Before I get started I just wanted to say that I am writing this for us so we can read back and remember all that we were able to do. I wrote a journal on our last trip to Europe and it was amazing how the memories that had long been asleep came flooding back when I read it. I hope that I'll still get that feeling in years to come from reading this so I can keep the memories alive.
I know that some people liked our last journal so it's really a personal choice if you want to read or not. We won't be offended either way.
Friday 25th & Saturday 26th August
The lead up to our trip was pretty hectic. Jazz was on afternoon shift so we were ships in the night and I was working really late every night trying to make sure all my clients were sorted before starting my annual leave.
Jazz finished work on Thursday night and I finished on Friday afternoon. After a quick stop at the beautician for a pre-holiday waxing appointment I headed home to start packing.
Karen was over, Alvin & Ty popped in and Kate came over after work. I was rushing around packing and Jazz wasn't home.
Jazz had organised these travel cards through Westpac for us to use while we were away a few weeks earlier. Unfortunately she found out at 4.50pm on the Friday afternoon that we were flying out that the metallic strip on them didn't work and the $5000 we had transferred onto them couldn't just be transferred back out because the "cards didn't work like that". We couldn't withdraw the cash through Westpac either because even though the cards were branded Westpac they were through someone else. Jazz called me crying and stressed from the bank. I told her it would all be ok, we had other money we could use in the meantime and we would figure it out.
Because of this run around Jazz didn't get home until almost 6pm and we had to leave just after 7pm so it was all a bit rushed. Karen opened a bottle of champagne to help us relax a bit.
I gave Kate a quick tour of the house and tried to explain some of the intricacies of Rupert. I think we came off a bit crazy and over protective but that's probably because we are.
We got everything sorted but because we were so rushed I think we packed a few things that we didn't really need or that we didn't really think through. We also didn't collaborate so we packed duplicates of toiletries which was a bit silly.
Kate, Karen & Rupert drove us to the airport and we checked in with no issues.
We were both a bit hungry and stressed so Jazz got us some HJs & I got us some beers.
We went to get some money changed to Pounds and the guy at the desk suggested we set up a Travelex Money Card. You could put multiple currencies on it, top up and check our balance from an app as well as use pay pass to pay for stuff.
We found our terminal and we were off. It didn't really feel like we were on holiday yet and I was still feeling quite tense.
Our first flight from Perth to Dubai was just under 11 hours. I was kind of dreading it but it actually went by quite quickly. We both managed to sleep for about 5 hours straight. I watched Game of Thrones and Jazz watched some movies for the rest of the time. GoT is probably not the best thing to watch on the plane as there is lots of nudity and full on sex scenes so i got a few strange looks from passers by.
The plane food was surprisingly yum which was nice!
On our last trip I got sick on the way over to Portugal so we started operation "don't get sick on the plane". I had come armed with Andro NKs (immune boosting tablets), throat spray, nose spray & tea tree oil which we used in rotation throughout the flight.
We had stupidly forgot a bottle of water and they didn't give us enough water on the flight so by the time we got to Dubai and we were really dehydrated. We didn't have much cash so we bought these tiny bottles of water with 7€ cash that Jazz did have. Everything at Dubai airport was really expensive so we found our next terminal and just chilled out until it was time to board.
The second flight from Dubai to London was 7 hours. We couldn't sit together and were separated by the aisle which was a bit annoying. We tried to get people to swap with us but we were both sitting next to couples. I had a giagantor man behind me that kept hitting the screen on the back of my chair. I wasn't sure if he was playing a game or something but it was really annoying. We also kept touching feet as his feet stuck out under my chair.
Jazz had a lady behind her that kept putting her knees into the back of her seat so she couldn't lean it back at all. Because of this we both got very little sleep.
We arrived in London at Heathrow Airport sleepy but excited. The guy at the immigration desk was super weird and we were both glad to get away from him.
We found our bags, even though someone had taken Jazz's off the carousel, and headed for the Heathrow Express (which unfortunately was not as cool as the Hogwarts Express) that would take us to London central.
At London central we followed the signs to find the train line we needed. We set up some Oyster cards (like a Smart Riders) to use to ride on the trains while we were there and headed on our way. It was surprisingly easy to navigate and because it was the middle of the day it wasn't very busy.
We got to Farringdon Station and after asking someone for directions, headed in the right direction. We walked to our Air Bnb in about 5 minutes and had to turn our global roaming on so we could call the lady to let us in. We were staying in this tiny little room with a bed, desk and sink as well as a compact little bathroom attached. It was pretty cosy but had all we needed and weren't planning to spend much time there anyway.
We had showers and unpacked a little to get settled. We were so tired but didn't want to lie down because then we'd never get up again. We had booked to go to the theatre that night as we had decided we were going to push through to sort out our jet lag in one go.
We went wandering not really sure where we were headed but ready to explore. We went into the first British looking pub we found and had some Camden pale ale and some snacks which made us feel a bit more human. We tried using Jazz's Westpac card but it still didn't work so used the travelex card. We used their wifi to find out where the theatre that we were going to later was and decided to head there a few hours early to look around and get familiar. We caught two trains to get there which was kind of fun.
We got out at Piccadilly Circus. It was really busy with lots of people everywhere. There were Big red buses driving down the street and red phone boxes all over the place. We wondered if people still use them or if they are just for tourists to get photos with. We walked past Pall Mall and down to Trafalgar Square to see the big Lion statues and the fountain. There were lots of street performers in a row all entertaining the tourists. We wandered around the West End for a while, people watching and looking down the cool streets. We found a street called Rupert Street that was near our theatre so decided it was a good omen and found somewhere to get some drinks and snacks while we waited until it was time for our show at 7.30pm.
We ended up at a place called Brindisa Tapas and got some espresso martinis because we thought the coffee might wake us up a bit. They were delicious so we also got some Jamon and olives to tie us over as we didn't really feel like proper dinner. They forgot to bring us our food so when Jazz went to ask them about it they said they wouldn't charge us it and they also brought us extras stuff for free too. The Jamon was amazing, it was like we were already in Spain!
We headed for the Prince if Wales theatre just before 7.30pm so we could see The Book of Morman. It was really full and our seats were in the top gallery off to one side. The show itself was really good. The costumes, dancing, sets etc. were all excellent. It was pretty funny but we were both so exhausted that it got in the way of us enjoying ourselves a bit. It was like 5am our time and we needed sleep so were kind of just hanging out for it to be over.
We had said to each other when we were in the theatre that we were going to catch and uber home afterwards but when we got outside it was crazy with people absolutely everywhere. It was like peak hour but it was almost 11pm. We caught the tube instead which in our tired state was much more confusing than earlier. We walked past an ATM and tried Jazz's westpac travel cards again and it actually worked! We got back to Farringdon station and walked the short distance home. We got ready for bed & pretty much just passed out.