I'm safely in London and settling into my flat.
My trip started with the great experience of an upgrade to BusinessFirst class on the flight from Houston to Heathrow; yes, United routed me to from South Carolina to London via Houston! My plane had the sort of seats that flatten out completely so I slept for several hours. A nice amenity was the "Fast Track" line for customs; I breezed right through while the folks from Coach were waiting in the line.
Then today's real adventure began. I bought an Oyster Card before I left the US. It's a smart card for the transit system in London and it is, indeed, smart. It charges you a maximum of £6.50 per day. You touch the card to a sensor both as you enter a station and as you leave your destination station, and the system debits your account automatically. The Underground trip was a bit tedious because I had my suitcase with me. But eventually I reached the office of the real estate company, paid the balance of my rent, and was ushered by the porter, Kahlil, to my flat.
The flat is small, clean and adequate. It's close to the Marble Arch tube station. It's more of a good value than luxury accommodation. And it should be just fine for my needs.
I confess I did take a nap this afternoon. I went out this evening to get a couple things for the flat and to have a bite to eat. You won't be surprised to know that food will play a big part of my trip. There's a nice place right across the road called Le Pain Quotidien (I translate it as Daily Bread) which is a nice cafe. I had a bowl of soup and some delicious avocado toast. Avocados seem to be all the rage here, as is coffee.
I'm trying to figure out the television. The British send us Downton Abbey and apparently this year we're sending them Dance Moms. Yeah, that's a fair trade.
Steps today: 5,492
[I dug out my FitBit for the trip. The device tracks the steps I walk during the day as well as the flights of stairs I climbed. It shows I climbed 9 flights of stairs today, all carrying my suitcase in the Underground.]
Vocabulary word of the day: courgette (core-JZET); zucchini. The waitress described my soup as Courgette, pea and ham.
[I will provide a British word with each post. As Churchill said, "The British and Americans are two peoples separated by a common language."]
Michelle, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel, Janelle Monae . . .
22 hours ago