|Not the view from our hotel|
Like a kid, I peered out the window over the top of Sonshine's head, misting up the glass as I pointed out The Gherkin, the O2 Arena and the building site that is London's 2012 Olympics. Sonshine nodded sagely: 'Just like on the telly, isn't it Mum?'
Later as we trundled our way from one side of London to our hotel in Vauxhall using the supremely efficient DLR (thanks to @josethemouse for alerting me to my LDR error lol!) and Underground, trepidation set in. The hotel was pretty cheap and it had taken me hours to find one that we could afford that didn't have reports of 'came home with bedbugs' or worse 'came home with scabies,' type comments. Would a shit hotel ruin the glow I was getting from being in this buzzing city?
We emerged blinking like moles in the bright sunlight of Monday afternoon from Vauxhall tube station. For God's sakes, Lanhdahn, please get some street signs up to let people know where the hell they are when they are trying to get their bearings - we walked for nearly half a mile the wrong way. Disastrous when also wearing one's fashionable AW10 faux-shearling jacket in quite non AW10 temperatures. Tertarus and Sonshine were damn near mutinous by the time I'd worked out we were going the wrong way......
Eventually we managed to suss out where we were and trolled our way to the hotel.
'End wid yo laik to ohda breakfast with us, Hestia,' asked the Receptionist in some weird Germanic/Polish/Franco accent as we checked in.
'Em, I've already paid for breakfast,' I faltered, scrambling to unfold my Late Rooms booking print out.
'No. I have no breakfast listed hea?' She said, grim faced.
I unfolded the sheet and pointed to the booking. 'Yes, I have paid £6 per day for breakfast. EACH.'
She furrowed her perfectly smooth unfurrowed brow and got out a calculator.
'Ah yes, Late Rooms, they have not told us this.'
I could feel Tertarus bristling by my side. He not having wanted to come to London at all.
We were on the second floor - and there was a LIFT! The room was fine. A good sized bathroom (which would feature vitally in my mental health over the coming few days) Bunk beds for Sonshine, single beds for me and Tertarus. Slightly problematic there. I would have to reach out over the gap between the beds to kick him if he snored. Or fling something at him. I eyed the bedside phone. Yes, that would do.
Then we were out and exploring.
As we walked over Vauxhall Bridge, I caught sight of Westminster.....the London Eye.....it was all so exciting I was SKIPPING. I'm 47 and I was SKIPPING...in PUBLIC. We walked right down past Westminster and Downing Street (Tertarus: 'Someone important must live in there') to Trafalgar Square and bought ice cream, testing our expertise on the buses on the way back by catching an 87 to Vauxhall Cross and alighting like complete London pros!
We wandered back to the hotel and I couldn't stop grinning to myself. Tertarus kept shooting me strange looks and asking what was wrong with me. It was a look on my face that I hadn't worn for years (and certainly he hasn't seen since we were about 17) - absolute joy. There was no doubt about it - I was completely in love. With Lahndan.