By Jantsen McBride
Boy oh boy, I can’t believe I have been in England for almost a week now! I am writing this entry in coach on the train ride to Lancaster. The boys and I have been divided with our seats being in different train cars. This is the first time since I have been here that I am alone. Not sure how I feel about it. The week has been filled with many beautifully picturesque sightseeing adventures, lovely accents and many new cultural experiences.
To start this story I feel it is important to mention that for the most part I am a patient, calm individual. But at the beginning of my Euro adventure I was anything but this description. While boarding the plane for Toronto my carry- on bag was checked at the gate because of the aircraft being extremely small (OK, OK, and my suitcase may have looked like I was smuggling a small child on board…). But in any case, when getting off the plane my bag was nowhere to be found. After going through customs I went to baggage claim to look for my lost bag only to realize I was past the security checkpoint. I hunted around for the missing suitcase and checked with the airline employees, but finally I had to get going to catch my flight to London. Stressor No. 1 accomplished. Oh, and did I mention I got lost from the boys? Add stressor No. 2 to the list.
Now I was confused. Where do I re-enter the terminal? Do I have to go back through security? Is my flight United or Air Canada? I have 30 minutes to get on that plane. My mom is going to kill me if I miss this flight. Tears are starting to well up in my eyes. Why am I crying over this, you ask? Because my go to reaction with any high-emotion situation, positive or negative, is to bawl. Mature, I know. Lucky for me, this got me ahead of the security line due to the empathy of my fellow passengers, or shear fear that I was a lunatic. Also, because I was such a heavy packer, I decided to wear my new heeled Guess boots; that way I could pack more and the shoes wouldn’t take up so much room in my luggage. Rookie mistake McBride. I proceeded to run/walk with very overweight bags to my gate. I was THAT girl. “Excuse me, sorry, pardon me!” All said in the voice of what probably sounded like an out of shape, 500-pound, 50-year-old smoker. I get to my gate as the plane is boarding. Cody meets me as I get in line and I have never been more relieved in my life.
A seven hour plane ride later and we’re in London. Picture the most beautiful storybook illustrations have come to life. The architecture and history are unreal in this city. Buildings hundreds of years old, built and carved to extreme precision surround you at every corner. I visited the major sights and took in many others along the way. My favorite was St. Paul’s Cathedral. Holy moly was it gorgeous! Pillars and statues carved into a gigantic stone complex that was so incredibly large I couldn’t get it into the frame of my camera. I bet church service there is pretty rad.
While staying in London we stayed in two different hotels. In both hotels we were on the top floor, which meant dragging our luggage up three or four flights of stairs because there was no elevator. Thank God for the boys. I carried my backpack and coat. Such a heavy lifter, I know. Taking the subway was surprisingly painless and quite simple, although standing next to people who are holding the arm rails above your head with no deodorant on wasn’t particularly pleasant. Food in London wasn’t what I expected, either. I had heard people talk about English food as bland and heavy, but I enjoyed all the meals I had.
Because I was so excited last night to get to Lancaster, I only got a couple of winks of sleep. So with the hour remaining on my train ride, I will try to get some Z’s in. I have a big day ahead of me. Cheerio! P.S. Prince Harry told me to tell ya’ll hi.