Carolyn: Today was the day of multiple modes of transportation. However, our first ride on the tube was delayed by about 25 minutes in a very curious fashion. We walked to the Victoria tube station in plenty of time to begin our journey. There had been some sort of hold-up on the tube, and they were only letting people up; we couldn't get down. We thought they might, say, alternate every 5 minutes or so, but no - we were still waiting for way too long (which later caused us to miss the first bus to Wantage). In any case, we trekked out to Wantage to see Sarah and Max's apartment (flat?) and in doing so, we walked, took the tube, rode a train, and experienced a double-decker bus. Folks, riding a double-decker bus through the English countryside is not for the faint of heart. The streets are incredibly narrow and bordered by trees. These trees often hang into the road and will smack into the upper windshield. It's like a Russian roulette game of when one will be heavy enough to break the windshield and decapitate you. However, the British drivers seem confident and progress down these road with speed. (Even a guy in a motorized wheelchair scooter was in the middle of the road doing at least 20 mph.) England is also different from the US as there is very little "suburban sprawl." When a town ends, it just completely stops and all of a sudden the bus is careening through fields. Fields of what, we never quite figured out, even though Jason tried mightily. Maybe wheat?
Sarah and Max live in the adorable town of Wantage. There are sweet little shops and cobblestones and little alleys. We had lunch at a tea room near the bus (no Stilton for us today) and then went over to check out Sarah's place. She made us coffee with cream (these Brits don't usually serve cream in coffee so Amy and I have suffered, but Sarah saved us). We are so excited for the wedding!
Leaving Wantage, we bused, trained, tubed and walked, and arrived in Notting Hill (yup, like the movie) and wandered a bit. We saw cute row houses and for laughs, we looked at advertisements in a rental (letting) office. Since none of us could afford to rent that cool flat for upwards of £1500 per week, we moved on to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. I dropped chow mein on myself and Amy had an "incident" with the soy sauce. (We love the "Tide to Go" pen.) We eventually took the bus back to our station (Victoria station) and got back to the hotel around 9:00 PM. Jason went out again to get us a sugar fix and we had some ice cream to cap off the night. Soon it will be sleepytime...more updates tomorrow!