Friday, May 8, 2009

Update from London

Travel Lessons for Today:

~ Any activities requiring reservations should be scheduled for as late in the day as possible.

How we learned this one: I booked theater tickets to see “Romeo and Juliet” at The Globe for the 2:00 showing with dining reservations for 12:30 at The Swan. This took up the most useful part of the day and meant we were not able to see The Tower of London or Westminster Abbey, both of which we really wanted to get to and both of which close early. A three hour show starting at 2:00 means there isn't time to do anything afterwards. We wound up leaving early (Juliet just found out that Romeo killed Tybalt) in order to catch St. Paul's Cathedral. (It's OK, we know how it ends.) If I had scheduled an evening performance, however, we would have been able to squeeze a lot more into the day.

~ Do not get non-refundable tickets for the train.

We decided we both really, really love London and we love where we are staying, and with the day we missed we want to stay here two days longer. Our room is available here but the train tickets are non-flexible, meaning we can't change them. The Eldest and I went all the way to the King's Cross/St. Pancras station to find that out. (Yes, we saw Platform 9 ¾, which has a plaque about Harry Potter and half a cart sticking out of the wall.) We both walked around depressed about it for the next few hours. I hate Continental.

~ Blister pad band aids and double socks are super helpful.

I don't have blisters but there is a spot where my right shoe rubs against the side of my ankle. It was getting really sore so I put the blister band aids there, followed by the 2 pairs of socks, and I made it through the day. The 2 pairs of socks also helped out with that layering thing. The weather here alternates from freezing, drizzly, rainy, miserable yuck to almost warm and absolutely lovely.

~ London is a really, really cool city.

When we were walking from the tube to The Globe we had to pass by St. Paul's. I asked Abi if she wanted to ditch our lunch reservations and go through St. Paul's instead since it was right there, then go to Westminster Abbey after watching part of R & J. She said OK so we asked someone how to get into the cathedral and he said we couldn't because something was going on, and oh look, here's a parade! Then out of nowhere here comes a marching band followed by some other marching units followed by three Rolls Royce limos with official looking types in funny outfits. The guy said he thought Prince Charles was at the ceremony so we were excited to think it might be him. I took pictures of the cars as they went past then showed them to a guide at St. Paul's later when we were able to get in. He said no, the Prince wasn't in any of those cars. His limo has a special raised roof in order to accommodate hats. (!!!)

We enjoyed the part of the show we watched. Did you know thatched roofs make a lot of chaff? It was windy today so the chaff was drifting down all through the performance like a light snow. (The Globe is an open air theater.)

OK, I would love to type more but I'm falling asleep at the keyboard. The Eldest zonked out some time ago and I think she's down for the night, so time for me to snooze too.

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