Once again, my daughter (#3) wraps up with some thoughts on our trip to London:

10 Takeaways from Our London, Heathrow Trip:

  1. Many bathroom sinks in London still have separate hot and cold spouts. There are good, historical reasons for this, but even so, your options are to burn your hands or freeze them while you wash up. I chose freeze.
  2. Generally, hotels are less expensive at London Heathrow than downtown. Staying near the
    airport and taking the train in for the day can really cut down on cost.
  3. The London Heathrow train to transfer between Terminals 4 and 3 doesn’t open until 5 a.m. in the morning. That’s still enough time to make an American Airlines flight unless there are
    unusual circumstances.
  4. To use the London tube, you can use your own credit card. Just tap it on the way in and on the way out, and it gives you the best fare.
  5. If you walk past a Pret a Mange and you have regrets, just keep walking. There will be another one two blocks down. They are everywhere.
Bill in London with The Eye in the background
  1. The Bank of England authorized new pounds, both paper and coin, since I was there last in 2006. There is a process to exchange old currency with the bank, but the old currency is no longer used as payment in shops.
  2. Bill Steffen can go impressively long periods without needing sleep and without being grumpy because he hasn’t slept. I didn’t not inherit this superpower. No matter how many times you tell him to sleep, he will not sleep if he can watch clouds outside the plane window.
  3. Baked beans are a breakfast food in England. I remembered the food being expensive in London, but that wasn’t the case on this trip. Perhaps it is because the dollar is relatively strong now compared to the pound.
  4. St. Paul’s Cathedral is worth the price of admission. You can make the visit as long or short as you please. We spent at least two hours there. The capsules in the London Eye sway
    significantly, so you may not enjoy it if you don’t like heights. There are seats and handrails, but still, it’s not for everyone.
  5. When it comes to number of foreign languages spoken, London ranks first in the world. With over 250 languages spoken, you can hear many languages in a single day just by riding the train and walking around the city. I heard European, Eastern-European and Semitic languages.
Street by St. Paul’s Cathedral

Bill adds: Despite the fact that we were there on 3 weekdays, the crowds were quite large. It reminded me of the weekend crowds for ArtPrize in the early days. I felt safe and everyone we talked to was very pleasant. Thanks to Michelle and Bria for making this a very enjoyable trip.