I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Second and Last Day in London

our Tube station

St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral

Andy's influence again...my contraband picture from inside St. Paul's after service

We thought this was really neat, a filter that floats in the Thames and filters garbage out of it.

One of many random street views we had as we walked

Hotel Chocolat....yummy chocolate store

The Royal Courts of Justice. We never would have seen this had we been underground

Clock on the Royal Courts of Justice

Royal Courts of Justice architecture

Royal Courts of Justice....it's massive

border marker for the City of Westminster

Somerset House with flower exhibit outside

Piccadilly Circus

reshoot of the acting scene we stumbled into

the actors

Andy and Laurie could not stop laughing at the sign that kept flashing behind the guy with the LSU clothes

Photo time with the actors

Laurie made it to Buckingham Palace

security around the palace

Ferrari showroom on the way to Harrods

Harrods department store

Tattersall's Tavern

Traditional fish and chips meal...green peas, not mushy peas
What a great day we have had on our second and last day here in London. Our trip focus is mainly on Paris, but Andy asked if we could manage even a little time in London since we were so close. I think we have managed very well and our schedule has allowed us to see quite a bit. The closures on the Tube have actually been a blessing in disguise as it has forced us to remain “above ground”. As a result, we saw some things today that I am certain we would have missed if we were “underground”. We started our day at a little coffee shop called Costa Coffee. There are Starbucks everywhere and in fact there is one only a couple of doors down, but since we ate there yesterday we tried something different today and it was good. Danny and I like to try different churches when we travel and Andy and Laurie like to do the same thing. Because of this, we decided to attend services today at St Paul's Cathedral. Knowing that the two main Tube lines are closed, we found a way to get there that wouldn't be too difficult, until we arrived at our connection point and found that yet another line was closed for today. Three lines out!!! The attendant told us to go out of the station and take a bus, but the three numbers he told us to take hadn't shown up so we started walking....and walking....and walking....and none of those numbers ever passed us. We had built in some extra time for the travel, knowing that the service started at 10:15. That was a blessing, because it took us about 25 minutes to walk at a fairly good clip and we arrived at service just as the organ started playing. St Paul's Cathedral is part of the Church of England. The service was similar to an Episcopal service and we were given programs with the words to all of the songs they were singing as well as scripture and spoken words except for the main message which was about Faith. We were also told when to sit and stand which was helpful. The Cathedral Choir were away and the Lady Margaret Choir was the guest choir. Their voices were beautiful and the accoustics and beauty of the Cathedral only added to experience. After the service, we went to One New Change, a mall located behind the Cathedral for lunch in one of their restaurants. We ate at a Portugese restaurant called Nando that was really delicious. I was surprised at how spicy Portugese food can be! Our next stop was going to be Buckingham Palace, but there was no way with all of the Tube closures to get there easily so we decided to walk...how far could it really be anyway we thought. On the map it's just “right there”. Well, it was far! On the way, we passed by Somerset House which was a former Royal Palace before Buckingham Palace. Now it serves as a number of official offices. In the courtyard, there is a display of clay flowers that look like they have sprung up all over the lawn. It is a “temporary” art exhibit that has been there for 4 years and is leaving in May for Chile. The artist bought all of the clay in London (about 2 tons) and spent 2 years making the exhibit. It was really quite a thing to see. Laurie was fascinated and found out all of the details for us. Andy just thought they were a bunch of fake mushrooms! The Somerset House also makes a great bathroom stop. Everyone but me was very surprised to find a co-ed restroom. I've experience it before on other travels so I didn't think anything when a man walked in to stand behind me and wait. Laurie appreciated the fact that the doors went all the way to the ground for privacy! We also saw the Royal Court of Justice which of course Andy and Laurie, our Assistant D.A.'s, had to have a picture in front of. Once again it was another thing we would not have seen had we been underground. We kept on walking until we came upon Trafalgar Square and that was where I decided to play a trick on Andy. Andy keeps wandering off or just takes off down the street without knowing exactly where he is going. I suggested we hide behind a big post and see how long it took him to notice that we weren't behind him. He walked and walked and walked before he ever looked back. Then he looked and looked and looked for us while I was laughing so hard behind the post. From Trafalgar square, we walked over to Piccadilly Circus and while we were walking, a couple in front of us almost tripped over a homeless man. He yelled at them to go away from him and the young lady pulled her young man away from him, apologizing and saying they didn't want any trouble. As we were taking pictures and talking about what had just happened, Andy realized that there seemed to be movie equipment in the area. Then as we watched, the “scene” was repeated, without us in it of course. We had just messed up a movie scene by walking through the middle of it!! Then we realized that the young man in the movie was wearing an LSU t-shirt and cap. Well that's all the incentive that Andy needed to walk over to the director and start asking a bunch of questions. We watched them tape it again and had a quick opportunity to find out that the “young actors” were extras in a small film that centered around homeless people and that the young man was living in London but grew up in Opelousas. Laurie has been wearing one of Sara Beth's coats and has laughed and laughed about how the coat has not only seen a large art exhibit that we didn't expect to see, but was also accidentally part of a movie film! We kept walking and kept walking and 3- 3.5 miles after we left St. Paul's, we made it to Buckingham Palace. Andy was a little disappointed that he couldn't take a picture with one of the Palace Guards, but Laurie was relieved because she was so nervous that he would say something stupid to the guy to try to get him to break his serious face. We had walked so far, that it seemed almost silly to get on the Tube just to go a couple of stops to Harrods so we kept on walking. I really think we had no idea how tired our legs really were. We had no intention to shop in Harrods, but just wanted to take a little peek inside which is exactly what we did. Especially after Danny saw the price of a scarf was 159 pounds! Think 1 pound =$1.50. We had planned for our supper at Tattersalls Tavern where I ate the last time I was in London. Andy has been talking about fish and chips ever since we got here, so that is what we all ate for supper. Fish and chips is a crispy fried plank of Haddock, with fries and peas (green or mushy, your choice). Supper was delicious and we grabbed a pastry from a place down the block to take back to the hotel for later. Tomorrow will be a really early day as we catch the train for Paris at 7:30 in the morning and then on to Bordeaux. Until tomorrow....

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