Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Travel Journal Day Two: London

So, we arrived in London and slept most of the first day as previously discussed--a 6 hour nap to be exact.

We did take our walk around Grosvenor Square/Oxford Street before retiring to bed. We discovered a flurry of activity on Oxford street at 9:00pm on a Sunday night. Lots of people out shopping, eating and generally hanging out. As a matter of fact, there was a huge Gap store about a block from our hotel (big cringe from Joey and Sammy who, for some unknown reason, hate the Gap). We also happened upon a really fun department store, excruciatingly expensive (with its own Tiffany department), but fun for window shopping. As it turned out, the kids did not bring enough warm clothing (obvious when we arrived to snow, remember we were expecting 55, not 35), however this was not the store to pick up a reasonably priced winter coat.

Selfridges Department Store, Oxford street London:
So, the kids were still without warm coats, but Monday morning we did wake up early to begin our adventures in London.

Our hotel in Grosvenor Square:

We bought ourselves Oyster Cards (week passes) for the Tube
(underground subway system) and hopped on the subway
at Bond Street heading for Charing Cross where we
picked up the On/Off bus for a tour around town.
Lots of European Cities have the double decker
red On/Off tour busses. They are most fun when
you can sit on top and see everything (actually they
are not that much fun if you have to sit down below.
It is hard to see, but when you are on top, you can
see everything). Unfortunately, when it is 40 degrees
with bone chilling cold winds, the top ain't so great
either. But we weathered the storm and got through
half of one whole route before we had to get off to
go to Tea at the Ritz.

Most anyone will tell you that if you want to
experience London, you need to have High Tea and
what better place than the Ritziest joint in town, The Ritz.
It was lovely although when Michael came back from the
bathroom he did grab the table a little too hard and jostled
everyone's tea cups so violently that a good couple of teaspoons
of tea spilled on the saucers. So every time I picked up my
tea cup, tea dripped all over everything. It did not, however,
ruin the experience or the tea sandwiches, scones and
tiny little desserts.

After tea, it was becoming more and more
obvious that the kids needed coats. So, we headed
to Uniqlo. Uniqlo is a reasonably priced
Japanese clothing line with stores all over London.
It is like the Japanese version of Old Navy but geared
pretty solely for the teens and twenties crowd. The kids
went wild. I wish we had been paying dollars instead
of pounds, but we still got a bargain and they were
happy, and best of all, warm!
Like New York, London has fantastic
Theatre. When Michael and I were
in London in February, we saw Wicked
and Billy Elliot, the Musical. Both were
great and the London Theatre experience
was fun. Casual attire, bring in all the
food you want, people hooting and
hollering and really getting into the mood.
Since the kids hadn't seen "Joseph" yet,
I decided to go for it. London's version
was crazy--more crazy than anything
we had seen in the US. Plus the fact that
Joseph was being played by some guy
who won a reality show contest or something
like that, so the crowd was especially
After dinner Joey really wanted to find
an authentic old pub to eat at. Unfortunately,
it seems a lot of the pubs don't accept children
at night, so we searched and searched....

and finally came upon (not a pub), but a Northern
African Food Restaurant named Momo. I was so tired,
cold and hungry that I said let's go here. It was full of loud
music and hookah pipes. The food was just alright
and the bathrooms were scary (like pirate themed or
something. The toilet paper in the women's room
was hanging by a huge rope)
We enjoyed ourselves nonetheless and were
full when we left. We grabbed a cab and called it a night.

By the way, you may be noticing that there are no
personalized pictures... I had not downloaded the
pictures off Michael's camera and today Joey
left the camera on the train when we were
going from London to Windsor... big frowny face here....

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