Thursday, June 18, 2009

Live from London!

I have time to blog this morning, this, my first morning in London.  Why?  Because I'm waiting for 8am to roll around so I can call Alitalia and find out where my luggage is and when (hopefully this morning) it will be delivered.  Yep, good ol' Alitalia.

I arrived yesterday afternoon with only a small hiccup in my travel - my flight from Catania to Rome left late, and therefore landed late in Rome which meant that I needed to practically sprint across the airport.  No time for lunch, bathrooms, or stopping at a money exchange to pick up a few British Pounds to have on hand in my wallet.  Just keep walking REALLY fast to my gate!  I did make it, just as the plane was nearly finished with boarding.  It briefly crossed my mind that my luggage wouldn't make it but I didn't think too much about it, didn't want to stress about something that I had no control over.

The flight from Rome to Heathrow was uneventful.  We landed on time and I made my way through customs to baggage claim, and waited....and waited.  Some baggage came out, but there were still quite a few people standing around waiting.  I overheard an Alitalia rep talking with people nearby about how their bags didn't get transferred in time and that their bags wouldn't arrive until the next day.  Fabulous.  I was off the the baggage counter to see if my bags were among the left-behind.  Yep, they were.  I filled out the paperwork and then went on my way.  What else could I do?

I got in touch with my friend, K, who I've known forever and who I'd be staying with.  She instructed me to meet her at London Bridge station so I followed her instructions and hopped on the tube.  The transit system here is so easy! I made it with no problems.  I did, however, notice the striking difference between Brits & Italians when it comes to personal space.  The difference? Italians don't know what personal space means!  After living two and a half years in Italy I'm pretty used to it and had to catch myself from pushing and shoving to get where I wanted.

After meeting up with K she took me to buy my transit card for the week and then we hopped on a train to her neighborhood.  I enjoyed walking from the train to her house taking in the neighborhood filled with grand old buildings and beautiful large trees shading the streets.

Her flat is gorgeous.  Just a one bedroom, but with so much character.  High, ornate ceilings, big windows overlooking the street, and a lovely garden behind the building.

K & I sat down and had a snack and a beer and spent a good couple of hours catching up.  So nice just to sit and relax with an old friend!  Later that evening when her hubbie got home she made a delicious pasta for dinner and pulled out a couple of bottles of nice wine.  We just sat and ate and talked.  I love those moments!  After dinner we sat down to watch The Goonies!!! She just recently bought it but wasn't sure if she'd still like it.  It had been many years since I'd seen that movie so I was all for watching it.  I loved it as a kid too.  It was still a fun movie, a little cheesy in parts, but still good even after all these years.

And that was pretty much the end to our day.  This morning, once I get my bags or at least hear what the status is I will get showered and out the door to explore.  I am meeting K after lunch.  I just hope I have clean clothes to put on before I venture out into this massive city of London.  Wish me luck!!

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