Currently typing this in Bryann’s flat ( that’s how the Brits refer to their apartments) in London’s borough of Islington as he and Greg venture off to buy some groceries for dinner.
This whole pregnancy thing has really taught me how to listen to my body’s limits, because most of the time I like to be non-stop go go go, and recently my body and this baby have been saying slow-down no no no.
Like Dwight says in the office this little fetus is calling the shots*.
It’s so bad ass.
All that to say, as they venture off to Salinsbury’s for groceries I rest, kick up my feet, and write.
Now that I think of it… it’s not too bad of a gig, thank you baby Irving.
Hard to believe our long anticipated trip to London is almost over ( I use the wording “long anticipated” lightly since we only decided to come to London 3 weeks ago).
Even harder to believe Bryann loves cooking, and is looking forward to cooking us dinner.
Regardless of whether I believe it or not, both are true.
Tonight is our last night in London, and Bryann has really grown to enjoy cooking and is eager to cook us up a delicious meal.
We have done our fair share of sightseeing and taste testing our way through London.
Our first day in London began roughly around 1:30pm after arriving at London Gatwick Airport and taking the National Express Bus to Victoria Station.
( Yes for those of you following along our brief international expedition we made it through the struggle of the 18 hour layover. Read more about how we were bored here and about our layover algae masks and Pylsur’s here)
After taking the hour and a half bus ( which was well worth it only 24 pounds round trip for both of us ) we walked 7.1 miles to see as many cliche tourist sights we could until we would meet up with Bryann at his apartment around 5.
Once we arrived in London at Victoria Station our tummy’s were rumbling so we split an order of Fish and Chips along Buckingham Palace road…
then made our way to Buckingham Palace…
and the Victoria Memorial.
From there we began our promenade through St. James Park
to arrive at Westminster Abbey where we took a much needed walk break and found the shade of an oak tree to sit under in a little park in front of Westminster Abbey.
After Westminster Abbey we made our way to Houses of Parliament and Palace of Westminster…
and then made our way to Big Ben only to discover he was under construction!
Greg took this very well. I would have been so annoyed. He made a joke about wanting a refund and then with such understanding said ” I get it, history needs to be preserved”. What a guy.
Then we leisurely made our way across the Westminster Bridge lookin out at the Thames River enjoying the breeze sunshine and each other.
Then… the heat from the sun, weight from our backpacks, and aches in our feet from long day of travel began to get to us
and we argued about whether to take the tube to Bryann’s
or walk 45 minutes to get there.
We disagreed all along the Thames as we made our way towards the front of the London Eye, then laid in the Jubilee Garden to make amends .
Conflict resolution doesn’t take a holiday.
When going on an international adventure with the love of your life make sure to pack the realistic expectation that a disagreement can arise at any moment and the sooner it’s dealt with the sooner you can get back to enjoying your holiday.
( instead of vacation the English say holiday so I’m trying to plug in British jargon any chance I get)
In fact they can and usually will heighten when hot tired and achey.
But Greg and I are no strangers to butting heads.
we openly communicate our frustrations ( not always with tact and grace)
we get down to the root of the issue
we take a breather
we both admit our feelings and our shortcomings
then we reconcile and resolve, we go about the rest of our day.
Which on this day included us laying in the grass for a few moments (after we made up) to rest look up at the sky and the London Eye,
before physically getting up and acting on the decision we came to together:
to head over to the Waterloo Station
to buy our Oyster cards
so that we could take the Underground to Bryann’s. ( the local’s call it the tube)
Here’s the kicker though.
After feeling so official with our Oyster cards and navigating our way through the tubes, when we finally arrived in Bryann’s neighborhood and address… he wasn’t there!
We waited half an hour to give him time to commute from his job and nothing.
Greg took a walk around the block several times
just to see if there were any nearby cafes that we could wait for him…nope.
We waited and waited.
His neighbor showed up and let us use his phone to call Bryann.
So there we were siting outside his apartment hot aching tired hungry cranky…
We sat and laid on his stoop with our backpacks and sore feet
for what seemed like forever after a 19 hour layover and then sightseeing all day
but it was only an hour and a half.
With one of us pregnant…
and fed up
and decided she couldn’t wait any longer.
One of us decided to say
” That’s it! Bryann’s not coming back. He forgot about us.
Our baby and me are not sleeping on this stoop.
I’m going to a hotel.”
…okay okay so that was me
Not my best moment.
But I was so over waiting a moment longer so I stormed off.
Greg had the good sense to follow after his wife
even though he found it foolish that I stormed off,
He knew it would be even more foolish to just let his wife storm off with out a way of contacting her in this foreign country.
I didn’t know where I was going…
I just needed to go… to take matters into my own hands and get in touch with him, find wi-fi on my own, no more waiting!
I had to try to find a way to contact Bryann.
And sure enough in the following me…
Greg managed to access wi-fi.
In that very spot of the street where he stopped to communicate with me…
and ease my angst.
He was able to communicate with Bryann.
Jokes on me …Bryann recommended us go to a particular coffee shop with free wi-fi and wait for him there.
Greg and I made our hot-achey-tired selves way over to the cafe.
And I am no runner so I can’t say for certain,
but the moment Bryann arrived in that coffee shop it felt like a second wind.
Bryann began to prepare us dinner, Brucie arrived from Northern England, and Greg & I enjoyed our first evening in London in Bryann’s flat over a delicious home cooked meal.
Oh my gracious can I just say how after long longlong hours of travel
how grateful we were
for the refreshing wonders a fresh cooked meal, comfortable bed, cool breeze,
and lush comfoter does!
Speaking of which, and going full circle, this evenings meal is now ready!
So I will have to fill you all in on the rest of our adventures of Day 2, 3, and 4 of London some other time.
Until then, stay tuned!
Thressa and Greg Irving
* the quote Dwight says verbatim for you office lovers out there
“If she eats something the fetus doesn’t like, she is screwed.
It’s amazing: a three ounce fetus is calling the shots. It’s so bad ass.”
Just thought I should let you know that right now Greg is glowing because he just found a dubbed version of The Office in Portuguese, which I have no doubt be the game changer and dramatically enhance his ability to speak Portuguese.