Tuesday, February 23, 2010

London Day 3

On the first of many tubes. Me and Tom.

On our third day in England, we made our way to central London. I can't believe how long it took us to get there. We drove an hour, parked, walked a half mile to the tube station, and then we took at least 3 different tubes until we stopped at Victoria Station.

I know I was in London, England... and really, that should have been enough for me. But, it wasn't. I'm an addict and a snob... a coffee one. I had only had coffee that tasted like plastic since leaving my home on Friday night and it was now Monday morning. (and for the record, yes, I know what plastic tastes like. I always chew on those rings that come off the top of the milk jugs or tags that come off clothes and various other things. Not sure why I tell these embarrassing things about myself.... ) So, I may have mentioned that I wanted to find a Starbucks... um, about 327 times before arriving at our destination. I was getting sick of myself.

We arrived at Victoria Station and I knew right then and there how much the Lord loved me. The Hallelujah Chorus began wooing me as this was the first sight I saw in London:

Can you see it? It was a little free-standing Starbucks. Nothing has ever tasted better. Well, maybe something has tasted better... but not at that moment. It was like manna from Heaven.

(Why do we call things manna from heaven? Didn't the Israelites just complain and complain and complain about the manna? Among a host of other things of course, thus 40 YEARS in the desert. I'm so confused. Should we ever call things manna from heaven?)

I didn't care what we did after I was holding that paper cup in my hand. Sarah needed a camera card, and, I know this is going to surprise you, but I did too. The day before my camera kept telling me that the card was not formatted. This too is going to shock you... but, I also forgot the thing to download pictures off the camera, so most of these pics are from my handy-dandy iphone.

After finding the camera cards, we hit a pub for lunch. I know that the picture below is blurry, but I could not get over that haircut. Someone definitely put a bowl, a kid bowl, over that man's head and began sheering him. Look how high it is. Honestly, I am not sure if I have ever seen a more ridiculous haircut. He would have been better off just shaving the entire head. Just start over dude!

We were finally able to be seated after this eccentric old lady decided she could give up her 6 person table. Eccentric or homeless... I couldn't decide. She had a suitcase and a purse. She ordered some (chips) and then began complaining loudly that they didn't have any taste. She went up to the bar and got some kind of something or other. It was orange- a combination of ketchup and mayo? The do eat Mayo on their chips in England. Hello, fattening!

So, the bag thieve sign, I was sure she was one.

If you look behind our friends here, you can see we put ALL our bags up in that corner.

These are the friends we traveled with- Rich and Cindy (from Phoenix, AZ) and Tom (from here but moving soon) and one of his NINE children, Sarah. (Yes, he has 9 biological children.)
It was their job to guard the bags at all costs.

When the crazy, old British lady finished her awful chips, she came and stood at the end of our table... where I was seated. Of course. All of a sudden, she breaks into this story about how one day she was walking along the street and she saw an invitation to audition for one of Andrew Lloyd Weber's musicals. So, she says, "I thought to myself... I don't have any kind of training but I should just go in and try out. So, I did. (She made it sound like Mr. Weber himself was there... you decide.) I was shaking so bad that my knees were hitting together."

About this time, our food arrived at the table. All my "friends" were busy with the food, so guess who had to keep listening to the story? (I'm making it short for you... by the way.)
"So, they told me to go into the next room because I was being asked for call backs. I sat in the other room and I was so scarred. Then they called me back in, but I didn't make it."

And, with that, she promptly turned, pulling her suitcase behind her and left. No goodbye, no explanation about why she had to stop and tell us that story. Nothing!

Just a day in the life, folks. Nothing else to say about that.
Paul and I at lunch. Aren't the hanging lights behind us cool?

One of these blogging days, I am going to tell you all the funny things (funny to me) they say in Britain. Here's one, they do not call restrooms, restrooms, they call them toilets. But, for the life of me, I could not bring myself to say, "Could you tell me where the toilets are?" How retarded does that sound? It's just gross to ask where the toilets are.

After lunch, we tried to buy tickets to some musical but the ones we wanted to see either didn't have tickets or the show didn't play on Monday nights. So, we took a 2 hour bus tour. And, for some of the tour, Paul and I sat on the top of the bus, with no covering, in the rain in 35 degree weather. Hey, I had to take it all in. I was in London for crying out loud! I never could quite get over that.
"Look kids! Big Ben!!" I've always wanted to say that:-)

West Minster Abby... I think?

St. Peter's Cathedral. All of a sudden, I am wondering if was St. Paul's. Hmmm, it was St. Something. And the bell in that tower, it has some ridiculous weight... like 60 tons?

Clearly, it was hard for me to listen and take in all the sights. I was over-stimulated.
We are going over London Bridge. I want to say something like, "Glad it didn't fall down.", but I am not going to.

Paul and I walked through Chinatown just for Emme.

And, you should know that right before Chinatown, we tried to get musical tickets again. We went to the Les Miserable theater, but they only had 4 tickets. But, it was ok because all 6 of us had already seen it. Don't get me wrong, I could have seen it again. But, splitting the 6 of us up in London sounded like a nightmare.

So, we walked across the street to another ticket place. While we were waiting our turn to inquire about tickets, Paul decided to interrogate the poor British gentleman behind us. "Which one of these shows would you see if you were only here for a night? What have you seen before? Is Jersey Boys good?"

When Paul began asking if this show or that show was good, the gentleman would answer (please use your British accent), "It's meant to be."

Now what in the heck? I am sure if you are a musical writer and you spend all that time writing a musical... you mean it to be good, otherwise, why would you write it? So, we already know they are MEANT to be good.

Somehow we ended up with tickets to Dreamboats and Petticoats. I had never, in all my days, so much as heard of that show. And, let me just tell you, it was meant to be good. Ok, no, for real... it was REALLY good!! We loved it. It was music from the 50's and 60's and it was fabulous! It was a great decision to go to a show while we were in London.

On our way back to the station where the day began, we were tired. We had walked for a good 12 hours. And, when someone like me is tired, things are usually WAY more funny than they should be. My mature husband pointed this station out to the 6 of us, who were a bit spread out in this particular car. And, we all lost it. I am embarrassed at how hard we laughed. Laughing is contagious too. Either that or all the people around us were laughing at how immature the Americans were.

I don't know why I took a picture of the musical. It's so clear, huh? Can't you just tell how good it was?
My favorite MIND THE GAP!

I know for most of you... these are just boring pictures. For me, they are each of gift. I never dreamed I'd be able to to to London, not at any time during my life. But, I am a follower of Jesus Christ and life with him is a great adventure. He loves to give good gifts to his children. This trip... it was truly a gift.

Lots more pictures to come... now that I am home and I was actually able to download them.

1 comment:

Gina said...

Loved it! Glad you had such fun in London!