*I wrote this in the at the end of last 2013 but never shared. Flashback friday blog post anyone?
Today is our second day in Croydon, England a part of Surrey. Yesterday we were too pooped to do anything. Jet lag got the best of our frail bodies. Pfft. But today at noon we said no to our warm comfy hotel beds and ventured outside. The winds had been howling all morning, and the rain was fierce. We thought for sure we’d be drenched by the time we got to London. The rain held off though! I think the rain gods had mercy on our tourists souls.
First we needed to find “the bus stop”. Little did we know that there is a bus stop on EVERY single corner in Croydon. So we picked one. Queenhill Road to be exact. I won’t go into too much detail, only that we missed the right bus twice, for fear of it being the wrong one. How silly is that? Once we were on the shiny red double decker we got off too early for the train station. We were laughing so much that when we hopped off a woman stopped us to say how refreshing it was to meet “happy people” we told her we were happy and lost. She helped us find the station. “Oh goodness your miles and miles away from the station loves! It’s thatway!”
Once at the East Croydon station, the ticket machine decided to try and eat our money. So we had to go stand in line and actually purchase them from a human, a man who inspected Regina’s license too hard and too long. Catching the train to London Bridge was the easiest part. Watching the sun start to settle down for the evening while racing over the tracks was relaxing and invigorating all at the same time.
The London Bridge station was pure chaos. Madness in the form of people scurrying around, running to catch the next line. They looked like those ants from those ant farms kids used to be so enchanted with in the 90s (I wasn’t, I thought they were dumb). So much for blending in. Our pace was slow and careful, taking care not to screw up. We did screw up though, like 7 times. So much so that I threw in the towel and welcomed getting lost. When we’d finally reached Green Park via the Victoria Line, we’d gotten the hang of things. Walking up those stairs from underground and seeing all those beautiful buildings was so, so right. I was sad that the sun had already set, we’d spent so much of our travel time getting lost! But seeing London for the first time at night held some sort of special meaning for me. All the movies I’d seen that had cast London as the lead character came rushing back to my memory. The imaginary car chases and romantic affairs. This was real though, finally real. The night was mysterious and dignified. Couples occupied benches underneath the stars as Big Ben watched them. The festive pubs were bursting at the seams, and the slumberous children that were too tired to walk were getting piggy back rides from their parents.
I’d like to say that we didn’t get lost coming back. But we did. Twice. The bus driver was kind enough to escort us back to Queenhill Road himself. Day 2 of being in England, and I’m already in love. That’s the thing about getting lost though, it forces you to have a real adventure. It kicks us in the rear and makes us talk to kind strangers and gives us a little confidence.
When’s the last time you got lost?