I didn't feel as nervous as I expected when Paul and I boarded the big, fat Boeing 777 in Chicago for London. Excited, slightly nervous, but mostly just eager to get going already and land in England. It was a long flight and hard to sleep, but really, I can't complain about the magic of air transportation. It's almost as fantastic as the Internet.
We arrived in London around noon and took the Hotel Hoppa (bus) to the DoubleTree Inn about 4 miles from the airport. I was so exhausted, I had to close my eyes for a few minutes. Maybe 60.
So how does one go about seeing the sites of London in five hours? You take the Piccadilly Line tube to Russell Square and head for the British Museum, after a quick refreshment break at the Plough, a 125-year old pub.
The British Museum was magnificent with thousands of artifacts from every imaginable place and time. We even saw the Rosetta Stone. The real one, not that disc set that promises to teach you to speak Swahili in 10 easy lessons.
After the museum, we hit the sidewalk and made it to Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus (sadly, not a trapeze artist in sight) and Buckingham Palace. We were starving by now, but there wasn't anything in our price range in the area. The Ritz Hotel had full English tea for 150 pounds. We skipped that and made it back to the Tube for the return ride to the hotel. We both fell asleep, though luckily, woke up just before our exit.
There was a small Indian restaurant by our hotel and the savory scent of chicken korma was irresistible. We had a plate of that and saag paneer and garlic naan and some samosas. Our bellies full of curry, we shuffled across the street to our hotel and promptly got ready for bed.
Whereupon, I could not get to sleep. Yup - totally exhausted, strung out and wrung out after just a few catnaps in the past 36 hours. Jet lag is a drag. I finally drifted off a little after midnight and had bizarre dreams until the alarm went off just a handful of hours later.