Sunday, September 18, 2011

A King and his Four Princesses

“You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
Samuel Johnson

This quote continually floats around London.
My Dad actually told it to me before I had heard it anywhere else, but then it was out there and I have heard it dozens of times since. I guess that is pretty fitting because my Dad never gets tired of London and if you know him, at 80 years old, he is nowhere near tired of life. We (my sisters and dad) are fairly convinced that London is the center of our little world and we are nowhere near being done with exploring our town. There are millions of tiny reasons for this that I can't really put into words.
So much of it is just moments and feelings.
I reflect on our time in this incredible city and I realize I will never tire of life.

These are just a few of the reasons in no particular order that I will never ever tire of London....

How can you not love a city that has so many palaces in it? Buckingham palace and Kensington to name a few. I know I am a way too old but I can't help myself...I still want to be a princess and London is like a city out of a fairytale.

English people
I love the English people. They seem so prim and proper at first but their undertone is hilarious and can sometimes be a little irreverent. They make me laugh and they are oh so kind. Over the years we have met so many wonderful people but our favorite Englishmen continue to be Peter and Debbie.

The theater
The theater is always a highlight for me and I get goosebumps just thinking of London's west end. We have seen so many amazing shows and this year was no exception.

I had seen this in London last year with Tom but I wanted to see it with my Dad and sisters this year. Holy cow it was a hard watch....amazing but hard. It takes place during WW 1 in France and it is about a little boy who will do anything for his horse. That includes joining the military and going to battle to bring his horse safely home. So difficult to see but truly beautiful as they use life size puppets for the horses. A must see if you can handle difficult scenes depicting war.#5
Stunning streets
Their are so many darling places to explore. At every turn there is another little street made of cobblestone and picturesque buildings.
Phone Booths
I mean seriously I would love any place that keeps these phone booths for no other reason except they have always been there and well they are super cute. When was the last time you used a phone booth instead of your cell phone? But the English people respect their history right down to these little beauties and they have fought hard to keep them despite their upkeep and rising costs.

Marks and Spencer
Is it really too hard of a concept to have a neighborhood market this brilliant in the USA? This is our spot for all things quick and delicious. Aisles of ready made salads, sandwiches, yogurt and baked goodies. My personal favorite is the pearl pasta salad with fresh veggies. It is seriously just that good.

The tube
OK I love the London tube. It's not stinky or dirty and it makes so much sense that someone suffering from half a brain could get around. I mean it is color coded for crying out loud! We have spent hours down in the tunnels below London and I know I am home when I hear in an English accent, " You are on the piccidilly line heading towards cockfosters."

Our flats
This was the view out of our flat this year. I love every year where we stay but this year took the cake. It was right by Leicester square and Trafalgar was a stones throw from that. With the royal wedding it was all too perfect of a spot. It was located on the west end so the shows were in our backyard as well. I also loved our "Mary Poppins" view of the rooftops with the rows of chimneys and cathedrals in the distance.
Celebrity sightings
In London we see movie stars every year as well. What? You don't recognize this years high profile sighting? Well we certainly did and we laughed and created quite a scene taking this picture of.... dang it I can't remember his name. Tiff what is his name again? I can only remember his show "Queer eye for the straight guy." Super ridiculously funny!!
Shopping, shopping and more shopping.
Don't worry we are sight seeing along the way. This little jewel was new for us this year. Right up the street from our flat and it was stunning...matching maxis to prove it.

With much sentimental value I post this shot.
The hours spent looking for the "mothership" and shopping in here would easily add up to 15 hours this trip alone. Take note of the hat in the above shot and yes it is from accessorize. Side note for the sissies --when I was just in Rome I ran into our store and I am a little embarrassed to admit it but... I cried. I cried because I missed you all so much my heart actually hurt. I was not supposed to be in that store in Rome but in London with my sissies. You all know exactly what I mean.
The English language
The English have great sayings and that is all I have to say about that.

The food
I know this might be confusing for people that have been to a typical British pub but I am telling you we know our spots and we know them well. Oh how we loved our Patisserie this year. We know exactly where to find great places to eat and we will recommend them.. just let us know your itinerary.

The parks

The flowers
This would only be on our list for this year, for you see we are usually in England in March when there are gale type winds and torrential rains. We are bundled up in our gear that could withstand arctic temperatures. We can hardly wait to get into a museum or relax at the Church of England's daily Evensong. The weather was just so darn pleasant we didn't know what to do with ourselves. I don't think I have one picture with me in my green coat. Now that is confusing!

This picture sums it up Tiff. :)

UK flag.
As a side note these were taken the day before the wedding on the mall where they drove to Buckingham palace.

Trafalgar square
This seems to be one of those spots that we just seem to end up. It is kind of like the center of London for us. We love the National gallery and just sitting on the steps eating Marks and Spencer. Something about Charing Cross station being across the street and Lord Nelson looking down at us. It just is one of our loved spots.

We actually went to Handel's Messiah this year at St Martin's on the field across the street from Trafalgar. It was a candlelit performance and goes down in history as just simply one of those perfect times when you can't get your head around it all. So much beauty all around me in setting and will forever be a highlight.
The river Thames
My Dad loves all rivers and the Thames is no exception. We walk beside it, cross its bridges, talk about its beauty and boat down it. This year we boated all the way down to Greenwich. I don't think this would make Ang's and Belle's list as a repeat for they wanted to barf the whole time but me and Tiff loved it. :)

Lord Nelson
This represents the constant quizzing from my dad. He loves all things English history and that goes for Lord Nelson himself. After all our trips to England he expects us to know our history as well. We really do try. Along the way as we slowly make our way across London's streets my dad will test our knowledge to find out if ---

A. We have been all.
B. To make sure that all of his money spent on us is going towards something...anything at all.

Because we love our Dad so much we really want to answer these questions correctly. We encourage and are so proud of each other if one of us comes up with the right answer. Even though we are smart ...we are, we may not get the answer that he is desperately looking for. It is then that we get called "ninnies and dumb clucks." Oh but we try so hard.

The real reason that I will never tire of London is because of who I am with.

This is it...this is why I can't get enough of this city. Maybe I would hold dear to my heart any city like Toledo or Pittsburgh if I had the memories. OK maybe not, but the point is I love these people. I cherish every snippet of time that I get to spend with them and yes it just happens to be in the greatest city in the world.

So the next pictures are doing what we do best.... wandering, talking and laughing our full heads off. As long as these people are wandering and laughing beside me I will be happy anywhere.

I love you and miss you all terribly. Thanks for making me laugh so hard I seriously had sore abs weeks after I got home.

Thank you Dad for letting me fall in love with England all over again. I will be forever grateful.
For those of you still interested in buying our book about England it is coming. We are still doing our research. If you can't remember why we are writing a book you can get caught up by clicking this blog post here.

I am grateful for all things family.

1 comment:

My boy and I said...

LOVED this post on London. The second I saw it I immediately ran upstairs to show my mom. She said reading it made her day! Anyway, I am actually the one that is writing Winston's blog! It is kind of crazy dealing with 2 but I wanted to do something special for Winston. You must update your blog more or as soon things settle down. We all want to hear how your cruise to Rome was! Love you!

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