It was the sixth time for me in London (and prolly as many for the missus), and with four days, we hardly went to one tourist site. But London being what it is — a big City — all one needs do is walk down the street to cross paths with a touristy place. Nevertheless, we spent a lot of time trolling shops, art galleries, narrow streets, and wide parks.
Day 1 was set: Asia had booked this weeks before-hand. She went shopping, I went shopping/exploring/pubbing. We met for lunch, went back to drop off shopping bags in Hammersmith, then lighted out back to Piccadily Circus, at which point Asia trundled off for more shopping, and I went to the British Museum, which, surprisingly, is open till 8pm. And with summer being long at these latitudes, the sun was still hitting the tops of the buildings when I met up with my wife of 348 days, 21 hours, and 3 minutes, at Oxford Circus.
We compared notes. I had drunk 3 pints, took 52 pics, saw the Rosetta Stone, and walked miles. Asia had walked miles, dodged Arab women ululating at Primark bargains, and saved money by shopping outside the Czech Republic. Such a great day!
Day 2 was spent together, hand in hand, walking & talking, cruising the National Gallery and Nat’l Portrait Gallery; lurking in used-book shops, the 5-story Waterstone’s bookstore, locating Harrod’s and storming its food hall, and ending the day by taking a long walk down Hammersmith’s high-street, where we found other (closed) shops that were a must to drop in the next day, or day after.
Day 3 we met up with the French boys at an American breakfast club, for which Megan showed up and joined me in a classic Bloody Mary. Asia had the pancake special, heaped with berries and the thickest whipped cream I’ve ever seen; I had a scrumptious pastrami sandwich. Afterward, we all went to an American Diner for a beer, and to meet more Frenchmen. Then it was off to Brick Lane, where a weekly food fest and lots of open shops beckoned like a drowning tourist whom we were not so enthused at being inconvenienced to toss the life-vest. But the day was saved by a long walk along the Strand and then getting back to Victoria Station to buy the Sunday paper.
Day 4 we reserved for a long walk through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, then down the long street leading through Notting Hill, were we found a terribly becoming pub at which a beer was gladly quaffed, before an equally enduring (and longer) walk to Shepherd’s Bush, at which point we thought about walking back to Hammersmith, only we sort’a didn’t know the way and, seeing that Shepherd’s Bush looked, suddenly, like Chicago’s Maxwell Street or NYC’s 126th Street-Harlem, it was time to step on a bus back to a convenient Tube Station and onward back to the ranch.
Then, suddenly, our holiday was over. Suck, right? Sure, but then it wouldn’t be a holiday if you didn’t have to go home, which was beckoning us — our palace-apartment, of course — like a distant fire on a rain-spattered safari.
And once home, we spread out our booty and marveled at all the stuff: magazines and books and cosmetics and cheap (but quality) clothes and stickers and containers and a magnifying glass (for atlas reading — I’m not that myopic, yet) and notebooks and pencils and a little metal case with a bunny printed on it.
Shit … I forgot to photograph the T-shirts. Okay, next post then, at which time you shall see Asia’s three new purses. Okay, time to go ….