London and Laughter
It’s Friday! Time for a little fun and relaxation. I was talking with my daughter earlier about some of our travel adventures. As the conversation progressed we found ourselves giggling. You see, when our family travels some sort of chaos always seems to ensue. One particular incident took place last summer when we were traveling through London with a group of students.
We had landed in London early one cool June morning, after an eight-hour flight. We boarded our bus and set out to see the sights of London immediately. And sight see we did – Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Trafalgar Square, and the list goes on.
After an exhausting day of touring, we drug our jet-lagged bodies through the doors of our hotel. A hot shower and a warm bed had never felt so good.
We got up early the next morning to do it all over again. After having a good night’s sleep everyone’s outlook was optimistic. We were on a mission to see all that London had to offer. It was at this point our tour director introduced us to London’s iconic underground transportation system – “The Tube”. She gave each member of our group a card which would allow us to board “The Tube” as many times as needed for the duration of our stay. Awesome, right?
London was amazing – a hustling bustling modern city with centuries of history thrown in the mix.
After a long day of running from place to place, it was finally time to have dinner. The kids were tired and starving. We were all looking forward to sitting down and enjoying some of the local cuisine London is famous for. Enter the first glimpse of chaos.
Our “seasoned” tour guide got us lost going to the restaurant. Let me repeat that. Our tour guide got us lost. That should have tipped us off that the rest of the night would prove to be interesting.
After an hour of directions from Siri, multiple Google Maps queries, and many trips around the same three block vicinity, we finally made it to the restaurant – the Japanese noodle restaurant. Seriously, no famous London fare, not even good Japanese food. Nope, just noodles.
With a quick dinner behind us, our groups split up for some down time. A couple of the groups went to a play, another went to do some shopping, and our group wanted to take in more of the ambiance of London. We learned from some locals that our “Tube” card was good for the bus system as well. Who doesn’t want to ride a double-decker bus in London?
We loaded our group onto the iconic red vehicle and set out to take in London at dusk. A good bit later everyone, but our group had gotten off the bus. The driver pulled over to the curb and very politely asked where we were headed. We told him we were just riding the bus back to where we boarded. Apparently, the bus route we had selected was finished for the night.
Late night in London, we have no idea of our whereabouts, and our bus driver thinks we’re crazy. Chaos rears his ugly head again.
Luckily, our very nice bus driver took pity on us. He went out of his way to drop us off close to a nearby “Tube” station. From there getting back to the hotel would be a breeze. We found the underground station and boarded “The Tube” to head to our hotel.
Have you ever reached the point of being so tired everything becomes funny? We were there – all ten of us. We were laughing about everything. “Mind the gap”, the safety warning to remind passengers to watch their step, became hilarious. Each time the doors would open at a stop the message would play multiple times. It had become ingrained in our minds.
After a lengthy ride, we emerged into the streets of London. Not the correct streets, mind you. Oh, we boarded the correct train. However, apparently, at a certain time every night the train we boarded takes a different route! Right train – wrong destination. It was 3:00 a.m. and we were lost in London – again. All we could do was laugh.
We spotted another school tour group that was with the same company and followed them another half mile or so back to our hotel. Just as we were walking through the doors, our tour director sends out a text telling us that “The Tube” line changes its destination at night and that there is another one we should use instead.
It’s been a year since that trip and the group we traveled with still gets a giggle from this memory.
I want to hear your funny vacation memories! Share them in the comment section.
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