Rode the Eurostar to London to see the Christmas lights, visit with a friend, and shop.
All goals were met wonderfully.
My approach to Eurostar is to take the standard class over. It’s a two hour + trip but then with the time change, London being an hour behind Paris, it feels like just an hour jaunt. And I usually leave quite early so I arrive about 10:30. Straight to the hotel to check the bags and then head out.
Coming back on Eurostar is different. I always start out on the reservations page booking a return in the standard class of service. Then I think about the fact that I leave at 4 and arrive at 7 something and then have to get a cab or Uber to the apartment and realize I will be missing dinner or having to fix something late after having been gone for several days – what will be left in the fridge? And then my hand moves the mouse over to Standard PREMIER that provides dinner on board. Click.
The shopping excursion was to my favorite shoe store in Harrow. OK. So I have wide feet. Sigh. They sell the best walking shoes. This was my fourth time there. And they didn’t disappoint. Now that I tango (oh how much fun it is to type those words!), I am getting used to 2.5 inch heels. My shoe store had a pair of boots with heels! I tried them on and strode through the store. Breathing air 2.5 inches higher than you are accustomed to gives you a swagger. The salesman was a bit surprised. He said most women who put on heels end up wobbling a bit. I smiled and said, “I dance tango on heels like this.” Oh that was fun to say! Needless to say, I purchased the boots.
And my other favorite place is Marks & Spencers. Perhaps I have a soft spot in my heart for them because I recall shopping there with my mom when I was nine years old while we lived in London. That plays a part, but also, they have clothes I like. I found a fabulous black downy puffy to the knees coat for cold weather. It was an awesome purchase. I have enjoyed it every day since. My wool coat goes to mid-thigh so while it is warm, my legs get chilled. The M&S coat will see much service.
And lights… Well. I think I am close to being done with Christmas lights. And markets. The lights in London are beautiful. But they are the same this year. A bit of “been there, done that.” Even here in Paris, I went to the marche at La Defense and found myself striding through quite quickly, seen that, bought that, would never want that…..
The best part of my London trip was spending the day with Amanda, my accidental friend who works at The Regent’s Pavilion in Brighton. We met as I toured the Pavilion in 2015. Struck up a conversation in the dining room about Regency England. Became Facebook friends and the rest is history. Last year I spent 3 days in Brighton. This year it was my chance to show her London. Really! I know that sounds weird, but I know London very well. Lived there as a kid for 2 years and spent 3 months there while in college. And have traveled back many times since 2007. So yes. I navigated. We laughed and laughed. Saw sights. Churchill museum and War Rooms. And ended with prime rib and Yorkshire pudding at Simpson’s in the Strand at the Savoy. So very posh. Oh. We really ended the day with me getting her on the tube in the direction of Victoria Station. I know the transportation system well too.
The worst part of the trip was when I got back to Paris and discovered that I had lost the packet of 5 socks that I had purchased. The next morning I suddenly remembered I had stuffed them into my new boots for efficient packing.
I lose so many things in the 380 sq ft apartment. It’s appalling.