So, we've been in London since July 8. That was seventeen days ago. Day one was mostly just a night, then there was a day of mostly parks, then our hosts left, and then we did some exploring: Oxford Circus, the West End, streets of bookstores, Piccadilly Circus, the National Gallery, the science museum. Then we did some solo exploring: I went to Notting Hill and the Portobello Market, while Matt went to Charing Cross and Tottenham Court Road.
Next, we got sick. Sick! Not everyone may know this, but I've been to London several times, each time for a very little span of time, before this time, I mean. First time was two days with my parents in 2000; the third time was getting to London last summer, where I was here for less than ten hours; and the forth time was getting back to London for an evening and a morning last summer, when Laura and I had the coach bus ride from hell. But the second time was late December, 2005, and I had left Luxembourg for Frankfurt, flown to London, took the train to Victoria, the tube to Kensal Green, and gotten out, late in the evening, at my hostel, where I ate a hamburger and fries, which were delicious--and smothered with mayonnaise. I hung around with a kid from Washington State, I did this and that, I went to bed--and an hour later, I woke up and galloped down the hall like a dizzy giraffe to get to the bathroom, to puke. I was sick every half hour for I think twelve hours, I called Mom more than once from a pay phone out front of the hostel with change, and finally, I managed to hold down water. Off I went to Ireland and Scotland to Brussels, where I saw a lot, met cool people, and ate... very little.
So I'm peeved. I have a sticky note on my desktop that's the whole of the screen from top to bottom of teeny tiny letters listing all of the things I wanted to see! And I had seventeen days--well, I thought it would be more like fourteen--to get them all done. And I could have, except for this flu that just knocked the crap out of Matt and me. Lame!
On the other hand, we did get through a lot of The West Wing, as Matt pointed out, and I'm actually reading, sort of slowly and feet-dragging, a work of non-fiction, incredible for me. I managed to get to Little Venice and Matt got to the Tower, and the other day, semi-recovered, we took a lovely walk to Marble Arch. We've cooked some good meals with our hostess and we've both gotten a decent amount of writing done.
But we also had to reconfigure our plans for the trip, many times. Our hosts offered us another gig the last week of August / first week of September, and we agreed; we could do it. We wanted to! Alas, we don't have the money (on the practical side), we're homesick, and we're a little bit daunted, or concerned about, what we're doing when we get back Stateside. We're still doing another couple of weeks, mainly because we have to get a flight together and also we have our Eurail passes that we won't let go to waste. So, we're heading Sunday to Edinburgh for two nights, Glasgow for one night, then Paris for one night, then to Matt's friend's in Germany for four nights, then Amsterdam for four nights. We have nothing booked after that, though we know we want to go to Nice for a couple of days and also into Italy, definitely Rome but we haven't picked anyplace else for sure. And then to wherever we're flying out of, lastly.
For myself, I'm excited about the places I haven't been yet, happy to be retracing some of my steps, and I'm looking forward to being more rapidly mobile than we've been since the first ten days of our trip when we were on the walking tour. Coming home earlier than we'd planned was kind of a blow to think about, as though it was wrong of me to change my mind or want to come home earlier / not want to stay longer, but I'm okay with it now. It's not like I'm scared of staying, and I'm certainly not fed up with Matt or Europe or travel or adventure. And while, yes, I do have a rather neurotic tendency of being overly practical and too concerned about the more mundane aspects of life, these things can't be ignored. We do have to firm up plans for where we're moving, for how we're getting there, what we're going to do when we get there, and some of that's even fun, like daydreaming about palm-sized balls of kitten fluff to have and keep.