Summer in London - Days 37 to 41

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July 31st 2018
Published: August 16th 2018
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Fighting Apes in the WoodsFighting Apes in the WoodsFighting Apes in the Woods

Those pesky Apes were throwing large rocks... Ouch!
Day 37 to 41 - Dragons, Zoo, Bard, Boat, Friends

Our last week in London turned out to be pretty busy, and very social. During this trip, we have been able to share our time with several groups of friends, some from the US, and some from the UK (and one from Argentina). It has really helped us feel like this was a summer living in London, and less like a London Holiday.

Earlier in the trip, we have visited the Ellis family in Reading (as we do every trip). While we were there, we discovered an interest in Dungeons and Dragons (tabletop game), and arranged for Tony to run a one day beginner adventure for the family. On Tuesday, the 6 adventurers (one of them a Kobold.. because.. why not) shipwrecked on an Island had many adventures and accidentally released a terror onto the world at large. Oops. The adventurers in the game walked many many miles, but the actual Wilson players did not even come close to the daily average. We’ll have to make it up.

The next day, we met another group of friends (Kelli and her

We made it to the end, solved the puzzle... but let loose an ancient evil. All in a good days work.
family) from San Diego and London, and explored the London Zoo. It was refreshing to spend time with an “almost” 5-year-old. We all had a great time, even in the open exhibit of spiders (OK, not all of us). We also visited the reptile exhibit where the zoo snake scene was filmed in the first Harry Potter, which the signs are happy to point out. We introduced Kelli and gang to Nandos and headed home. On the way home, our large group got separated, and while trying to rejoin everyone, Tony got stuck on a train going the wrong way. With miscommunication ahead of time and no cellular service, Tony had his own adventure to the end of the line (where Kelli was headed), said goodbye to them there, and had another adventure back to the flat. The underground is not a great place to make rash decisions or jump suddenly on trains unexpectedly. It does make for a good story, though, and Michelle started thinking of fan fiction ideas.

On Thursday, we did Laundry. A lot of Laundry. All day long. And watched some Star Trek. We ate somewhere in there. After Rome, and the

That's right folks, no glass, you could reach out and touch it.. it was very large.
Zoo, and D&D, we just needed some downtime. Thursday evening, we finally made it to the Globe theater and saw As You Like It. It was a fun experience standing on the ground in front of the stage. Occasionally, an actor would enter or exit from the audience, and interact with people on the stage or an audience member.

There were at least two deaf actors, one of them with an implant. One of the main characters did not speak, only signed. The other characters (who would naturally be familiar with her) signed back while talking, and would often repeat what she had signed so the audience would not miss. Many male characters were played by females, and one of the main female characters was played by a very tall man with a hearing implant. All in all, it was very much fun, and Michelle wants to get the screenplays so she can catch the jokes she missed.

Friday, we went shopping for luggage for Michelle. Her old polka-dot roller was getting very small, and actually falling apart. Also, we needed additional luggage to take back all the stuff we bought on

Just chilling with the Lemur.. he went behind us and peed.
our trip (mostly clothing). On our way to Oxford Circus, we decided to do a few other things. We walked around Tower Bridge some more, headed towards the Transport Museum (but didn’t go in.. it was very expensive, and we just didn’t feel it), and then finally made it to Oxford St. Michelle bought purple, hard-cased spinner luggage.

After getting luggage, we finally made it to the HMS Belfast escape room (which we had pre-booked). The escape room was fun, but it was less figuring out stuff, and more following directions with some simpler puzzles. We had the last session, and afterwards, only had 10 minutes to explore the ship. They had a few hiccups (being less than a week online), so we arranged to come back in the morning and give feedback, when they would let us back onto the ship to continue to look around. While we were on the ship, we saw the Tower Bridge raise to let a tall boat through, and then lower again. It was pretty neat to see, and we were in the middle of the Thames right in front of it… you can’t get a better view without

They were happy to land on your hand.
floating. We took a bus back (12.4 miles of walking) and had a very welcome night’s sleep.

On Saturday, our last day exploring London, we slept in, ate breakfast at our favorite breakfast joint (Bill’s… Pancakes again), and headed to the HMS Belfast to give feedback and continue our tour. The Belfast is a fun museum experience where you get to walk around in cramped hallways, go up and down steep ladders, sit in the captain’s chair and the admiral’s chair, and learn a whole lot about what ship life was like for sailors.

We had arranged to meet Abigail again in Greenwich, since we had never been there. It was literally across the river from her flat, she enjoyed pointing out her building from multiple places. We walked around the college grounds (where the battle scenes in Thor 2 were filmed), walked up to the observatory in the park, took in the excellent views, then went back into town for lunch at a noodle place.

Between Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs (near Canary Wharf), there is a walking tunnel UNDER the Thames. It only takes about 10

Kelli sure knew a lot about Penguins.
minutes, and there are lifts. It’s kind of creepy to know that there is so much water and boats (including a cruise ship) directly above where we were walking. Abi took us shopping in underground air conditioned malls in Canary Wharf (why didn’t we know about these before!), and then we headed back to the flat for our last night. We packed almost everything up, took one last nighttime walk for some dessert, and went to bed.

Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 24



Art is everywhere in London, even at the Zoo.

Directly above our heads, we could have pet it... oh, and a baby.
The GlobeThe Globe
The Globe

Michelle was very excited.. we weren't sure what we were in for.

It was a bit crowded, but we all had a good time.
St. Katharine DocksSt. Katharine Docks
St. Katharine Docks

Another nice place too look at for possibly living in a few years.
Hey, It's BanksideHey, It's Bankside
Hey, It's Bankside

And the Tate modern behind it.
Tuba Playing with FireTuba Playing with Fire
Tuba Playing with Fire

No really, there was fire coming out of his Tuba!!!
HMS BelfastHMS Belfast
HMS Belfast

Tony hanging out near the bow of the ship
Ammunition RoomAmmunition Room
Ammunition Room

So many shells, they sent them up these pipes to the guns above.
Captain and Number OneCaptain and Number One
Captain and Number One

The labels on the chair may or may not be accurate.
Tower Go Up.Tower Go Up.
Tower Go Up.

So cool to actually see this bridge move.
Prime MeridianPrime Meridian
Prime Meridian

We walked across it a few times (the Blue dotted line in the middle)
No Giant SpaceshipNo Giant Spaceship
No Giant Spaceship

It must be schedule to crash on Tuesdays
London looks so smallLondon looks so small
London looks so small

No, not really. Greenwich observatory has some fantastic views of the ground too.
Walking UNDER the riverWalking UNDER the river
Walking UNDER the river

It was a bit eerie, and it echoes nicely. Choir performance?
That dome to This oneThat dome to This one
That dome to This one

The two domes on either side of the river
I'm a clipper in a bottle babyI'm a clipper in a bottle baby
I'm a clipper in a bottle baby

You can sail me the right way.
Our nightly viewOur nightly view
Our nightly view

We walked home at night a lot, and were welcomed by this view. We are going to miss it.

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