Gate 33 seat 33A. This is a really good sign, I think. Plus, I'm over the wing.
The flight is uneventful, though I only sleep one hour, except for the shining triumph of obtaining TWO meals. Ha ha!
London smells incredible, and I'm so excited I may hurl. My train to Croyden leaves off platform 4, and let me tell you, it feels really awesome to say that. Luckily, it leaves in a few minutes, so I don't have time to take a run at the brick wall between platforms 9 and 10. The trains are so steady it's creepy, but every time they pass each other, there's a terrific "WHOOSH THUD" noise that scares the beejesus out of me.
The walk to my hotel is arduous, even more so due to my sleepy non-thinking state. I train to East Croyden, bus to West Croyden, bus back past East Croyden to (almost) crystal palace, walk an outrageously long time up a stupid steep hill, taking only a few wrong turns, toting my damn heavy bag (which I vow to strip of all useless items upon my imminent arrival), finally finding the hotel.
Marvel at the hotel.
It's all MINE!
It's got a bed!
I'm so tired!
I wake late in the afternoon to have a light lunch, and then proceed to subjugate Croyden. All of it. My knees ache from the walk, later, but I uncover a world of delights. The original site of the Crystal Palace, an actual hedge maze (forded in about 5 minutes, thank you) countless little pubs with more character then a Chapter in Tom Jones; London is so compact, so tight, the streets generously claim to be be 2 lane, with parking on the sides, but the cars whiz up and down these streets with not enough room for an anorexic locust in between them. If a new car paint shop opens in London, the accidents will be crippling. I wander the path called "Capital ring" for hours before getting supper (mac 'n' cheese). Returning to the hotel, I uncover a singular triumph, the crowning peak on the day; the room comes with a plug adapter (which I had foolishly neglected to acquire, and was a tad worried about). I crow about this while plugging in my much abused camera.
I am also somewhat embarrassed to admit that I spent the evening watching cheesy British shows. But well, they're kind of addictive.
I wonder if I can join the British army...?