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'Ello England!

We had hoped to be done driving when we left Scotland, but we took one look at our options for getting to Stongehenge and decided that 2+ hours on a tour bus smothered in people was beyond what we had the ability to handle - off to EuropCar for another day of car rental! The sky was dark and the rain was pouring when we arrived, but we were so excited to see the stones stacked in the distance that it didn't seem to matter. We walked around the monument with our dripping headsets up to our wet faces, learning about the prehistoric rocks, what is known, and what remains a mystery still today. It is incredible to see the size of the rocks, consider their positioning, and think about the time and power that it took to place them as such. My fingers were frozen solid from taking pictures by the time we headed out!

The rain slowed as we started back toward London. We made a nice detour through Bath, so we could take a peek at some of the history and architecture. Beautiful city! We had been up since 4:45 this morning and the kids were antsy to get into London as the afternoon was coming to a close. In an effort to pass the time as we headed back to the airport to drop the car off, they spent over an hour playing a guessing game that involved humming every sort of tune imaginable. It has been great to see what these two have created in forced family fun time!

Important Note: We have booked 90% of this trip on AirBNB and have been pleased with our homes (sans Turbo). I've been eagerly awaiting four nights in the gem we booked here in London based on great views and location.

The first red flag regarding our London house came when we returned the car and were advised that it would be best to be out of the Elephant Castle train depot and tucked safely into the home that we've rented for the next four nights well before dark. Noted. The second red flag came when the first person that we saw in the train depot was stealing all the money from a metal box on the wall. Luke tried to tell me it might have been the guy that worked there collecting coins. I told him that I love how he sees the goodness in all people. That gentleman most have just forgotten his uniform and key today. Noted. The third red flag came somewhere along the 3/4 mile walk off the beaten path to find our actual house. Noted. Fourth red flag could be a man named Luis answering the door, rather than the woman named Merrian that I booked the house with. Luke suggested we got catfished?! Trying not to feel alarmed. Noted. He was doing laundry and appeared to be staying in the house too. Should that be a separate flag? Fifth red flag might be sending us upstairs and closing us in one room with 2 bunk beds and a bathroom. Where was the kitchen? Washer and dryer? This wasn't what we paid for! We were left with a rule sheet that told us that eating in our room was FORBIDDEN on top of it! Oh come on now. Noted. Seventy-eighth red flag flew up when I opened our curtains, eager to see the view of Big Ben and the setting sun that we booked this house based on and I saw nothing but brick walls. Nothing. I didn't want to be angry in London, but that one hurt. Noted. With little time left before dark, we ran a few blocks to the grocery store and snuck our food back upstairs. Think we should be concerned that we can't lock our room while we are away? Luis didn't speak much English and Merrian was nowhere to be found so we ate our dinner and opened up our reservation to see if we might actually be in the wrong house. No, the room was a match - it's just that everything else wasn't. As we sat captive in our room, we mulled over getting another place but we have already paid for this one and the rest of the world is on holiday in London, so a reasonably priced last minute room to stay in a good location is not exactly easy to find. When I heard a group of people running up the stairs toward our room and laughing just before midnight, I about lost it. Luke assured me that they were going to a room across the hallway (which I hadn't noticed existed - nor did either of us know we were sharing!) and I assured myself that we would be in a new location in London tomorrow.

Posted by akgearhard 14:02 Archived in England

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