Hawkins Family current conditions:
Jet lag: Over, as in done with, finished, bye-bye, phew! Killer.
Lost luggage: Arrived yesterday, enormous relief.
Flat: Old-fashioned tiles, woodwork and moldings, huge windows, shelves and shelves of books, mustard yellow carpet with funky patterns in it! Up four flights of stairs at the very top. Double killer, especially with groceries!
Weather: Sunny and 70s, with a lovely breeze blowing. Usually not this nice, say the Londoners. Stays light until 10 pm and then never gets that dark. Sun starts rising again at 4 am, due to how far north we are.
Neighborhood: Eclectic, urban, exciting, multi-cultural, cool European cars, great ethnic food, shops of all kinds and theaters.
Kensington Palace and Gardens: Five minutes away, with a lovely Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, people playing soccer, jogging, biking and hanging out.
Adrie: Moved into the dorms with all the other students who arrived today. Seems happy to have 35 new girl friends and five potential boy friends. Sammie a bit sad to see her go, but is going to hang out with them sometimes, she says.
British Museum: Mind-boggling. Spent two hours there and saw a small fraction of the collection. The beauty is we can go back another time for another few hours and not feel like we have to cram it all in one day. Marvelous mummies and ancient jewelry.
Londoners: Exceedingly polite and courteous, but drive WAY TOO FAST! Sheesh! And on the wrong side of the road.
Arcadia: West End play we're seeing tomorrow. Don't know a thing about it.
Food: Expensive, expensive, expensive. Super-creamy yogurt and yummy dairy products. Tiny paper towels and no such thing as paper plates. Napkins come in packs of 50! We can use 50 in one day. We need to cut down on our consumption of napkins, we are such glutinous Americans.
Diet Coke: Weak, funny aftertaste, tiny cans. A Big Gulp would last a Londoner for weeks! No such thing as caffeine-free, poor Ellen, just has to drink the real stuff. Boo hoo, cry, cry, cry.
Ice cubes: Rare, nearly non-existent. A definite luxury. Most Europeans drink their drinks semi-cold or warm. Or hot.
Tube: (subway) Convenient, cleaner than New York's, but no less crazy. Officials had to stop one of the lines today to investigate a person who was down in the tracks.
We are: Happy, relieved to finally be here after thinking about it for over a year, excited for the fun days ahead, pinching ourselves that we are all here together in this fabulous city.