What a week it's been - phew! Hank and I are now living in our London flat (they finished working on it about 3 hours after we showed up to move in...). We have all the basic furniture/TV/DVD/stereo that came with the flat, plus whatever we crammed into our *ahem* small amount of luggage that we'd brought on the plane. Even though I have a thing against driving in London (Dave & Julie remember it all too well, I'm sure), we decided that renting a car would be the best way to get everything done in the first few days we were here. It has actually gone very well, although I still hate pulling in and out of our building's garage with the 3" clearance I get on each side.
We made the obligatory trip to Ikea and picked up a few household basics. I won't name names, but a fairly major internet search engine's mapping system led us down possibly the most complicated route on city streets through London to get to the Wimbledon Ikea - an hour and a half drive for what it had said would be 6.5 miles. On the way back, we picked up a London A->Z (pronounced "aye to zed," mind you) and made it back in about 30 minutes. I'll be filing a bug on that shortly.
Since we don't have any pots or pans yet (just a baking sheet), we've been eating a lot of ready-made microwavable or oven meals. Apparently few people in London do much cooking - the store bought meals are actually quite tasty. We made a massive trip to the big full-service grocery store a few miles down the road (most stores are more local, small shops with smaller selections) for all the basics. There's also a natural food store close by our house, which makes picking up vegetarian things for Hank easy... but they also carry really nice looking bacon for yours truly. Hehe.
Apologies to those who've tried to call us or haven't heard from us by phone - we won't get home phone or internet access for another week and a half. I've got access while I'm at work, but my cell phone can't call internationally for a couple of months. But we're doing well and loving exploring around our new home.
Ooh, and for those who saw my photo of the world's smallest washer/dryer - it actually comes with the record for all-time longest time to wash and dry a load: clocking in at 5 hours! Wheeeee.