Friday, August 5, 2016


It's day five of a vacation and I'm just now getting to writing about our adventures. I didn't mean to leave you in suspense. Candidly, I've found it harder to adjust to our vacation routine than I expected.

It's been 14 years since I've been to Europe, and it's my first time to England, and London is an impressively large city. Adjustment to jet lag took Tuesday and even a little bit of Wednesday (waking up was tough). We have a nice apartment: smaller of course than our home in Lansdale and, to be honest, smaller than what we normally rent when on vacation in the states, but large by European standards. It did take me a day or two to get used to our lodgings. It also took me until last night to feel like I knew what I was doing with mass transit. The system for paying for our travels is a bit bewildering, despite the words on their website, the advice of our agent, or even the helpful woman at Sainsbury's, our nearby grocery store. To get over the transit confusion, I tapped into something I really, really like about London. 

Every tube stop has a paid, uniformed attendant to assist passengers. Not a police officer. Not an agent behind a booth. A flesh-and-blood man or woman roaming about near the turnstiles. I wish American cities did the same. 

Sam and Caroline pose amidst transferring on their first tube ride. 
One thing that hasn't been too hard to adjust to has been groceries. We're about 3/4 of a mile away from a good supermarket. I can find most items there I want. A few surprises (like the British mustard). Some silly names. And, what's surprised me the most, is the reasonable price for groceries. I don't think I'm paying much more than I do at home. 

One bit of Eurobewilderment regarding groceries and food: what on earth the symbols on our oven represent.

What's that bloody symbol to the bottom right mean? 
Our best move acclimating the family to our new home away from home was the decision to come back to our apartment for lunch yesterday. It allowed the kids to go for a swim. Allowed them to zone out on some devices. Allowed us to eat dinner near a normal hour. It was a sane response to what has been a good problem: anything we want to see in London involves more time than expected. The sites we've seen are that fascinating and deep.

Okay, so I was a little ignorant. I thought Tower of London meant there was one tower. I didn't realize that it was tower, after tower, after tower. We were at this site for about six hours. 

No comments:

Post a Comment