Landed at Gatwick about 50 minutes late, almost exactly as expected due to the late arrival and boarding of the plane in the first place. Got through baggage and customs with no problems, and only had to double back in one place, and that wasn't even needed. Jumped on the surface train to St. Pancras Station, crossed the street to King's Cross and made our way to the house with no problems!!!! A bit later than we hoped, and also tired, but in good shape.
We passed the London Bridge, Millennium Bridge, The Gherkin, Eye of London, several important looking churches, and what I think was Parliament or some government related building. SOOO FREAKING COOL!!!!!! Can't wait to get back downtown and explore!
We made it to the house with no problems, the sidewalks have an inch or two of slushy snow on them, but the roads are clear. I can't figure out why no one has cleared the sidewalks our in front of their houses though. Our host, Grace, is great, the house is really really cool, and there are some college-aged kids staying here at the same time. Really chill place.
On the train ride over, we talked briefly with a couple from Budapest (I think he was English or Scottish, but not a Londoner) and a women from London regarding the weather. She said that Scotland is expecting snow a few more days this week. I think we've sort of worked out our back up plan if the driving conditions to the North don't improve, and hopefully we won't loose the 200-300 pounds that we have already paid toward that part of the trip. The potential plan will allow us to experience more of Southern England and 3-4 more days of London. Several people said 3-4 days in London is a good start and to get out into the country some more, but even I, the one who had no interest in really seeing much more than a day or two of any big city, am excited about the prospect of checking out more of London. There are some really cool pockets of awesomeness here!
Our luggage solution has worked great so far. One checked backpack and one carry on is awesome. We literally had one smaller backpack and a 1.5" binder with us on the flight. When everyone started fighting over overhead space, I shoved it between my legs and we were good. We also discovered that the new big backpack has 2 more pockets that we were not using, so I think we can get the binder into the small backpack with minimal fuss moving forward, my stupid extra shoes were 35% of the backpack usage.
The flight was a weirdish one, to me. It felt very long, but I slept a little bit, and it was mostly uneventful, expect two events that occurred nearly simultaneously. As Karen and I were both sleeping, a gentlemen fell out of curtained space between our section and the next section forward and hit the ground 2-3 rows in front of us. I don't remember hearing him hit the ground, but apparently it woke me up. After a few seconds of weirdness, this women sort of yelled, calmly, for help from the staff. A doctor was sitting only 2 rows back and came up to help the man. The women stated he wasn't breathing, but the doctor helped him and after several minutes, the man got up and was helped back to his seat. Very strange. As this was all happening, I realized I was sweating very heavily. I think that the manner that I woke up, the sort of chaos around me, etc, all got to me at once. I was VERY hot all of the sudden and began to get extremely nauseous and lightheaded so much that I was afraid I was going to white out. I told Karen to get up to let me out and she was concerned and asking what was wrong, etc. I finally was like, "GET UP NOW!" and she realized something wasn't right. I went to the restroom and washed up and got some cooler air on me. After just 2-2 minutes, I felt much better. I do occasionally get motion sickness, but I've never experienced it on a plane before. The turbulence were worse on this flight than I have experienced in a long time, so that may have contributed.
Anyway, we are here, and doing well. Plans are a bit shuffled up, but getting around London shouldn't be a big problem, maybe just slower. The surface outgoing train station downtown is packed, but fortunately we don't have to take those trains anywhere. Going to go take a shower and become human again right now.