Sunday, August 15, 2010

london

I don't know why I am writing about our vacation out of order, but we originally flew in to London. We had 2 1/2 days to run through everything we wanted to do there. And we weren't sure what we wanted to do, so we took a bus tour to get an overview of all that London had to offer.
We enjoyed London. We actually did figure out the underground pretty easily, again thanks Lezlee, for your instruction. We crammed a lot into 2 days. We spent several frustrating hours at a couple of wireless stores. We left 3 children behind in Arizona, one of which was in the middle of buying a home and needed advice and help, one of which was running our business in our absence, and one . . . well, she was just off having her own fun vacation on the beach with her girl scout troop. Anyway, it was imperative that we stay in contact with the girls. Our phone company gave us some very bad advice to wait until we got to Europe to activate the phone and internet service. We wasted so much time trying to get something done that we should have been able to do at home. We never ended up with a good phone system, and had to find a computer every evening to e-mail the girls, and catch up with our business clients. Rachel was amazing running the business and there really was very little business for us to have to deal with the whole time we were gone. Thank you Rachel - you are awesome! Fortunately we had computer access in almost every hotel and even had access to 'Skype' a couple of times.
Anyway - we saw the Prince Albert Monument, St Thomas Park, Buckingham Palace, the changing of the guard, a short river trip on the Thames, Big Ben, walked around Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery, Green Park, St James Park, Herrods for lunch, Victoria Theater to see "Billy Elliot"(loved it).
After we went to the theater, we decided to just go walking around town and see the night life. At nearly 1 am, we thought we better head back to the hotel clear across town (because we are cheap and searched for the cheapest hotel in all of England which of course was not convenient to the airport or any of the places we wanted to visit, but we saved a couple dollars which we spent many times over in subway costs, but that's beside the point. The point is, we saved a couple of dollars on a hotel room.) Anyway, we then realized the subway shuts down at 12:30 am. It was our last night and we had plenty of money on our subway card, but almost no cash. We spent the last of our money on late night ice cream cones because tomorrow we would need Euros and not Pounds so we spent every last little coin. So we are in downtown London at 1 am, with no money in our pockets, looking at the locked subway gates. We were worried for a bit and had to make some phone calls to figure out if there really was a late night bus (like there is in Harry Potter). Luckily there is, and the bus takes the same card as the subway and we arrived safely at the hotel at 2 am. Quite an adventure.
I thought the taxi "Supernanny" drives around in was some specialty car, but no - that is the regular taxi around town. Same with the red double decker buses. They are everywhere!
We saw the changing of the guard. It took quite an effort to take a picture that looked like this:Because we were taking many more pictures that looked like this:
There really were a lot of summer tourist crowds, but most places never really felt crowded.

3 comments:

bandanamomtoo said...

Oh I just adore London. Seriously LOVE. I wish I would have remembered to tell you your Oyster card would work on the buses too, but I forgot to mention that, I suppose you figured it out anyway. :)

Meghan and Randy said...

I have loved reading about all your travels! Keep writing!

Suzanne Barker said...

Ahh, it makes me want to go again. Been many years.