London, Part I: Really, William? Really??

I went back and forth a bit today about whether or not I’d do my planned blog about our last trip stop – London.  See, I absolutely 185% LOVED London.  Until a little over 24 hours ago, when from London came some rather shocking news. 

Not even from the horse’s mouth – but via a newscast.

Public breakups are never appropriate, Prince William.  I mean, yes, I suspected Kate was leading the race to the altar.  But in my heart, my mangled heart, I still held out hope.  So good luck.

Dear Harry,
Hi….

Well, as Eminem would say…Snap back to reality.

As warned, we were kicked of our cruise ship in Dover, England.  Now, on departure day, you are given a specific time to depart – this keeps the groups going to the same places together.  There’s the airport buses, the hotel buses, the people who are actually getting back on the ship buses, etc.

My family waited until the allotted time and went to the appropriate bus.  Where we faced a cluster…

Turns out everyone else on this hotel bus dashed out early.  And half of them thought it was appropriate to bring their three weeks of luggage on board instead of stowing it underneath.  Turns out the same half also preferred not to sit with their husband/wife/significant. 

In summary, there was no where for us to sit.  And no one willing to adjust.  Did I mention just how cranky people get at the end of a three week vacation?  Multiply it by a big number.

We finally ended up in the very back row – the one that goes five across – where the middle seat is barely a seat and faces directly up the aisle.  Yes, I’m nearing 40…and I still had to sit on the hump.

The bus ride turned into four hours of hell.  Flanking me were my dad and a guy from Colorado.  Within minutes, both were sound asleep.  When grown men fall asleep, gravity forces them towards the middle.  Where I sat. 

The whole point of this ride is to keep you busy until it’s time to check into your hotels.  We did actual circles around London.  Many, many, many circles – but no actual stopping.

Until a bathroom riot.  Never deny 40 cranky people a potty break.

Yes, eventually the hell ended and we were deposited at our hotel.  Who didn’t seem to be expecting us so early.  Which gave us a much needed hour to drink a beer, eat fish and chips and re-live the morning.
Now, on my London List, I had three things:
1.  The Tower of London
2.  A Toasted Cheese Sandwich in Borough Market
3.  Harrods
Harrods could only fit in on this first day in London – and had to take place between hotel check-in and our appointment to ride the London Eye.  The window was small and shrinking.  Surely we wouldn’t start off this stop with a total strike out?
In a SHOCKER, Mom and I were not only granted our Harrods wish AND Dad would be joining us.  (Yes, I should have sense something strange…).
And, after a quick taxi ride…
We did it!  Now, for those of you who may be thinking, “Oh yippee, a department store…”  No, no…you’re so wrong.  This is some sort of mecca with floor after floor and department after department. 
I seriously believe I could spend a full week in this store and still not see everything.
Ah, but the rub. 
Upon entering through these doors to heaven on earth….Dad looked at his watch and said, “Okay, ladies…you have one hour.” 
Come again?
We zipped through that store buying whatever we could reach.  I bought Oven Roasting Mitts.  I don’t even have a roasting pan.  I couldn’t even guess when the last time my oven was on.  But they are so cute!
We snatched up stuff on our right, stuff on our left – a total pay now, figure out what you bought mentality.  And I’ve never seen such a display of Burberry or Louis V..  Endless.
They even had an enormous pet section – where you could buy actual puppies.  If you had a spare couple grand.  Couldn’t be done in our allotted hour.
In fairness to Father Time…our scheduled London Eye ride was at 5pm and after that, a 9.30pm stop at the Tower of London – so I guess the stopwatch was necessary.
Still…Harrods…I’m coming back to you.  Don’t you worry.
Consider yourself on notice.

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