Tuesday, October 10, 2006

This train is for Cockfosters...

oh, my...

This is what the sign in our tube train on the Piccadilly Line read as we left from Heathrow Airport into London. Dick and I both noticed it, and tried to surpress a little giggle....

The next day, we boarded a train on the Central Line, and they had a sign that displayed the message:

This train is for Barking...

I know, it's all very silly, but we find these things to be amusing :)

We're having a FANTASTIC time in London!

We arrived late Sunday evening, took the Tube into the City, and walked a few blocks to our fabulous hotel, The Cranley. As soon as we got settled into our room, we quickly walked about 1/4 block away to have dinner at an amazing Indian Restaurant that we found when we stayed here for one night two years ago: Noor Jahan. It's seriously the best Indian Food I've ever had.

Monday morning, we woke up early (for us) at 8:00, ate breakfast, and made our way out. We walked through Kensington Gardens, then took a tour through Kensington Palace. They had some really nice exhibits that we both enjoyed: The State Apartments, The Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, and a new exhibit of Princess Diana's dresses and photos. We had a really nice lunch nearby at the Orangery, where I had a yummy fruit scone :)

Kensington Palace

After walking through a bit more of Kensington Park, we decided to head over to Nottinghill to walk down Portabello Road to browse among the cool stores and pubs. We hopped onto the Tube, and made our way to Baker Street. By recommendation of my friend, Andrew, we made our way to 221b Baker Street - yes, the ficticious home of the ficticious Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson. This was our kitchy activity of the day, but we found that it was really fun, and kind of cool! After having our picture taken in costume infront of the fireplace, we took the train over to Bond Street to window shop in all of the high-end fashion stores.

Mr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes, I presume?

After a quick stop back at our hotel, we met our friend, Rob, at "Rules", a restaurant which is The oldest in England. (eating at "the oldest restaurant of..." seems to be a theme in this vacation) After dinner, we made our way to the Noel Coward Theater to see "Avenue Q"! I've been wanting to see this production for such a long time, and I was happy that it did not disappoint. We both LOVED the show. It had us laughing the entire time.

By the way, yesterday (October 9th) was our first wedding anniversary! What a very nice way to spend our day :)

Today (Tuesday) we got out of the hotel by 10:00, and headed over to St Paul's Cathedral. I think that this may be my favorite Cathedral that I've ever seen. It's just beautiful. We climbed the stairs up to the Whispering Gallery in the Dome. We also climbed an additional staircase up to the middle of the dome to check out the view outside. Unfortunately, we got caught in the rain, so we weren't able to enjoy the view much.

St. Paul's Cathedral

We ate a quick lunch at the cafe downstairs on the same level as the crypts. It was called The Crypt Cafe. I'm not kidding. I totally thought that Dick was pulling my leg.

After lunch, we walked across The Millennium Bridge actoss the river. On Philips suggestion, we took the tour of Shakespear's Globe Theater, which was fantastic. We both really loved it. Unfortunately, their last show of the season was last Sunday, so we weren't able to see a performance, but we really enjoyed the tour.

Shakespear's Globe Theater

We walked back across the river, and took the tube to Trafalgar Square, where we posed with the big Lion statues, and drank hot chocolate. We walked through St. James Park, along The Mall,all the way to Buckingham Palace. Then, we walked along the other side of the park towards West Minister. We admired Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament from the outside, then stumpled upon the Cabinet War Rooms. We took the audio tour of this historic place where Winston Churchhill met with military leaders and ministers as war bombs fell overhead.

The Cabinet War Rooms

"Hi, Ben!"

We were pretty exhasted by this point (around 6:00) and decided to head back to our room to relax, have a little dinner, then pack before we head home tomorrow morning.

We just returned from having dinner (again) at our favorite Indian Restaurant. We actually rented this laptop from the hotel, so we could enjoy having the internet in our room. That would explain the length of this blog post compared to the others!

Our lovely hotel

I have plenty of photos to share, which I plan to post to their corresponding posts when we return home. If I'm able, I'll also ellaborate on some of the earlier, shorter posts.

We've had a great time in London, and a really wonderful vacation. The good news is, we get to return to San Francisco, which we always love to come home to.

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