam would want to be with me. So I waited and sulked and worked myself up into a really foul mood.
It was a mood that could only be cured by the most loving boyfriend who knows how to cheer me up like no other AND WONDERFUL SUNSET LIGHT! When everyone finally woke up and we got ourselves back down into town, the shadows were so long and everything was glinting with gold. Sweet-time light saves the day!
We walked around Trafalgar square, trying to stay out of crowds because of course we are all paranoid of terrorist now.
And through some kind of horse guard palace. I apologize I still do not really know where I am but we are taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour today so I will be much more educated about things when I blog about day two.
Then we walked by Big Ben. Big Ben is under construction so it is not chiming regularly but I’m happy to report that it chimed twenty times this morning at exactly 8:24 (an odd time to chime) and it sounded lovely! I rushed past all the sleeping bodies this morning to our balcony to listen to it and I was not disappointed.
After Big Ben we walked over the bridge to the London Eye. We couldn’t take ride in The London Eye as they only take reservations and were all sold out but we promised ourselves we would go make reservations online and try it again another day. Of course we haven’t gotten around to that but we have many more days to go.
Goodnight first day of London!