Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finishing up our London trip...

In Windsor:

Tori and I were in what we thought was a breeze way/alley leading from one street to another but lo and behold it was actually the shortest street in Great Britain.


These pillars are in front of a hall that hosted some portion of Charles and Camilla wedding celebration. Our tour guide told us that when the builders built this structure the 4 pillars in the middle were not included. The builders told the architect that the outer pillars were not strong enough to support the building and they demanded that the 4 extra interior pillars be included. He was confident that the building was quite sound but he had no choice other than to have them installed..so this is what he did:

The pillars are 4 inches beneath the roof. They are not supporting the building and they've been this way for over 100 years.


Tori and I decided to feed the beautiful, peaceful swans...La la la...demure, quiet swans just beautifully swimming along the River Thames....la la la. Quiet...relaxing...sigh... Don't let their facade fool you. As soon as they saw that we had food they all came swimming toward us and then walked out of the water on their freakishly large swim fin looking webbed feet. Tori put some food in her hand and lowered it down toward their mouth level. She was very lucky that she didn't come back with a bloody stump! Those swans were very aggressive and not at all gentle. I thought she was being a total baby about it so I decided that it wouldn't be all that bad and I gave it a try.. This just in: She wasn't being a baby and she didn't warn me sincerely enough about how hard they bite. We wound up throwing all of the food in at once and letting them just have at it. And, oh yeah, they were very stinky, too.

On The Way to/In/On The Way Back To Wales:
At the train station in London waiting to catch the train to Wales...


This vending machine at the train station in London took our money so Tori took out her frustrations by giving it a light little tap with her foot. Then she took my nail file and got her money back. She also got a few extra coins for her pain and suffering.

When we arrived in Wales Tori and I knew we were in our Mother Land. There were 4 thrift shops in a row right next to the train station. These shops were spotless. The clothes were all washed an ironed and everything in the store was in perfect condition. The prices reflect this upgrade but it sure made it nice to shop in a thrift store and not have my allergies go nutty koo-koo.


This is a multi-tiered flower basket on the main drag in Cardiff, Wales. I was on the moving tour bus when I took this picture so it's a tad blurry. These were lining the street and it was very pretty.


Me at the Hard Rock drinking diet Coke and B52's. Lunch of champions!
(Kidding. I had a veggie burger before I drank my B52.)


This is me and Jackson Browne's gold album for "The Pretender". (It's the best record ever made and all of you should run out and buy it and listen to it 100 times. Then we can all get together and have a sing along. C'mon! It will be fun! )


Here I am with one of Todd Rundgren's guitars at the Hard Rock Cafe. I touched it hoping some of his musical dna would rub off on me but alas I'm no more musically talented than I was before I touched it.


We wanted a picture of something that would actually prove we were in Wales and this dragon painted on the front of a thrift store was as good as it got. The lower spelling is "Cardiff" in Welsh. I didn't hear one person speaking Welsh. Not one.


This was a private residence in Wales. It looked more like a mini castle.

We were in the village that boasts the longest name in the world:


It took 3 shots in order to fit the entire name on a page.


Tori and I ate lunch at a sidewalk bistro and watched the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Or should I say I ate lunch. I had a very yummy grilled cheese sandwich. Tori was pretty much on a hunger strike during our whole trip.

On the way back to London from Cardiff I had grown weary of the drunken ramblings coming from the group of "youts" in the back of the train. The first couple of time one of them approached our neighbors and asked if they could buy a cigarette off of them was mildly amusing...but by the 4th time it was just annoying. (His apology had everyone in stitches but I think his verbiage caught we Americans by surprise and we were laughing the hardest. Hint...he used a word to describe himself that is sort of like the word "twit" but with a different vowel.)


Bored on the train from Wales back to London. (When you photograph yourself from this angle no one can see your double chin!)

Our Last Few Days In London....


We took a cruise down the Thames. We weren't able to sit next to each other but we were happy to have actually gotten to sit down once we got up to the top deck. I got to sit with the group of kids who's goal in life was to do their life long allotted talking during the course of the cruise. They didn't shut up for even .02 seconds so I didn't get to hear any of the narration.

These next few pictures were all taken in the grass in the yard of Westminster Abbey.
(Editing will dispose of double chins, too!)


Here Tori has stabbed herself with a plastic sword and is in the middle of an apparently painful death.


How many pictures can we take while laying next to the Abbey? (see, no double chin!)


Can you see the flames of searing pain shooting out of our swollen feet? Nice cankles, huh?

Tower of London:

This is one of the very few original walls built at the Tower of London. The black cage behind the wall is where the 8 ravens live. http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/stories/buildinghistory/default.aspx


One of the 8 ravens. You can't tell in these pictures but these birds are HUGE.

We got to watch 2 knights fight over the hand of a lady. They used several different weapons that would do great harm to anyone not wearing a suit of armor. I felt sorry for these guys...this was a very hot and really humid day so they had to be baking in those outfits.


We were way up inside one of the prisons at the Tower of London and when you combine a structure that is several hundred years old, that has no windows, with millions of visitors who have no regard for personal hygiene the stench in unbearable.

The hallways were very narrow because people were much smaller back in those days. This stairwell was so narrow Tori and I had to turn sideways to maneuver it.

This is one of the gargoyles adorning the vault that contains the crown jewels. (Even though we had to go through a huge rigmarole in order to get inside the building, (security measures and such)...I don't believe that we were seeing the actual crown jewels. There was only one guard type person in the room with the 1,000's of people who walk through there on an hourly basis. He'd was unarmed and I'm sure would have been no match for anyone who really wanted to steal those bazillion dollars worth of gems encased on those many crowns.)

I recently learned that gargoyles were designed on the whim of the stone cutter. That is why not all of them are scary. This one was kind of scary but I think it looks more handicapped than foreboding.


Later that night...

Tori and IMOM drank warm beer at a local pub. I had a Bloody Mary. It resembled a tomato juice shake. It was very thick. And had the requisite 1 ice cube. It took the bar tender about 10 minutes to make it. And I am not exaggerating. I finally had to go up to the bar to ask IMOM what was taking so long....apparently the bar tender had to look it up in the bar book and was still flummoxed after he found the recipe.

The local pub.

After our 10 days of fun and frolic we had to pack our bags and say goodbye to Europe. Of course we didn't start packing until late the night before we were supposed to leave and it was then that we found out that we had purchased so many souvenirs that there was no way we were going to fit them in our luggage. Surprisingly we couldn't find an all night luggage store so we had to take one of IMOM's suitcases. Even after we added the 3rd suitcase we were still cutting it close. We decided to wear as many clothes as we could without looking like sherpas and we put a lot of stuff in our carry on bags.

Our flights home were smooth and uneventful. We watched our private tellys and ate all the food that was offered to us and of course we slept as much as we could.

I hate when vacations are over....but especially when I come home to find out that 4 of my 6 kitties have been on the lamb since the DAY THAT I LEFT.

Tomorrow's post will detail the chaos I found upon my arrival to my lovely abode.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Big Hair Envy said...

I just LOVED hearing about your trip! Diet Coke and B52's - you are definitely MY kind of gal!!

Are your kitties alright. Now you have me worried :(

Thanks for stopping by my site. I hope you will visit again soon :)

7:27 PM  

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