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August 15th 2019
Published: August 15th 2019
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August 15, 2019

Our first full day in London. No rain…YAY!!!

What shall we do today? So MANY options, so many things we want to see. So our plan is Borough Market and The Tate Modern.

We take the Tube from Victoria Station to London Bridge. As we walk out the tube station, we are at the entrance to the viewing platform for The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, designed by Renzo Piano. GORGEOUS building. Hmmmm. We discuss – LET’S GO! Not expensive, no line…we’re in! We clear security, get in the first elevator and rise to the 33rd floor in seconds. Second Elevator to the 69th floor. The view is AMAZING! We take the stairs up three flights to the 72nd floor, there’s a rush of fresh air…looking up we see open sky. The top viewing deck is open to the sky on one portion, where the “shards” don’t meet. SO. COOL. We spent a good amount of time up at the top taking in the view from each and every angle. The London skyline has changed SO MUCH in 11 years. One more bucket list item checked off the list!!

From the Shard, it’s a quick walk to the Borough Market. We had planned a trip there in 2014, and we were to meet our dear friend Karen and her sister. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control (British Immigration aboard our ship at that time) we had to cancel…not enough time in port. Oh Well. We finally made it today. So wish Karen & Leslie were here with us. We stopped at Bread Ahead and picked up a sinfully wonderful cinnamon roll smothered in cream cheese. OH. MY! We split the roll…might have to go back for another before we leave on Monday!! We walked up and down each and every aisle. We stopped every so often for a picture, a sample, or just to stare in awe! A new Liquor store just opened…what a selection. They even import Sonoma Rye!!! NICE. We stopped for a panino: ham and gorgonzola….SO GOOD! We split that as well. See, we’re being so very good. Portion control.

After we saw every nook and cranny of the Market, we decided to walk along the river to the Tate Modern. The people. London is crowded with people. AND…walking along the river was a great idea, but with all these people….and THE RUNNERS! Londoners like to run. On city sidewalks. No matter how many people occupy the sidewalk. They weave in and out of human traffic threading their way to the “finish line”! Whatever.

The Tate is HUGE. We chose to visit only a few galleries. One can become Museum Numb to easily. We pick and choose carefully. Never more than one museum in a day (unless ABSOLUTELY unavoidable)! We spent about 2 to 3 hours there.

Got back to the Hotel about 3:30 – just in time for Tea. BUT…we didn’t have a reservation. Darn. Oh well. Wait…we have2 drink tickets…let’s go to the bar and get some nibbles….we purposely didn’t eat much at lunch so we had room for tea. So, instead of tea, we had LIQUOR…hey…still a drink. We pared with a few tapas style nibbles and made a meal out of it. Quite enjoyable. I noticed a woman next to the fireplace – she had just arrived from the States (Phoenix?) – there was an issue with her room (she must have been enjoying a free drink as well)…anyway she took her time sipping her wine, and at one point I overheard her say she was so exhausted, she just wanted to get to her room. WELL….when she got up to leave, she caught her foot on something and took a fall onto the marble fireplace. She landed the right way – so as not to hit her head (thank goodness). We were RIGHT there immediately. I saw her go down (in slow motion) both Christopher and I reacted swiftly and were there to lift her up. She was so embarrassed, but nothing broken, no issues. The staff thanked us for assisting her. She gave us each a hug and a kiss, then went up to her room. I’m SURE she’s still asleep!

Shortly after all of this, Christopher’s cousin, Chris – who lives here in London began texting back and forth to figure out our strategy for tonight’s dinner. Finally, a time and place was agreed upon. We’ll go to his flat near Paddington and decide where to go from there. Cool.

Took the tube to Paddington (PACKED) got to his flat no problem…we both remembered where to go. Chris remodeled his kitchen since the last time we were there. GORGEOUS! He did an excellent job. We chatted for a bit then off to KUPP, at Merchant Square, Paddington. A short walk away.

Kupp is a Swedish restaurant. Quite good. We each made our selections, Christopher had pork belly and a glass of wine, Chris & I had a sausage hot dog and fries….I left the bun and most of the fries. Finished my wine though!! We caught up, chatted about a variety of subjects and just had a wonderful visit. Made plans to see each other again – perhaps Sunday, and if possible tomorrow for a quick drink.

By this time it’s getting quite late- and we may turn into pumpkins if we don’t get back to the hotel and into bed. Well….I have to get this done THEN get ready for bed. You-know-who is already abed!!

Until tomorrow…..

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