Friday, June 5, 2009

What a Day!

Oh what fun we had today. We can barely waddle back to our hotel!

The luggage came last night. Everything arrived in the suitcases, including my good ring! I really shouldn't carry my good jewelery in my checked luggage now, should I? Strange thing ... when I putting away my clothes I found two items that were wet and they were in the middle of the suitcase. Isn't that odd? I didn't have any liquids in the suitcase but it was raining really hard in Newark. I wonder if the suitcases sat out in the rain for a while in Newark. It was just odd that the middle things were wet. And Lynn's shirt, in his suitcase, had mouthwash all over it. Ha ha ha ha ... his little bottle of mouthwash leaked all over his shirt and smelled like Listerine.

My camera battery ran out last night and I went to get my charger and found I had brought the wrong one. So ... first thing this morning I had to find a camera store and buy a new charger for 40 pounds. That's about $60!!! Let me just say one thing ... it's not cheap to travel over here. But oh what fun! We used Elayne's camera and I haven't downloaded her pictures from her camera yet.

We had a tour bus pass, good for 24 hours, that was included in our trip package. What a way to go. We're staying in a very, nice part of London ... right next to Victoria Station and Buckingham Palace. Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Elton John, Madonna, and Joan Collins all have homes just a few blocks from our hotel. We got to see where they live on our tour. The bus was a hop on and hop off ... so you could hop off at the various drop off points, see your sight, and then jump back on the bus and continue on. We walked to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben ... which is NOT the clock, but actually the bell inside the tower, and walked around Westminster Abbey. Then we went to the Tower of London. You could spend a day seeing everything there. It's actually a fortress with several buildings inside. We visited the Crown Jewels first. They were amazing! We saw the coronation robe of Queen Elizabeth and then all of the crowns are on exhibit there along with the septres encrusted with some of the largest diamonds in the world. There were also rubies and emeralds. To keep the people moving past the crowns you actually stepped onto a people mover which was going very slow.

The Tower of London was where some of the queens were beheaded, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. We saw the Bloody Tower and went into some of them and toured the White Castle where all of the armory was kept.

Then we boarded a boat which took us on a tour of the Thames. That was one of my favorite things to do. We rode up top. The weather was a little rainy on and off, but didn't keep us from enjoying the sights.

Did you know that the London Bridge is really in Lake Havasu, Arizona? A wealthy guy from the US thought he was buying the Tower Bridge but in reality bought the London Bridge and had it moved to Arizona. The Tower Bridge is the famous bridge you see in most of the pictures of London with the two towers, one on each end and a drawbridge in between. The suspension cables to the bridge are painted Tempting Turquoise because that was Queen Victoria's favorite color.

We toured the National Gallery where there are tons of famous paintings. The guys were pretty beat so Elayne and I hobbled up the stairs and with our maps in hand found the Reuben, Picasso, and Rembrandt paintings. Why are most of the paintings of naked men and women? And why are the women not very attractive in the paintings? In all honesty, there wasn't one painting I saw that I would like to hang on the walls of my home. There was one giant painting depicting a dragon eating two naked people. The head of the one body was laying on the ground and the dragon's claws were digging into the other body. It was horrid and frightening. Must mean something that I can't figure out!

O.K. ... so I told you about our tiny bathroom. Let me tell you about our strange tub. It's long and skinny and you have to climb over a high wall to get into the tub to take your shower. There's no shower curtain. Only a strange piece of glass with a hinge on it, which is only about 18" wide. It doesn't stop the water from hitting the toilet when you're showering, and you can't shut the glass because your body is in the way. I was just looking at the amenities that they re-stocked in our bathroom. Hmmmm ... I used body wash on my hair this morning. I thought it was shampoo! I thought it smelled awfully good for shampoo.

Kids, I forgot to give you a phone number at the hotel where we can be reached in case of an emergency. Our cell phones don't work here and we haven't found an international calling card yet. Please call Grandma and Grandpa to let them know we're doing great! Angie, how's Dieter boy? We're staying at the Rubens on Buckingham Palace Road and the phone is 020 7834 6600.

Oooh ... we ate downstairs in the Crypt of St Martins of the Fields ... and old chapel in Trafalgar Sqaure. I had the most amazing apple crumb pudding with a warm custard sauce on top. It was divine!

Well ... we're off to find something to eat tonight. Think we'll go down to Victoria area to find something good ... like Fish and Chips. Yum, yum.

Cheers! I'll post pics when I can download them.


Stamping Moments said...

Hello Linda!

My name is Jenny and I am a stampin up demo in the uk. Just wanted to say hi and hope you enjoy your trip.

You must go to Borough Market its near London Bridge Friday and Saturday. Also Globe Theatre is a must with a Guide.

Jenny x

Butternut Sage Designs said...

WOW oh WOW Linda....I want to go to London now!!!! You would make the BEST travel aganet evah!!!!! Have morre fun....Donna Centamore

Butternut Sage Designs said...

great spelling Linda sorry that was agent!

The Peton's said...

Yeah, I agree with Jenny x, the UK lady -- totally go to the Globe Theatre and Stratford upon
Avon (Shakespeare's theater and place of birth). That's where I would go, if you would have invited me. Your trip sounds so fun!!!

Lindsey said...

Mom, Brooke told me that Stratford Upon Avon was a waste of time; totally boring---you can't even go inside.
Glad you guys are having fun!

Christie said...

Hey Linda, The National Gallery is a good (not great) place to visit if your not an art historian or artist. Many of the paintings are about technique, topic, and location. They depict a specific time and event or a style that greatly impacted the art world. Not much fun if you dont know the HISTORY behind the painting...isnt it funny how it all comes back to history? I hope you at the least enjoyed the Picassos and got to see a Monet. They are the most popular in the US. If you ever make it to Chicago, I'll personally take you on a tour of the Chicago Art Museum. For non art historians, the architecture is the true jewel of England. You can see it, touch it, enter into it, learn a quick thing or two about it, and then decide if you like it or not lol...
Praying for a fun and safe trip!
Christie in Chicago