Thursday Sept 20 – Fourth Full Day in London

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September 21st 2018
Published: September 21st 2018
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Hello again from London. Before we report on today’s activity, there have been a few pictures added to yesterday’s entry. That kind of offsets the fact that there are no pictures today – the camera got a vacation today.

Our plan for today was to have a restful day around the hotel and then to go to a play in the Theater District tonight. It had been one of Janet’s big wish-list items from several previous London visits, so this was our best effort to see one. To that end, we needed to actually get some tickets first. The concierge had given David directions to Leicester Square where you can get “same day” tickets for 50%!o(MISSING)ff. So he got up about 7:30 and went down to terrace for breakfast. The serving lady asked about Janet, but was told that she was just sleeping in until later this morning.

David walked down to the Kensington High Street Underground Station to catch the tube. There was a friendly worker there who helped him buy a ticket for the Northern Line to Earl’s Court and then the transfer to the Piccadilly Line to Leicester Square. The cars were a bit crowded at first, but otherwise it all went according to plan. David arrived a bit past 9:00 and got further directions to the ticket booths. It turns out there are numerous locations selling tickets for any of the shows. We had discussed the choices beforehand and David asked for 42nd Street as his first choice. Happily there were plentiful tickets available and he got a pair for 50%!o(MISSING)ff. Then all he had to do was retrace his path back to the hotel – having been informed to originally buy a round trip ticket.

David was able to get back to the hotel about a quarter past 10:00. Janet was still sleeping after our very tiring day yesterday. We really did have a lot of exercise the past two days with 4 taxi rides, 8 buses, and one boat. However there had also been a lot of walking and quite a large number of stairs. All of these are a lot harder when you have a troublesome ankle, so Janet had been really exhausted when we got back to the hotel last night. With another evening activity tonight, it only made sense to get some extra rest today.

David went down to read his book for an hour and then when he had it finished he came back to the room for a little more rest himself. We actually didn’t get up until after 12:00. Then we went to the Coffee Shop up the street for lunch. We each got the same kind of sandwich we had tried previously and it still was tasty with little fuss on our parts. We went back to the hotel again and David took the laptop down to the breakfast area to use one of their tables to edit pictures from yesterday.

Meanwhile Janet had started working on her next scarf, but was missing a clip to keep it on the needle, so that created a problem. Instead she watched some TV and rested on the bed. We spent most of the afternoon just lounging around the hotel and saving ourselves for this evening’s show.

Around 4:30 we started getting ready. The front desk at our hotel had told us they could order a taxi so David got them to order one for 5:30. It arrived just as we were getting to the bottom of the front steps - perfect timing. This should have allowed us half an hour for the drive, an hour to eat dinner, and still 30 minutes to get in the theater and find our seats before the show. Our driver warned us right away that traffic was a mess and he was right. The meter already said 5 pounds and David could still see our hotel. He turned to an alternate route and wove through narrow lanes and between other cars, and got us to the theater at 6:30. He only charged us 25 pounds (about half the meter) because that’s roughly what the fee should have been.

We were worried that if we tried to get a real dinner in a nearby restaurant it might take more time than we had, so we settled for a couple of pastries from a nearby shop. It wasn’t very nutritious, but it was good and quick. From an eating perspective, this was not a well-rounded diet for today. Anyway, this was near the theater (Royal Drury Lane Theater) so we did not have to walk very far each direction and there wasn’t any chance of us getting lost in the narrow lanes around Covent Gardens.

We got in the theater and as it opened at 7:00. David had declined tickets for seats in the Stalls. The sales lady that morning had described them as chairs on the floor in front of the stage. It turns out they would have been regular theater seats on the main floor in front of the stage. Being last minute choices we probably would have been in the back, but he passed on those anyway. Instead we had 2 seats in the Dress Circle. Above that would have been the Balcony and above that would have been the Upper Circle. Since they only had stairs, it was a good thing we weren’t any higher than we were. Anyway, we managed to climb to the first level.

We waited in their lounge for a few minutes and then were able to go to our seats. We were in row H and had seats on the aisle. There turned out to not be anyone beside us, so it was just fine and the view was very good – looking down onto the stage instead of looking up from the floor. Janet said that David had seen the show years ago, but he didn’t remember it from Elizabeth’s high school days. Anyway, the cast, scenery, and musicians were certainly higher quality than an amateur high school group. We really enjoyed the show. At intermission they sold small cups of ice cream so we got a cup for an extra treat.

The show was over about 10:15. We were directed to go a couple of short blocks away where there were usually taxing waiting for customers and we found one fairly quickly. This was just off the edge of Covent Gardens and there were still lots of pubs and restaurants doing good business with many after-theater people walking in the streets. Our new driver found a faster but longer route back to the hotel (he knew where our street was from most of the way across London). We got back to the hotel before 11:00. This wrapped up a fun evening for both of us.

The next morning we got an e-mail from Valerie confirming the surgery for Tessa next Thursday morning. She will remain overnight and then should get to go home Friday morning. She will have a private room, and can order her meal from a menu, as well as having a private TV. Of course it isn’t really a vacation, but they are making it sound like some fun for her. Anyway, we are wishing her good luck and a quick recovery.


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