Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Personal Post: Our trip to Europe, Days 1 & 2 - Drugs Are Not Always My Friend

So! On October 25, we traveled to Europe to be in London for our wedding anniversary, and then Paris for my birthday.  We have never been to Europe together.  Jeff's family traveled extensively, and I lived in London during my late teens/early twenties before I was deported.  Long story.  We were total tourists; had sent me two Rick Steves guides for my birthday. Jeff had one or the other with him at all times, and we weren't afraid to stand on the street going "buh?" as we found our way around.

We flew on Virgin Atlantic.  Since I despise flying, I insisted we book Premium Economy, which is worth EVERY PENNY.  Large leather seats, more legroom, everything free.  If we were drinkers we would have made out like bandits.  It's probably their equivalent to Business Class, which we've never flown.  Also individual tvs and great meals on plates with real utensils. When we boarded, we were offered free champagne, but we chose orange juice instead.  Rather than the red eye, we decided to spend Saturday traveling, leaving around 7 AM and getting in somewhere around 8. Don't ask me--I was so bombed on drugs I could have been in New Jersey.  We checked in at the Windermere Hotel on Warwick Way, south-west London near Victoria Station. The underground looked EXACTLY the way I remembered it.  The entire street was hotels!  This photograph is not mine; it shows the front of the hotel.

Windermere outside

Our room was at the very top.  I knew European hotel rooms are tiny, so I reserved a "superior double."  Look at all of that space to luxuriate in!

Windermere bedroom
The door is about a foot away, and there is a teeny shelf called a "desk".

The bathroom had a skylight!!  It felt like the height of luxury.  The one problem was that there were no bars in the shower, so Jeff had to help me in and out.  Our view was of the council housing (in New York, housing projects for the poor) outside.  I smashed into the bed while Jeff went for a walk around the hotel.

Windermere Hotel
Sorry for the blurriness.  You can see the council housing behind the hotel

Jeff's pictures are much sharper; I might have to snag them off Facebook.  Anyway, you can see the council housing behind us.  We're in the tiny rooms on the top.

There was a little restaurant below ground.  Every morning they offered a "full English breakfast": eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, grilled tomato, mushrooms and baked beans.  There was also a little buffet of cereal and fruit salad.  We did mixes of the English breakfast every morning.  Except you couldn't pay me to eat the baked beans.  I ate beans on toast and spaghetti on toast constantly when I lived there.

Our first day, we arranged to meet a friend of Jeff's at a traditional restaurant called Brown's, which has locations all over the place.  We wanted the roast and Yorkshire pudding.  I should warn you now, there are no pictures of food.  We got hopelessly lost, and were extremely late. Andrew, Jeff's friend, was too damned gracious!  I kept insisting they sit next to each other, because it was so loud.  Andrew was so polite, "oh, no, no, you stay right there."

What Andrew didn't know was that I was still drunk from the drugs.  Shortly after this picture was taken, I fell asleep at the table!  Even THEN Andrew insisted I sit between them!  The food wasn't very good.  I wanted the pork roast, which they were out of, so I had chicken. Jeff said his mother made much better Yorkshire pudding. After that we ate at ethnic restaurants or suggestions from the guidebook.

Yours truly, about to faceplant into the Yorkshire pudding

I had to ask Jeff what we did for the rest of the day. He says we went to Covent Garden, which I have no memory of. We walked all day, so I was happy to smash into the bed again. As an American, I'm slightly grossed out by there being a white bottom sheet and a large white duvet with no top sheet. It was the same in both hotels. Why? Especially with the high stain risk?

Glad to finally get this posted!!!!

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