okay. in short:
Packed up our charming Paris flat last night after one of our best days in the city, including a beautiful stroll through Montmartre at sunset and accompanying dessert courtesy of our dear friends Dante and Jennifer. I suddenly got really good at French and yammered to anyone available.
This morning made 2nd best eggs ever and called a cab while we slowly advanced our luggage into the courtyard of our flat. Cab never came. Manually hauled luggage (mine now weighing over half of my body weight) up the street and flagged a cab to take us to Gare du Nord.
Wandered back and forth, lost, in Gare du Nord just long enough that by the time we got through customs and UK border we had thoroughly missed our Eurostar. The gentleman at the gate kindly and wordlessly moved us on to the next train and waved us through.
(aside: they have tiny bottles of wine in the dining car.)
Arrived in St. Pancras and immediately found ourselves in a taxi queue with the first rude people we’ve met in Europe – they wouldn’t let a very nice non-English-speaking family by to get to the street. I mentioned it to the steward at the front of the queue and he chewed them out before putting us in an awesome cab with enough room in the back to play Twister.
Best introduction to a country, ever.
Arrived at our guest house. Neighborhood, charming, but the weird, unintelligible lady at the desk made us wary. In three words from my wife, the room was “clean, outrageously modest,” which is very kind. Apparently, British guest houses aren’t at all like American bed and breakfasts. They are more like private-room hostels with shared mess hall breakfast in the morning, which is to say that I didn’t like that using our shower WOULD HAVE GOT THE BED WET, especially because the bed may have been made of cardboard or something else especially biodegradable and might have just dissolved into the natty rug.
Also, no internet, where all of our notes, reservations, and information live. Are you feeling me on this one?
A plan was hatched. We walked down the block to a Starbucks, got properly weak American caffeinated beverages, and used the internet to find the four-star hotel closest to the middle of London that had a concierge and wireless internet.
We then were faced with the matter of getting out of our guest house reservations, and for those of you familiar with my spectrum of creative problem-solving I’m sure you can imagine the creative scenario and accompanying major fit that I invented for the situation.
Afterward, we netted a hired taxi driver who had seriously no idea where our hotel was, even when we told him it was effectively across from the British Museum, and then we met a nice lady at the front desk who upgraded us to a deluxe room with a bathroom twice as big as my cubical, and here we are.
Since we didn’t really mention once to anyone in Paris that we were on our honeymoon we are starting every sentence here with, “well, we’re on our honeymoon, and…,” which in about three minutes should net us some fantastic dinner reservations from the concierge.