14 September 2010

England Vacation Part 18

September 13, 2010

We toured around some more. Tired. Very tired. London has a way of taking all of your energy... and money.

We saw many cool shops, went to Saville Row, the Burlington Arcade and Lillywhites - the largest sports store in London... and despite repeated attempts, could not find a pair of shoes for myself. I did get Parker a really cool pair of Lonsdales. We took some tours on the open top buses and wandered around the shops. Not much to report, really.

London is very much like New York, but way more green space and open skies, but there are many similarities.

What I don't understand about England is the plumbing. The Romans introduced plumbing to the Brits about 2000 years ago and they've done little to improve on it since.
Hot and cold water hardly ever touches each other prior to leaving the tap, if you want warm water, you fill the sink with half hot and half cold... it's bizarre. Most taps barely extend far enough over the basin for you to put your hands under to wash up. And, don't get me started on the water pressure, OMG - I can't wait to get home and have a proper shower.

England is the first place I had to pay to go to the washroom, 30p here 50p there. For some reason it just feels seedy. And, because it's costing you money, you want to save up and give it a good go. Each time I go in I think of that famous poem:

Here I sit, broken hearted,
paid a dime and only farted.
Last time, I took a chance,
saved my dime and shit my pants.


So, plumbing is a bit suspect, but we've started to find some good meals in London, I haven't had french fries (chips) for about 3 days, my body is starting to feel better already. The people are friendly and the county is beautiful. The English Heritage sites are very well run and worth every penny to by a pass, whether you are visiting or living here... it's a great deal.

Anyways, gonna run, gotta get some sleep for the next big day.


September 14, 2010

Today, was overcast, first day so far, probably not the last though. We started by taking the trains downtown instead of the loser cruiser... this saved us 20 minutes each way. When we arrived, we went directly to the London Bridge Experience and the London Toombs. It was very good and the kids were scared silly. The first part was a great history lesson about London Bridge (not tower bridge, which everyone assumes is London Bridge) and it's history, the second part is scarefest times ten.

From there, we went to the HMS Belfast, a 70 year old naval light cruiser that was the first to fire on the Germans on D-Day, it was pretty neat but everyone of us got lost on it at some point. We walked onto the wharf, which stands for Ware House At River Front by the way, and made our way to the Museum of Design - it was really, really neat.

We soldiered on and went up to Tower bridge, where we took the elevator up to the observation platform and walked across to the other side and back down again. Hmmm, not sure how much this cost as it was part of our package, but not that exciting.

At this point it started to rain so we found a tour bus that took us past the homes of Sean Connery, Kate Blanchet, Roger Moore, Pete Townsend, Amadeus Mozart and Margret Thatcher then past a bunch of shops we couldn't afford and then to Regent Street where we found the Hamley's, a 250 year old toy store squeezed into 7 stories of fun. The kids were all over it. The boys got remote control helicopters, Isabella got some lego and a really cool brush. Yikes, don't want to see my Mastercard bill when I come home.

We stopped briefly at the Ferrari store and looked at the merchandise, then after seeing who was shopping there, decided against buying any Ferrari merchandise until I actually own a Ferrari. Even then, I may just get a license plate frame that says, "my other car is a piece of shit." The pretense in that store actually turned me off the brand, I mean, not totally, ...I still want one!!

Tomorrow, not sure, maybe Harrods, maybe the Zoo. Maybe they're the same, actually, they probably are judging from some of our shopping experiences.



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