So much I want to write, but I’m pretty exhausted from the overnight flight so I’m kinda slow and clumsy typing.
The flight was great, once I got going. My boyfriend was concerned because my nervousness reached such a peak last night standing outside of the security check that I thought I might vomit. I made it though, partially due to my boyfriend holding my hand and “dropping me off” at the security gate. Once I was on the plane, it was the same exhilaration of the power of the engines as they sped us down the runway, and then the joy of that pull deep in your stomach as gravity finally lets go. I watched as my city’s map became clearer, outlined in all those city lights, and I traced the path back to my house, and then further to my boyfriend’s house, and I whispered my good night and “see you in two weeks” to the window. Within only a few minutes, we were on our way past Montreal and beyond. I kept the map open on my little self-entertainment screen, opting to write, listen to my calming music and attempt to sleep.
We all started the flight, however, a little off kilter. Due to others having taken their seats, I oriented myself by those clues and sat in what I believed was my seat. It turns out that about seven rows of passengers had shifted one row back, thus displacing a lovely lady who had really gotten it right. Add to that the fact that the flight attendants had rearranged another person’s seating arrangement so that a young mother could have all three seats in the middle row because there weren’t any more baby bassinets and she needed two seats for her baby to sleep on. She spent the night with her knees curled around him so he wouldn’t fall out. I the end, I think the other lovely lady got upgraded – hopefully to one of the really good seats. She spent take-off as my seat partner and I hoped aloud for her to get a real first class seat.
They gave us dinner at 11pm and then I turned over and tried to sleep. I did pretty well, catching bits of sleep here and there. After they turned out the cabin lights, I was able to see only a few stars out my window, because the wing light was so bright. It was cool to see the lights of so much of Canada laid out below me as we flew over Quebec and then between Newfoundland and Labrador.
Before the flight attendants closed all the blinds in the plane, I could see the first blush of dawn colouring the horizon we were heading towards. The ocean was quite cloud covered in the morning. As was Ireland and England as we flew over them, but I still managed to catch a glimpse of hedges outlining neat green fields in the Limerick area of Ireland, and white capped blue ocean just off of Wexford.
So I spent the rest of my day taking the London Underground (shout out to my friends L and J – thanks so much for the Oyster card!) which was super easy (thank you, British organization!) and because I managed to organize myself well, I was able to immediately pick up my train tickets for tomorrow when I got off the tube at Euston Station. I stored my suitcase at my hotel just down the street from the station (Euston Square Hotel – it is “minimalist” but good for my needs tonight). And then I wandered straight down Gower Street, took a right when I saw a cafe I could probably eat at, ended up going a bit further and had a plate of fusilli with aubergine and tomato sauce from a Sicilian cafe in the university area. Then I wandered back up a random street that was inexplicably lined with furniture shops, and once I got back to Euston Street, I walked to Regent Park.
What a beautiful place – tulips, pansies (as seen in the previous picture – taken for my sister), flowering trees, birds, and overly friendly squirrels. I had a major Disney princess moment there. I was walking down one of the Avenue Gardens and a squirrel made eye contact and started hopping towards me, looking for food. I took some pictures and marvelled at the bad habits people had taught him. But then I continued on to the rose garden at the Queen Mary circular garden and I sat for a moment (on a bench dedicated to two people, which appropriately read “Why wait when you can sit?”). I was really starting to feel the exhaustion. And then this little orange breasted warbler landed on the back of the bench, looking directly at me. Then, it flitted over and landed *ON MY KNEE* and looked directly at me, right in my face (with it’s adorable blinking beady black eyes). Then it went to the arm of the bench, and a little cross-bar on the arbour beneath which I sat. It also clearly had been taught that people feed the birds and I was kind of sad I didn’t have anything appropriate to feed it.
I eventually wandered back to check into my hotel, which is why I’m posting this now. :)
Tomorrow I’ll get to Ireland. More adventures to be had!