I'm coming back to you.
Oh, it's just a visit. California is home, but I never did stop missing dear England and you, it's shining capitol. It's been ten years since I tearfully flew away from you, Seattle-bound and uncertain of my future. Now I'm finally grown-up enough to come back.
It happened like this:
Of course, I've been dreaming and scheming for years to visit, but lately, since I've finally gone back to a full-time position, I've been watching my savings grow. Today, on a lark, I checked out prices on Expedia, because I have this odd (and that is not a complaint) week off in the middle of February. No one travels in the middle of February. Usually, schools get two three-day weekends, one for Lincoln, one for Washington/President's Day. My new school, however, gets a whole week. Again...not complaining.
So travel is cheap in that week. And I've got time off...and Expedia. When I saw the prices, it started to seem possible that instead of a little trip to Southern California (the original hope), a wee jaunt to London is entirely feasible.
I'm not truly impulsive, though sometimes it may seem that way. I spent much of the day pondering, and the afternoon crunching numbers. I looked for just the right hotel--good location, decent price, certain amenities (free breakfast and free WiFi being biggies, en suite bathroom being a must). I found it. It's the London House Hotel, about half a mile from Paddington Station and its direct train connection to Heathrow Airport. It doesn't have free breakfast, but it has a fridge in the room, so I can stop and buy some snacks to use for breakfast. It even has a hair dryer, so I don't have to buy one of those adaptable ones.
I'll need a hair dryer. There will be no going out with wet hair in London in February, though my hair may get wet again once I do. Oh, dear city, you can rain on me the whole time. I don't care.
So the price was right (round trip air fare and five nights in a nice-but-not-outrageous hotel in a good location--and in London, you pay for location--all for a tidy sum of $1,384.94), and the timing is long overdue, and though I'm not impulsive, I'm desperately, massively in love with you, London, and the country you reside in. So I'm coming back to you, as I promised I would in August 2005, when I left.
The best part? I hardly had to deplete my savings to accomplish this. I took $800 out, and paid the rest out of my checking account. Not my credit card. I can pay for this trip entirely out of money I have, money I have earned. I'm not even borrowing from Mom and Dad. (Oh, I love typing that!)
I have plans, dear London. I'll poke around my favorite parts of you, and Sarah the Duck Lady is planning to come see me for a day. We'll see Abbey Road (which, shockingly, I've never been to!). Mom asked if I'd see a play and I gasped in delight. Of course I will! I'll queue up at the ticket kiosk in Leicester Square to see what's good. I'll find my old haunts from London Semester and, if I have time, fly the London Eye again.
I'll take a day trip to Essex, because I can't visit England without visiting that part of it that stole my heart in that Wild and Absolutely True year in which this blog started. If I can, I'll do the Keane Fan tour to Sussex for a day, as well, because who doesn't want a cuppa at the Sovereign Light Cafe?
Oh, we will see. I have time to plan and plot and dream and scheme. I have four months to anxiously stare at my passport and get giddy with excitement. Oh, so giddy.
There will be tea consumed and pictures taken. There will be adventures--Wild and Absolutely True Adventures, in caps.
Brace yourself, dear London. I'm coming back to you.