Business Class is a very, very good way to travel.
Day 1 in London:
Went to Naseby Close (the old homestead). Saw Jim and Hilde Charles (former neighbors). Pretty gardens, lots of flowers. Jim took us in his house so the girls could see layout of house. KT saw what her tiny room was like and the back garden.
Met Julian Dickel—our eccentric Englishman. Had dinner at Luigi’s
I’m sure I will die crossing the streets in London.
Westminster Abbey unexpectedly closed in the A.M. caused some chaos—wandered a bit. Did Abbey in P.M. Alysha liked looking for dead people. Some shopping Regent and Oxford St. Selfridges and the bright yellow bags. Went by 17 Hanover Sq. (B’s former office bldg) property now managed by Jones, Lang and LaSalle (Company Alysha is interning with in Austin). Dinner and T shirt shopping at Hard Rock Café. Walked poor little Karysa’s feet off.
Started at King’s Cross Station—Platform 9&3/4 was closed, Boo Who!!
Took pics of rather showy St. Pancras Station across the street, then on to the British Library—nice exhibit not too big. Then on to the British Museum—way too big— hit the highlights. Checked out Alfies Antiques in the middle of a Middle Eastern street market.
Tomatoes for lunch bad….and Karysa hates tea and bumblebees at Alfies.
Back to the hood, girls take a break while Mom and Dad go hang out at the Pub.
Trip to Bath to see the Roman Baths. Blustery day. Roman Baths pretty cool until MPD (minor panic disorder) set in due to crowds. AT and Mom made their escape—KT and Dad enjoyed to the Max. Fashion Museum was good fun. Dad the “Wanderer” wandered off. Dinner at Crystal Palace Pub—best ice cream ever—fish with skin, not so great.
St. Pauls Cathedral- Impressive exterior (like really big) All pomp and no circumstance inside. Mom forgot Tower ticket email MPD—but it was okay.
Millennium Bridge does exist.
Tower of London- good fun. Ravens interesting, but sad and photogenic.
Covent Garden for Tea and Treats
Yummy Italian dinner in West End.
National History Museum—Cool place, lots and lots to see. Dad and KT wanted to see it all. AT and Mom finally bailed on them and went to Victoria and Albert Museum across the street. V&A big, cool and not too crowded. Lots and lots to see and lots of bling.
Went to Burlington Arcade—waste of time and energy for us Paupers.
Dinner at Curtains Up Pub, back in the neighborhood (does it really take ½ an hour to make a cosmo??) Food was quite good.
Day 7—Movin On
Eurostar to Paris—great train ride—barely noticed the tunnel. Separate taxis to the Apt.—survived that. Got drinks and snacks at “English speaking” La Terrasse (our former corner café). Walked down to Rue St. Dominique (the old homestead) took a few pics then walked up Rue Cler to buy a few groceries. Bryce the “shoplifter” allegedly.
Walked near Eiffel Tower and then by Sud Ouest and made our dinner reservation for Samedi. Dinner Chaos ensued (traveling with an entourage can be difficult) Got Chinois takeaway—it was pretty good.
Alysha gave us a pass on “Noisy”. Took the train to Versailles. Took our time walked the gardens first then made easy entry (no long line) to the Chateau around 1p.m.
Overview: Versailles was windy, dirty, dusty and I’m never going there again. Besides the fountains used to be bigger. Going back to train station AT took pic of “Tex Mex” Restaurant. Girls got a little time online at internet café and we had delicious crepes.
A pretty good day. Dinner at La Terrasse was quite good. We spoke to “our waiter” of 25 years ago. After dinner took bus up to Champs Elysee. Walked up and back a few blocks—bus back just in time to see Eiffel Tower go all sparkly.
Notre Dame-good timing, got in ahead of a long line. Massive cathedral; fun to stroll around. BT and KT then went to the Crypt (something about Roman times in Paris). AT and I sat in the Sq. to wait and watched dudes filming time lapse video. “Don’t talk to me little gypsy girl!”
Then on to Cluny Museum—that was good, not too big—Lady and Unicorn Tapestries.
(Although-too many tiny French school children—European kids get far too many field trips). Walked down to BIA (Breakfast in America) for lunch-good food. Then back to the Latin Quarter—wandered a bit—then bus to Au Bon Marche (where I used to shop) nobody liked that much but me. Dinner in tonite; Poulet Roti, Crudite and Fruit. A chance to relax.
Started out going to the Arc de Triomphe; that was fun, then walked across Bridge leading to Invalides. Saw two brides taking pictures with Eiffel Tower in background. Then walked on to the Marie of the 7th Arrondisment (city hall)- oh yeah, that’s where B and M got married 25 years ago. We stopped for pics outside the gate and chatted up the nice policeman out front and got inside to crash two weddings. Took some pics in the garden then actually got into the marriage room to take a couple of quick (vite, vite!) pictures during a break between two weddings. It was tres cool. Bus back to Rue Cler and lunch (what?!?Chicken club sandwich and fries on Rue Cler, the times they are a’changin.) Profiteroles were wonderful. Kids wanted to go “home” and veg a while so B and I decided to go to an Antiques and Brocante Expo at Place de Bastille—but—we never got there—got split up in crowded Metro and apparently great minds don’t always think alike and neither do we. On the flip side, I did rather enjoy the “alone time” on my ride home on the 87 bus (scenic route).
Sat. nite our Anniversary Dinner at Sud Ouest. A good time was had by all—tho the restaurant has somewhat lost it’s charm—was much cozier in the 80’s. Walked to the Eiffel Tower afterwards—good night views, a good evening.
Day 11 (Sun.)
B and I got up early and went to Flea Mkt. at Porte de Vanves—that was fun. Came back got the girls and went to lunch at La Terrasse—it was all good. Then headed up to Sacre Couer—had a bit of bother finding our way—should never walk past an elevator when other people are walking toward it—had to walk up 10,000 steps to get out of the Metro Station. Then suddenly nobody can read a map and it’s hot and sunny—but we got there and it was cool to see. Walked down to shady Sq. at Abbesse Metro and Alysha got to do some window shopping and Karysa got online at internet café and everyone felt better.
Alysha wanted McDonalds for dinner, Bryce definitely did not. Pizza was a compromise.
I found a pizza rest. In the yellow pages—made our way there thru the backstreets- finally found it. Had very good dinner—great bruschetta with fresh mozzarella and great pizza with fresh mozzarella. Then as we walked back up the main street to get the bus back, we began to see people walking by with large McDonald’s bags from the McDonalds up on the corner. AT believes B saw it and then took us down the back streets so we would not see it (umm, we’ll never know).
Shopping day at the Grande Magasins. Went to Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. Had lunch at rooftop café at Printemps—great views. Then walked down to Hard Rock Café for t shirt. B took K back to apt. for a break; then he hung out at corner café. AT and I carried on and made it to Rue de Rivoli and she scored a new outfit from H&M. It was fun. We took bus 69 right thru the Louvre courtyard back to Rue Cler.
Dinner debate (that entourage thing again) ended up at corner of Ave. Bosquet and Rue St. Dominique. Good meal (Smoked salmon was soooooooo good). Also view was good, could see balcony of our old apt. on Rue St. Dominique. A good place to end our journey.
Summation: London Good, Paris Better.