Saturday, May 21st
I woke up at 6:00AM on our last morning in London to head out to explore the city. I knew I wanted to visit Notting Hill and I asked one of the people I met in Birmingham for some other tips. So I took my little map of the tube and set off on an adventure.
Immediately, I discovered that the city is pretty quiet that early and that there was some maintenance on the tube that day that forced me to be a little more creative in my travel plans. Still, it gave me extra time to people watch on the tube and that was very pleasant.
[More colorful doors in the alley]
I should have looked up exactly where I was going first, but I was able to just wing it and I eventually found Portobello Road, where Notting Hill's colorful houses are. People were setting up a market while I was there, but I just walked around and took it all in.
I was able to pop over to Covent Garden as well. I had no idea what exactly Covent Garden was, but it reminded me a lot of SoHo in New York. I was even able to get some macarons from Laudree!
[Covent Garden / Laudree]
I took the tube back to Euston after that, but ended up getting back about an hour early. I should have stayed out longer! We had breakfast at the hotel with Stephen and Hillary and did our final devo of the trip. That's when it really started to hit me that I'd be going home. I've felt sadness to leave a vacation before, but it was nothing like this. I felt sick to my stomach. I couldn't eat. I was afraid if I tried to speak I would start crying. It just wasn't great. Stephen said some really encouraging things about appreciating things when we got back home and I felt like he was speaking directly to me. It was a good way to officially end the trip.
We went back up to our rooms to get everything together, then decided to head out for some coffee before going back to Euston Station. We had an adventure walking around a new part of the city looking for a coffee shop Rachel had found online, but the coffee drinkers said it was the best coffee they had had all week.
When we got back to our hotel, we grabbed our stuff and went to the train station. We had to take the tube the Heathrow for our flight, just before 3:00. We were quite and tired on the journey to Heathrow, but it was nice to be above-ground for so much of it and see more of the city. If I remember correctly, we didn't have too much time to lolly-gag around the airport before our flight boarded. Three of us got stuck at security, myself included. We had to grab a quick lunch and then it was basically time to board.
I wanted to stay awake for the whole flight back so I could go to sleep at a normal Colorado time. At this point I hadn't considered that I had woken up at 11:00PM on Friday in MST. But it was interesting seeing what an international flight is all about since I missed it on the way there. I couldn't believe how much service you got. I was able to watch 3 and a half movies too. (Zoolander 2, Eddie the Eagle, Spectre, and half of Deadpool) I struggled staying awake at times and I didn't love being in the center seat of the middle section, so I had to keep getting up and walking around. But all in all, it wasn't so bad. Except for the part that I was still a bit of an emotional wreck for having to come back to the States.