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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 50.8529, -2.27702
From Westminster it was back to the hotel for 40 winks (or 37 says Rich) before our New Year's Eve adventure. Being the time-conscious Americans we are, we made sure to arrive at the pier early. We should have waited awhile. In any case, we managed to get on board ahead of the masses and secure our own table, which proved to be a luxury. Its location, right next to the bar, also allowed us to meet plenty of new friends from places like South Africa, Cyprus, and Ukraine, and even London. Our London friend enlightened us about Stella Artois, the working man's beer. Jake called it deer piss. Rich, meanwhile, made new friends and discussed the upcoming London Olympics. One bloke claimed that the Olympics had landed in London only in response to a rude comment about the poor quality of British food made by Jacques Chirac. Some of the fun discussions/quotes from our new friends:
Londoner: "The food is rather grim." (It was actually the only marginal food we ate in London.) "You've sat in pubs older than America." "The bowling alley and pub people from Kansas voted for Bush to get rid of the ragheads." and "Do you have a gun?"
Other Londoner: "I went to Las Vegas and couldn't get tea anywhere. I heard it was an American reaction to tea because of the Boston Tea Party." (Rich set him straight.)
Jeannette made friends and took a photo with Lurch from Cyprus.
Two London blokes were excited to hear that Rich was from Chicago, which made him somewhat of a celebrity and led to two photo opportunities just because of his place of residence.
The munchkins had a great time as well, as two bottles of wine quickly led the Lollipop Guild straight down the Yellow Brick Road.
Needless to say, great times were had and we stood on the bow of the ship to watch fireworks launched across the River Thames to ring in 2006, 6 hours ahead of our friends back home. As we disembarked from the ship, our London friends (Dan and crowd) tried to get us to join them in a Greenwich pub, but Rich and Jake were overruled by the skeptical (sensible?) midgets. (Jeannette feared we were going to be mugged. "They targeted us all night. They scoped us out."
Somehow we Tubed our way back to the Days Inn Westminster. How nice to find the tube gates wide open for late night pilgrims, despite the strike.
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