Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lovin' London One Last Time

Landing in London we were a little dizzy from our British. We had dinner with fellow GEP comrades Aaron and Jenna in the city. Our kindred travel friends, they showered Connor with gifts including this very proper English book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea. By this time we were quite grateful for a new book to add to the travel repertoire.

We spent the night with Betty's daughter, Fiona, and her family in a small London suburb. Fiona's family is beautiful and very generous. They hope to adopt a child from Ethiopia to add to their brood later this year. What a fascinating, noble calling!

Connor played with Fiona's children like they were long lost friends reunited. After many consecutive hotel nights we were treated to the ultimate in hospitality staying in this sweet, comfortable, loving home.
Later in the day another of Betty's granddaughters, Hannah, paid a visit with her toddler daughter. Hannah is pregnant with her second child so I was able to give her belly a hug and kiss in anticipation of this new life. We saw the milkman in Fiona's neighborhood. I love that England still has milkmen! Just makes me want to take a sip just to get a milk moustache.We took the train into London and had lunch at Borough market.Just had to taste these famous grilled cheese sandwiches one last time!Made for a tasty greasy picnic in front of Southwark Cathedral.The main "to do" on our London list on this day was to experience St. Paul's Cathedral. Entrance was included in our Great British Heritage Pass.Christopher Wren's dome gives me goosebumps no matter how many times I see it.The inside was more Turkish than I had remembered. The black and white tile floor seems so traditional yet the domes up above so exotic.We climbed and circled up and up and up on foot to the very top floor. Above the dome to the Golden Gallery.The views were well worth the burn on the stairs!The Millenium Bridge view as it fed from the Tate Modern was a treat to spot from the sky.I couldn't help but to reflect at the biggest event at St. Paul's during my lifetime, the wedding of Charles and Diana. I am a hopeless romantic and still there is a piece of me that wants to believe in the allure of it all. Do you remember these images from St. Pauls?Oh that train! That is the way to make a statement.So sad the fairy tale that began at St. Pauls turned into a nightmare for these two. I have my fingers crossed that William and Harry will be able to live the fantasy when they tie their knots one day.After St. Pauls we headed to Stanfords to buy a map of Romania. It was coming up next on our tour and no GPS coverage. Fiona highly recommended the spot in Covent Garden...
it was a travelers homeland. Kirk and I were in a state of map shock and euphoria. I could have spent weeks browsing the four floors of maps and travel gear.
We found a selection of Romania maps and chose just the right one. My favorite part was the flooring on each level. The giant maps underfoot were fun!
If you have a passion for travel you must go to Stanfords one day. Your jaw will hit the floor. I have never been anywhere like it. We loved London. In every way. As we always do!


Dallas said...

Those grill cheese sandwiches look delish! And if I ever make it back to London, Stanfords looks like a very useful stop. Thanks for sharing.

Jenna said...

Love this post! We are really missing London and Europe in general right now! I loved Stanfords! Before I started working I would sometimes go spend an afternoon just browsing around! It made me so happy! :D