Wednesday, May 25, 2011

England 1990 - Final Entries

Saturday, November 17

Mild – drizzle, cloudy. Breakfast arrived at 7:45 so we were out early, even though the newspapers and comfort of breakfast in our room makes it difficult. We walked to Harrods – mobs in the stores and on the streets. You can barely move. Everything is just too costly to buy as we can buy it when we get home for half. Shoes are the only good buy – expensive, but excellent quality – worth it. Met Tom and Snookie Caldwell for lunch at Fortnum & Masons. Fun to see them here. We went then to Churchills’ War Rooms and it was very interesting. We took the underground to Covent Garden and the streets are still jammed at 5-6 pm. We couldn’t find a pub we could squeeze into – packed everywhere. So we went to Rules for dinner. Oldest Restaurant in London – expensive. $75 for dinner for 2 and it wasn’t very good. We won’t recommend it. We took the underground back to S.Kensington. The subways are so crowded with young people it is scary. Wall to wall crowds everywhere.

There was a group having a costume party in a conference room at the War Rooms. The door was left open and it was as if I was in a time warp. Nurses in uniform – Lorrie drivers, soldiers, Rafipersonnel. I thought it was part of the show for a few minutes. They were all having cocktails and chatting in these “get-ups.”

Sunday, November 18

Sunny. Cool. Feels like Spring – I hear birds singing. No heat – open windows. Not so warm when outside, but nice and sunny. We walked to the London Oratory for Mass. A gorgeous church – Italian Renaissance – a larger mass than St. Pauls. After Mass we took the underground to the British War Museum and spent the day. John was thrilled to visit the different exhibits of all wars but the thing I will remember most was a trench like those in WWI that was so real it gave you goose bumps of fear. The guns were going off and soldiers all around you.

We went back to #16 to relax with a scotch before dinner. Dinner was at Luigi Malones – pretty good Italian and then off to the Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. It is Beethoven & Brahms with a piano soloist. Upon our arrival we were outside looking for the ticket office and a gentleman asked us if we needed tickets as he had some he wasn’t using so he sold us two for £10. When we arrived the usher showed us to a box and the gentleman and two guests arrived shortly. He explained after introductions all around that he was a conductor and we might like to buy some of his CDs, so he gave us some titles, which we will pursue tomorrow. The concert was fabulous with Leif Segerstam conducting the Rheinland–Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra. Lars Vogt on piano – debut performance.

Must remember our morning, which was lots of fun at the flea market at Campden Town which was recommended by our hotel as less touristy. It was great and I bought a hat. Everything from art to vintage clothing. New – old – you name it. Fun, Fun day.

Monday, November 19

Last day in London. Rain is promised – cloudy, cool. Went shopping, but it was so difficult. Ended up buying a couple of sweatshirts in Soho for $20 – ugh! We picked up two 100% robes for $50, but my first choice of lovely shawls was impossible. They were $80 each. After lunch we went to the Tower of London. It was fun to see the jewels, but hardly worth $16 for the two of us. We had a nice hour of rest in our hotel before taking off for dinner and the theatre. We stopped at a pub for a drink and then a quick dinner at the Aberdeen Steak House next to the theatre.

“Aspects of Love” was very good – a delightful way to end our trip.

November 20

Mild/clear. Up early – breakfast arrived in our room about 7:30 and we were in our car on the way to the airport at 8. John stocked up at “duty free” on the Scotch we’ve enjoyed so much. It is high priced, but we are afraid Lagavulin and Longmorn won’t be available in the states. We tried to use up our pounds but will still be taking some home. Flight 217 arrived on time in Washington. Smoothest flight I can remember. On our way to Durham – broke down in Fredericksburg.

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