My two daughters, ages 13 and 9, and I went to the UK on May 27th and returned on June 10th. We had a blast, and this is my trip report.
Day 1: (Sunday) Flying out of New Orleans. We flew United Airlines to Houston, where we caught our connecting flight to London. This was my younger daughter's first flight. It is a short flight, but about twenty minutes in, the oxygen masks popped out of the ceiling. Everyone just looked at them for about a full (long) minute. No one put them on. I think everyone thought it was just a malfunction. But then the flight attendant made an announcement that the plane was losing compression, and we needed to put them on until the pilot got the plane to a lower elevation. So everyone put them on at that point. My older daughter took it in stride, but my younger was in tears. I was pretty nervous too. Soon we were down to a lower elevation and were able to take the oxygen masks off. The rest of the flight was uneventful, and we landed safely. In the Houston airport, I was chatting with a flight attendant who was also waiting for our London flight, and told her what had happened. She said in thirty-three years of flying, that's only happened to her twice, so it was really bad luck that it happened on my daughter's first flight! She was very nice and arranged for my daughters and I to meet the pilot on our flight, and my younger daughter got to sit in the pilot's chair and wear his hat. So it turned out ok, and my daughter enjoyed the rest of our journey to England. Not an auspicious beginning, but certainly interesting!
Day 2 (Monday): Landed at Heathrow at about 7:30am. Walked and walked to Immigration, and there was a line, but it moved quickly. Everyone friendly and helpful. We didn't have bags to get from baggage claim, because we only had our carry ons and personal items. Got our oyster cards (my youngest was a little put out that she didn't get one because she's free!) and got on the tube. Our destination was Victoria Tube Station, so we changed from the Piccadilly line to the District line at Hammersmith, as I had read on this forum to do. It was very easy, just as I was told. Got off at Victoria Tube Station and was a little disoriented at first, but got my phone out and used Google Maps to get directions to our hotel. We stayed at the Windermere on Warwick Way about a ten minute walk from the tube station. The Windermere is a small hotel in an old building and it was cute. The staff was very nice. It was too early to check in, but they took our bags and gave us a little map. So we walked down Buckingham Palace Rd and saw the palace. We did a Hop on Hop Off bus tour, not sure now which company, but it had recorded commentary, not live. It was okay, and we saw some things we wouldn't have otherwise seen, but it was a hot sunny day (for England in June. I think it got up to about 82 degrees Farenheit) and the buses weren't air conditioned. We got hot and sleepy, and we all took turns nodding off. I'm not sure where we ended up eating lunch and dinner that day. We got back to the hotel and were given our room.
The hotel has a lift, which we took, and then had to go down some stairs and up some more. We didn't mind the stairs, we found the building interesting. The room was nice, with a double bed and a twin bed. The bathroom was small but clean and new. We loved that we could open the window and not have to worry about mosquitoes! (we were on the third floor) You can't do that here in Louisiana. The room had air conditioning which didn't work at first, but a hotel worker came up and fixed it, and it was fine for the rest of our stay.