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European travel journal: Day 2 – London city tour and Greenwich

I thought only bums fell asleep on public buses, but evidently jetlagged Americans do too. At 11:00am London time, 6:00am PastaQueen time, and after 22 hours of consciousness, my body finally screamed, “SLEEP!” as loudly as the bus driver was honking at the gridlock on Trafalgar Square. I had moved to the bottom of the hop-on-hop-off bus tour because the top was too cold and windy, but the combination of warmth and stillness made me lean against the window over my bag and enter a state of not quite sleeping, but not quite awake.

Realizing it would be very bad to fall asleep on a bus in a foreign country, I jumped off at the next stop, Buckingham Palace, and discovered the proper treatment for jetlag is lots and lots and lots of walking. I’d started the day by buying my bus ticket and hopping on outside St. Paul’s Cathedral. We drove across London Bridge and Tower Bridge and past lots of landmarks, but after hitting the snag at Trafalgar Square I got off and never [...]

European travel journal: Day 1, Sunday, May 10, 2009

I squinted behind my sunglasses to look at the dark-haired girl who was squinting at me behind her sunglass as if to say, “I’m from the Internet. Are you from the Internet too?” And indeed she was. As with all Internet people she looked kind of like her photo, but in 3D and with sound. I enjoyed reading SassyDemon’s now private blog (so no linky) and after we wondered around a three-block radius of Union Station in Chicago we finally gave up trying to find Marshall’s diner on our own and let a cabbie find it for us. There was an apple and cheddar omelet and good conversation and an offer of complimentary soft-serve ice cream, though I turned the last part down.

After lunch, SassyDemon walked me to the Blue line stop and after my luggage handle got stuck in the turnstile and then pried out, I got on my train with two and half hours until my plane’s departure.

Then there was the shuttle.

You see, construction work was being done on the blue line on [...]

Have guidebooks, will travel

If I had known how much preparation goes into planning an international vacation, I’m not sure if I would have decided to jet off to London and Paris on a moment’s notice. However, the plane tickets are booked and the Eurostar train pass is purchased, so it’s full speed ahead and damn do those hi-speed trains go fast!

I have 9 days left until my departure and the last two weeks have been a crash course on how to travel. For instance, make reservations early. I kept putting off making reservations until I had time to read the guidebooks and suddenly it was less than 3 weeks before departure and OMG I NEED TO FIND A PLACE TO SLEEP THAT IS NOT A PARK BENCH. I spent a whole day in a panic trying to find a hotel that wouldn’t bankrupt me or give me bedbugs after reading that the Paris hostels were maybe not the best. Similarly, I kept putting off buying my train ticket through the chunnel from London to Paris until I could [...]

I see London, I see France…

This is not about my underpants.

Last week an e-mail was sent to everyone in my office announcing a one-week furlough this quarter. My coworkers were understandably depressed, shoulders sagging at their desks, wondering how they’d get by with one less week of pay.

This is when I exclaimed, “I’m going to Europe!” and my boss almost spit out his Coke.

“Are you serious?” he asked, half laughing.

“Yep!” I said. And I was. I am.

I have always wanted to go to Europe. My brother lived in Italy for a semester in college. My friends have taken trips with their French classes and Spanish classes. Other friends have gone backpacking in Ireland and gotten drunk in London and eaten chocolate in Switzerland. And still I have never left the country.

I have always wanted to go to Europe, but I’ve never made any plans to go to Europe. Partly this was because I was poor and in debt in my early 20′s. But partly it is because I never took the initiative, never got off my ass and made plans.

When [...]

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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