our travel agent had arranged for a driver to pick us up after grabbing our suitcases from baggage claim, which was lovely. not having to worry about transportation after all that flying made things really easy. we climbed into the car and found that things were...backwards. heh.
the bean was particularly excited about riding backwards - without a car seat, no less.
i always love watching the scenery after landing in new, uncharted territory. everything is always so different and interesting, even dumb little things like names of grocery stores and billboards all along the road. we marveled at the cars driving on the wrong (to us) side of the road, and then we pulled up to our hotel.
it was most definitely chillier than the 80s temperatures we'd left behind, and yet it was one of those rare warm, sunny days in london.
unlike the credit card-style keys we get at hotels at home, here we were handed old school keys for our rooms.
the girls had their own room right next door, which they thought was pretty awesome. sleepovers every night!
on the table we found a little treat from the hotel staff.
after getting settled and a bit of much-needed sleep, it was time to do a little exploring.
we were just a block away from hyde park and kensington gardens, and we grabbed sandwiches from a little cafe and went inside to check it out.
just inside the gate, we found this:
sadly, it was too full and too late to go in.
so we headed out and kept on walking until we reached portobello market.
look, it's the british version of the $.99 store!
always a welcome sight:
despite the chilly temps that day, we stopped here for a frozen yogurt break.
we decided to share with the bean and went big with a warm waffle in addition to a nice serving of fro-yo.
then we hailed the first of many taxis that we would hop into during this trip.
the hub used his yelp app to find a dinner spot within walking distance. there wasn't much to pick from, so we went italian. the bean enjoyed her kiddie "cappuccino" - really just hot chocolate with milky foam on top.
all that walking around + long travel day + excitement of being on our trip at last = pooped wans. we trudged back to our hotel, got ready for bed and passed the eff out almost as soon as our heads hit those pillows.
this would become a pattern over the next two weeks. europe is exhausting, yo.