Sunday, November 8, 2009

London at a Glance

David and I recently returned from a completely fabulous vacation to London and Paris. It was everything one would hope eight years of planning and saving would be - practically perfect in every way.

We had been a little (um, okay, VERY) apprehensive about leaving Michael for so long. But apparently we had prepared him well with our talk of airplanes and trips and the fact that he would be staying with friends for twelve days. We left him without so much as a tear on his part - just a hug and a wave as he said, "Have a good trip, Mama! I miss you!" Of course, we might be able to chalk that up to the fact that he wasn't actually sure it was his mother leaving him, since my new haircut the day before had caused him to ask David, "Daddy, what happened to Mommy?"

The plane ride was peaceful and uneventful, and was only marred at the very end by some woman telling David she was surprised they had let me on the plane. Honestly, what is meant by such a comment? Is there any way it could be construed as being well-intentioned or even concerned? Doubtful, seeing as the only possible interpretation seems to be, "You're wife is a whale!"

London was pretty much exactly as I imagined it would be, except that fish and chips consisted of a giant battered fish and not a plate of frozen fish sticks, an image I had long maintained in my mind. The Brits win the award for Worst Food I've Ever Eaten - a terrible hamburger that I couldn't take more than two bites of, and the worst onion soup known to man. But what can you expect from people who like to enhance their dishes with a side of "mushy peas"?

In five days we managed to fit in everything we hoped to do with plenty of time for relaxation on the side. We saw everything from Westminster Abbey to the Tower of London and took advantage of every audio tour and nearly every place to sit. We saw "The Mousetrap", the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, and watched with fascination as a formally dressed butler walked the dining table at Windsor Castle in his stockinged feet, shifting golden candlesticks and vases to create perfect symmetry.

Tower Bridge

Checking in with the Ministry of Magic:

And, because no trip to London is complete without it, the obligatory picture with a Beefeater:

Next up: Paris.

Oo la la!


The Davis Clan said...

So glad you had a wonderful trip. Love the ministry of magic pic.

fiona said...

I'm so glad y'all had a great trip. Well deserved, I'd say, and just in time, too... Sounds like y'all had a blast!

And I LOVE "mushy peas"...yummm!

Rizley Family said...

Welcome home!

Megan B said...

Definitely looks like fun! And I love the Ministry of Magic reference. Very clever :)

Lempskies said...

Excuse the comment from a stanger. (Although I think you stayed in our Ind. apartment once, ironically.) We are friends of your brother & Sue & saw your London post title on her blog. We just LOVED England. Some foods I liked there:

Shepherd's pie (made with lamb's meet, not grd.beef like the American version)

Black currant juice- sweet, distinctive taste

Bakery choices like spinach and mushrooms baked in a soft buttery roll. Bakery food was better than some pub food.

Fish & chips were good & I usu. won't eat fish.

I do, however, like "English Toffee" in the colonies more than toffee from England.