Alas, we reached the conclusion of our first week abroad. It felt overdue, as evidenced by the nasty cold symptoms Kenny woke up with. Already, one day of touring and a 9 pm flight to Dublin looked like they were going to be a stretch.
We took our time to get ready and pack up our belongings, careful to check the safe three times before dropping our bags off with the front desk and checking out.
We went to the Science Museum in London, a free museum, and it seemed like the entirety of the city had the same idea. Between the Science Museum and the British Museum, the lines were ridiculous. We navigated through the exhibits without much concern for what we were reading. I was too stressed about making our international flight, still unclear if Ireland was in the U.K. (I know, I know) and Kenny, having fallen ill, was at a feverish point where his brain had turned into soup. We eventually forsook the Museum in favor of finding Kenny a place to rest and me a place with free wifi where I could check us in for our flight to Dublin.
We navigated back to a pub in Pimlico, near to our hotel, and I ordered us food and stress-ate over making sure we had plane seats that were not ridiculously small for two Americans of average height– a struggle we faced on our flight to Heathrow. We then returned to the hotel collect our bags and bid a saddened farewell to the hotel staff who had become our family, if just for the holidays.
Now, let me sing you the song of our journey to Heathrow. Not unlike our journey from Heathrow to the hotel, our commute to the airport was stressful. Being an avid traveler, I usually like to show up to the airport sometime between yesterday and six hours before the flight is scheduled to depart. Alright, that’s an exaggeration, but my mom taught me that nothing is sweeter than the taste of edom to roam an airport, uninhibited by a sprint to the terminal. As Kenny was sick, I tried to order an Uber– but Uber decided that I, a Washingtonian, didn’t belong in London, and shut down my account promptly. I still don’t have clarity on why this happened, but there we were. We had already ruled out taking a cab, fearful that we would blow through the pound, euros, and dollars in our wallets if we wound up with the same type of oh-so-hospitable cabbie on our return that we had on our first day in the city. Kenny advocated– and won– for the Undergound. With minimal transfers, and 20 stops later, the trip was over an hour long. We uncomfortably stood with our duffel bags among rush hour commuters.
We arrived at Heathrow a comfortable 3 hours earlier than our scheduled flight, around 6:00 pm. A very kind Aer Lingus clerk checked us in for a flight that would take off one hour sooner, at 7 pm, giving us just enough time to spend our remaining pounds on Toblerone and bottles of water at the duty-free shop before boarding the flight for Dublin. We rested on the flight, simply exhausted, and landed safely in Ireland not too much longer.
Coming next week: the tale of our first night in Dubin. It’s a doozy, and deserved its own post!