Here's what I was living through on Day 4 of our trip in 2006...short but sweet. :)
rain n. 1, water falling in drops from the clouds 2, a shower or outpouring of anything v. shower down, give abundantly
Some people may love rain, but after the third day of it, I hate it. I hate rain more than the people in Trafalgar Square hate whatever it was that they were protesting. Somehow, though, in spite of the rain, we were managing to get everything on the itinerary done...except St. Paul's Cathedral.
We tried to go to Westminster Abbey in the morning, but one glimpse of the line made that option laughable. We decided to just find "Duck Tours" which we had seen the day before from the window of the bus, and knew the general direction. But knowing the "general direction" in my family actually doesn't mean jack squat.
The female members of my family are seriously "directionally impaired" (Jill appears to be somewhat immune to this...for which I credit her Mixon genes). As a result, we use crutches whenever possible. (Not literal crutches...but maps, GPS, asking people, detailed directions, prayer, and males who have proven themselves worthy of getting us from Point A to Point B in the past.)
So, we can see the London Eye (because it looks like a giant bicycle tire in the sky and is hard to miss) and know that it loads somewhere near there. We figure out that it will require another walk across the Thames to get there.
Great. Just great.
About halfway across the bridge, it starts raining. It isn't raining sideways, but the wind coming off of the water is COLD. Nobody even complains, though, because just making it across is the goal.
We find it a block or two down, and then sat down to one of the most enjoyable tours ever! The guide, Matthew, was funny, and the sights were explained with a distinct energy that made the frozen walk totally worth it.
It was also the turning point. Everything after that walk across the Thames got a lot easier.
After Duck Tours, we had fish and chips, found souvenirs, bought two UMBRELLAS, and then made our way back to Westminster Abbey. Although tour guides were not available to us, we took our time and enjoyed the visit. We found everything notable, another gift shop, and were ready to move on after that.
It was on to tea at Richoux. Jill and TBF decided that they were going to find pizza later, but had a small snack. The rest of us had tea. It was great...okay, pricey...but great. We ended up at a department store - H & M - so that Jill could at last go shopping. It was down the street from Harrods and we were like...whoa...this actually looks familiar. Yay us.
We then proceeded back to spend a relaxing evening packing. And dealing with the jet lag. Yeah, that.
The Luna and Simone was a really neat hotel. Free Internet and a 5% discount for paying in cash. It is run by twin brothers (Peter and Bernard...who are impossible to tell apart) whose father owned it before them. A son of one of them is already working in the business.
The 87 steps to the top floor where we were staying (yes...eighty seven) were a little traumatic to scale with luggage. Gigi and Poppy were on the first floor which involved about fifteen steps. The breakfast was great...just enough...with enough variety (although I stuck with the fried egg, toast, juice, and ham the entire three days). Would I stay there again? YES. Would I recommend it to others? YES. Would I ask for a room on the second floor or below? DEFINITELY.
|Jill and me in front of Westminster Abbey. Hair by Mother Nature.|
|The London Eye...apparently modeled on a bicycle tire...|
|Duck Tours...all of the WWII amphibious vehicles are named after female Shakespearean characters...|
|Parliament from the road...|
|We found crossing the Thames River in the vehicle to be far better than on foot.|
|If you thought, "Gee, it looks like that shot was taken from the water..." then you would be correct. We were actually IN the Thames (in the amphibious vehicle, obviously, since the Thames is icky looking).|
|After three days of rain...Mom just gave it up on the hair. She looks like Gilligan's sister, but whatever.|
|A statue of Abraham Lincoln...in London.|
Royal rider person thingy don't really know...
|No, you don't need lasik...the photo is blurry. It was the only one I took of the room. Not exactly spacious...but wonderfully clean, comfortable, and after walking up 87 steps to reach it...it pretty much looked like nirvana.|