The Hall's Long Haul

Tamara & Shawn's RTW Adventure

LONDON!  We’ve arrived!

The school children in their little uniforms are so cute, and remind us that “we’re not in Kansas (or Canada) anymore, Dorothy”!


We arrived safely at Gatwick Airport, and quickly (well….we TRIED to make it quickly) made our way through the airport to the mass ticket area to purchase our train tickets into London. After very little cursing (surprisingly), we managed to snag two spots on the train heading Victoria Station which is very close to our lovely little Stanley Hotel.  We nervously found our way down to what we thought was the appropriate track – Track 4 – , and then found out there was a delay.  ?  But, being the experienced travellers that we are (hahahahahahaha!), we quickly discovered another train to Victoria Station would soon be arriving on Track 1.

Back upstairs we trudged, and then back downstairs to the next track.  Shawn then decided he should hit the washroom, since our train ride would be an hour…. Where to go?  He went left…. no luck.  He went right…. no luck.  He went back upstairs… I’m starting to worry a bit…. and he finally arrives.  Yay!  I’m not going in to London alone! (Like that would happen!).

Our train arrived, packed, but we found a corner in which to stand, and got settled for our 60-minute journey.  About four stops in, there was an announcement, and everyone started getting up and off of the train ? . Apparently, there was a problem with a switch and WE needed to now switch trains.  Luckily, another came along right away, and this time we actually got seats.  Bonus!

Our arrival at Victoria Station was a bit overwhelming.  It’s a bit like Central Station in New York – all abuzz with gazillions of people, speaking a gazillion different languages, going a gazillion different directions –  A MITE overwhelming to say the least!

We managed to find our lovely little home for the next two days, the Stanley Hotel, without toooo much trouble (okay… we had a little trouble, but we did eventually find it).  Three flights up to a tiny little room, but we had our own W.C., were close to transit, and even better -we were within walking distance to many of the major tourist sites.  The main drawback to Sir Stanley was the shower… verrrrrrrryyyy tight.  In fact, it was so tight, that if you dropped the soap (as Shawn did), it would plug the drain, and you couldn’t bend over to pick it up! Seriously!  ?  The shower head was directly over the middle of your head, so I know the top of me was cleaned and rinsed, but I’m not so sure about the rest of me!

But enough about Stanley – back to the day.  We dropped off our bags and started to wend our way through the streets to meet friends at the Ambassador Theatre ? to see the STOMP show.  It was amazing! Great sound, amazing energy, comedy, ? music, lights and lots of action filled the next couple of hours.  I don’t know how they kept going!  Their show must’ve been the equivalent of two or three intense hours of the INSANITY workout!  I immensely enjoyed 95% of the show – unfortunately, during the other 5%, my poor little eyes just wouldn’t stay open.  Who knew I would be the one to fall asleep during a production.  That’s usually Shawn’s job!  ?

After the show, we all went for supper at one of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants – lovely, delicious – a nice way to end our first day in London.

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