My husband has a history of giving me trips as gifts, but then relying on me to do all the planning. I finally told him that I was not thrilled with those gifts because basically he was gifting me with the chance to plan our annual vacation. So in December 2014 my Christmas gift was a trip to London including a show on the West End with the addition that he would do all the planning. Then began the wait for this trip to actually happen. As almost two years went by I was beginning to think it never would.
I can thank the Brits for their Brexit vote for it finally happening. Right after they voted to leave the EU a lot of airlines had fire sales to London. I told my husband if he was ever going to plan this trip now’s the time. He took my advice and found us some really good fares on Air Canada. As he likes to point out the base fares were only $142, of course with all the taxes and fees they came out to around $500. Since that’s on average what we pay to visit my family in Arizona, I say it was a pretty good deal.
Of course after he bought the plane tickets I started to worry that we were going to have to sleep on the street as weeks kept passing without him booking us anywhere to stay. He eventually also got us a really good deal on a hotel room. The nightly rate was almost half of what we paid per night for my birthday weekend in Philly. We stayed at the Doubletree-Westminster. It turned out to be a good place to stay. The room was decent and the location was pretty good. It does seem on the face to be a little bit remote because it’s located in the middle of what I was calling the Burberry compound. There are bunch of huge Burberry office buildings sort of surrounding it, so especially on nights and weekends there doesn’t seem to be much going on right there. Plus they were building a giant apartment building right next door and the construction from that seemed to make it even more cut off.
Also the closest Tube stop is Pimlico on the Victoria line, which wasn’t super convenient for anything we were planning on doing. Luckily we figured out the first day that by walking just a few blocks further we could easily access the Westminster tube stop, which was a lot better and the station we used for all but our first trip on the Tube. I would definitely stay there again should I find myself in London in the future.
Hopefully I will be back because I love London. I’ve been a number of times, but this is the first time I’ve been back since I studied abroad there 18 years ago. Going back reminded me of how much I loved it, and I really didn’t want to leave. I tolerate New York City because there are many things there I love to do so I appreciate getting to visit frequently, but I would never want to live there. I would move to London in a heartbeat. We also had the perfect all weather while we were there, which made the trip even more lovely. Stay tuned to future posts this week to find out about what we actually did on our trip.