Monday, March 24, 2008

Whole Lotta Love for London

We knew Paris was going to be tough to beat. But like the new season of the Bachelor, London was calling.

Seven Highlights of Our Time in London:

1. My Old House. When I was just about the same age as Little Chick we moved to London for two years. Showing her the house where we lived was surreal.

2. The London Eye. I will admit I was a touch cynical about The London Eye. Why would I want to go to England and ride a ferris wheel? But it was pretty spectacular. The design is amazing and the view of the city sublime.

3. Changing of the Guards at Whitehall Palace. I wandered into a covered tunnel to take a picture of one of the standing guards – you know the ones that won’t crack a smile, wince or even blink for a tourist? In order to get his picture I had to step backward up on a step. He pounded his foot on the ground like a horse. I couldn’t believe it! I got him to move! I was so excited I stepped backwards up a few more steps to get more pics. Well he grunted and pulled his sword on me. Yeah....turns out I was backing into an entrance to Whitehall Palace. Understandably a no-no.

So apparently you can get them to move and make noise if you accidentally storm the palace.

4. Taxi Battle. It’s never an easy task to land a taxi at night when an entire theatre of people pour onto the streets at the same time. We angled and positioned. Spread out on separate corners. Finally I eyed one coming from far far away. I raced and ran and flailed and waved. The driver gave me a nod and pointed to the place he could pull over. I shouted at my mom and Little Chick to join me as I ran to the taxi. Looking for holes like Emmitt Smith, I was dodging pedestrians, spinning around rubbish bins and leaping the sidewalk railings.

I arrived and was chatting with the driver through the window when out of the blue some crazy British woman whacked me with her umbrella and began squawking that she was taking that cab. Unbelievable. I’ll spare you the condescending martyr speech I gave her as I allowed her to take the taxi but suffice to say it made her look so stupid that even her husband shook his head in shame and apologized to me.

5. Eating at the Old Hot Spots. It was so fun to take Little Chick to all our favorite places to eat. The same head waiter is still at the Brompton Brasserie. Tootsie’s has had an extreme makeover but it’s still there and it’s still delish. We finished the trip with a gluttonous trip to Fortnum & Mason.

6. Brass Rubbings and Making Friends. Little Chick had her heart set on doing the unicorn. I spend ten minutes trying to talk her out of the unicorn and convince her to do something cool like a knight or a queen or a gargoyle. She wanted the unicorn. As she went to grab it, a little two-year old girl was about to take the unicorn and immediately became upset. So Little Chick let her have the unicorn. I was so proud. We made friends with the little girl and her brother, who was about the same age as Little Chick. It was a very sweet spin on the traditional art of brass rubbings.

7. Meeting Jimmy Page. Ok, so that’s a stretch. But our favorite cab driver, Mike, had picked up Jimmy Page just one week before us, and Mike swears Jimmy Page was seated in the exact same seat that I was in. As the new British bachelor would say, I fancy the pants off Led Zeppelin. So that was fun.

And London rocked.


Amy said...

Amazing! I want to go, I'm on a total Tudor England kick right now and would love to see Whitehall Palace.
Ooh, and the new Bachelor...
I rather fancy his pants!

Angie said...

Super fun to read these posts. We went to London, Paris and Rome in November. This is helping me relive it all.


Ashley said...

That sounds awesome. I can't believe you got hit with an umbrella. Crazy.

BusyDad said...

Flashing the ROCK ON in front of the Texas Embassy restaurant - priceless! haha! Wow you guys look like you had so much fun. Well worth all the scrambling you had to do before the trip now wasn't it? :)

Anonymous said...

The London Eye broke down just a few days ago stranding people on it for several hours.
You're lucky it wasn't you on at that time.

I'm certainly getting myself to London and Ireland in the next several years.
Cannot wait.

Karen MEG said...

What a wonderful trip, I loved the slide show! So much fun that you could do this with your daughter and your mom; how special!

Thanks for sharing! Giving me the itch to visit London again. It's such a cool city.

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

You didn't happen to see me hanging around London did you? ;) I think we were there at the same time! (I'm actually still there!)

Getty72 said...

My goodness, it sounds like you had a wonderful time. Itr seems funny that somebody who lives so far away, has been staying just around the corner for a few days!

The umbrella escapade sounded really funny - still, you can't visit England without being confronted with an Umbrella or! And on that note, I am sorry that our weather wasn't too great for you. Still, you already probably know that our rainy season starts in January and finishes in!

Warm wishes _ Graham x

Ed (zoesdad) said...

Never in my life have I heard of anyone enticing a guard at the Palace Gates to move. Brilliant!

Jenny said...

Oh I would die to go to london. I'm officially jealous. xD