European Vacation

The Burgeson's trip to London and Norway 06 is chronicled here for anyone who's interested. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Americans are coming!

We arrived in London yesterday after a fairly uneventful 6+ hour plane trip. As usual, I couldn't sleep on the plane, but the kids and Tiana got about 4 hours in. Each seat was equipped with its own television screen and video on demand so Reidar was in heaven. He watched King Kong until after midnight, which is about the time they fed us dinner. Three hours later they gave us breakfast. Besides the 5 hour time change and the lack of sleep, our bodies were confused by the strange meal times we were keeping.

This is probably why Reidar got sick while we are on the ground waiting to deplane. Ari was in a mood as well. So when we bussed our way to customs and saw the line that would take us an hour to pass through, we were a little depressed. Thats when we caught a break. A nice customs employee took pity on us and walked us to the head of the mile long line and we were processsed in no time flat.

After we retrieved our luggage and changed money, we bought some train tickets for the half hour trip to Victoria station in London. By the way, the pd. beats the dollar at a ration of 2:1 so a hundred bucks nets us fifty. The prices for food and such are about the same as here, which sounds great until you realize your eight dollar meal really costs you $20 USD.

We almost fell asleep on the train but were soon at the station. There, we caught one of those cute English taxis to our hotel. Jury's Kensington hotel is very nice. Our room wasn't ready so we took a nice hike to the park -- a huge sprawling wooded area -- and walked around for an hour or so. We saw the famous statue of John Barrie's Peter Pan and watched some local kids playing "football". We must look like a typical british family, because we were asked for directions twice while on our jaunt.

After collapsing in the hotel room for three hours, we woke up and explored the area around the hotel. A few people stopped us to tell us how cute Ari was, and we found this area of Kensington to be quaint and friendly. There are a number of restaurants, a small grocery where we purchased some snacks, and other assorted stores nearby. The streets are narrow but clean and well kept, and the appearances of the people, buildings, and cars makes us feel like we are in any large city back home.

We decided to have dinner at the Irish pub style restaurant attached to our hotel. I had a nice little Irish stew, Tiana a sandwich, and the kids shared some nachos. I of course had a nice pint of Guiness, and made Tiana have one too, instead of the Coors she was going to order. She was glad she did, I think. Reidar and I watched Australia play France in Rugby on the flat screen, and he really enjoyed it (maybe a new sport we can bring back to Manistee?)

After dinner we went back to the room, had some ice cream from the grocer, and crashed. We still are a little jet-lagged, and Ari woke up in the middle of the night, but some Benadryl solved that issue. I am currently the only one awake, as the rest of the family is still in a coma, so I got showered and decided to blog.

Today, we are taking a tour on the big red bus. It will stop all over London. Tonight we are having dinner with some friends of Tiana's uncle. I'll give an update later. I just brewed some hot water so I could have some english tea, and stupid me filled the pot too high so it boiled over. Cheers for now!


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