by Melinda Gallo

Dinner in London

On our trip to San Francisco, we decided to fare uno scalo (have a layover) in London for the night. We haven't been in a few years and love the city and wanted to see a few friends for dinner.

Our flight out of Pisa was a little late and we arrived at Gatwick at around 5:30PM. After picking up our luggage and getting a rental car, I drove us to our hotel at Heathrow. Our friend organized a dinner at an Indian restaurant near Earl's Court at 9PM, so we had to rush. We got to our hotel, thanks to the free GPS in the rental car, in about an hour. We unloaded our stuff, freshened up, and headed for London.

I didn't realize how close Heathrow was to downtown London because I used to not drive there much and certainly not from Heathrow to the downtown area.

We arrived at the restaurant at 8:45PM and were lucky enough to find a parking spot right across the street from the restaurant. Our friends were waiting for us at a pub where they were finishing up their drinks.

Driving in England was fun although I had to keep reminding myself to drive on the left quite a bit. It's easy when there are other cars to just follow, but if there's no one on the road, I had to say it to myself out loud. And, I was happy that I only hit the door once with my right hand, trying to shift gears.

After dinner, about midnight, we headed to another pub for drinks. We sat outside on the terrace enjoying a cool summer evening, like we usually have in Florence.

I loved seeing my friends and hanging out with them. It felt so odd to be in another city for dinner when we were just in Florence for lunch. We realized that we don't go to London enough and hope that we'll be soon planning more trips, which will be longer.

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