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Published: January 8th 2011
London: The Expensive Edition
This blog update has been a long time in coming, and by that I mean that I am two almost three months late in writing this. (For some reason I want to try to write a gestation joke but it is not working so insert your own here.) Onto the story, and what a lovely one it is too!
A long, long time ago I can still remember when my parents and grandparents came to visit the lovely land of England. They arrived in Heathrow on a Wednesday and spent two days exploring London: seeing the Crown Jewels at the Tower, visiting Churchill’s War Bunker, eating at nice restaurants etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I joined them on Friday after a long day of classes and arrived at the hotel at which they were staying to discover that I would be spending the next two nights sleeping on my mom’s floor. Needless to say I was not enthused. After an amazing meal at a Greek restaurant, where my mother and I split the combination of everything platter and gorged ourselves on pita bread, I found myself on Halloween watching Bridget Jones Diary with my mother. Oh well
it is not like I was in Madison.
The next day the four of us (my father had not arrived yet) ventured out and navigated our way to Trafalgar Square. This coincidentally was filled with a GIANT NFL rally commemorating the first NFL game to be played in London. Instead of watching the grotesque display of American Nationalism, (the Packers weren’t there so we weren’t interested) we slipped into the National Gallery. There we lost ourselves and our sense of time and direction between the works of Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Monet, Manet, and countless others. One of my mother’s and my favorite works was a medieval piece that pictured three faces of Prudence with the inscription that read (in Latin but it is in English here because I doubt many of you could translate – I couldn’t) : “Drawing on the past, the present act prudently, lest it should make a mess of future action”. It was a really cool piece.
We lunched with friend from Wausau, Lily Riveron, in the catacombs of St. Martin in the Fields Church off of Trafalgar square. It really was a cool café, but slightly very expensive. However being in the catacombs
of an old church and having a mother around who will pay for you to eat, made it a great experience! Finally we ventured off
across the Thames – a street band played “O’ Susanna” as we crossed the bridge – and off to the Old Vic Theater.
Note: when traveling in London you must be sure that you have a good map, however, be surer that you are on the look out for the blue signs that have directions to nearby attractions. Do not pass go, only follow those signs; I swear it will save you time and frustration.
At the Old Vic we met up with another friend from Wausau, Jeannie, this time of my mother’s generation. Together we saw the delightful comedy Design for Living. The plot centers on a threesome and the fact that this unconventional relationship is the only way that the three main characters can truly be happy. Please wikipedia it because it is a cool show with a Wisconsin connection so… check it out! The acting was magnificent and we were seated in the front two rows.
Note: when under 25 or disabled (this includes hard of hearing) and traveling
in London check out a show at the Old Vic. Under 25 year olds get tickets for 12£. Those who are hard of hearing can get tickets for 20£. Basically the best theater you can see for a steal.
From there we took a long, long, long walk across St. James and Hyde Parks, past Royal Albert Hall and into Kensington to a wonderfully lush restaurant called Maggie Jone’s, after Princess Margaret. While there we enjoyed great traditional English food that remarkably was filled with flavor and left me wanting more. I know what you are thinking, how can English food be flavorful? Well I found that if you move on from the disgusting tradition of putting beans on toast and try other English staples it can be a wonderful experience.
Back to the hotel for another night on the floor, and then the morning hit us and we were off to Heathrow to pick up my father, and a car, which my mother would drive for the rest of the trip.
*Spoiler Alert*: No one was killed, injured, maimed or disfigured by my mother’s driving. The car was returned after the trip with no damage. She
On the Bridge
Well on one of the bridges...
only hit four curbs, and stalled out six times. The only thing that was less than satisfactory about the experience was the fraying of all of our nerves as she drove through the hedgerows.
Then it was back to Bristol for me, and onto the posh countryside resort in Devon for my parents and grandparents. Don’t worry I got to stay there with them for the next weekend, but that is a story for the next blog. For now I give you pictures!
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