Sunday, October 13, 2013

On the Road with D.O.A.: London

We had several days in London.  Our first day started after 3 pm given travel time, arrival and packing away of our things at the hotel. 

We tried to cram as much as possible into our days in each place. Since we had been in London in 2000, we had a few places we wanted to see again.

One of mine was Kensington Gardens, and specifically the statue of Peter Pan.

I didn't remember from our previous trip the base of the statue being so elaborate.  It really is a beautiful statue in a lovely setting.  Our hotel was near Hyde park and we spent quite a bit of time on foot traversing Hyde Park to get to this spot.  Good exercise and since I usually suffer jet lag like crazy, I was determined to follow the tip that you should get outside in the sunshine (or a cloudy approximation thereof) in order to fight it.

Viewed through the fence: the Princess Diana memorial playground for children in Hyde Park.

Kensington Palace and the Queen Victoria Statue

It never occurred to me before, but my spouse who is always drawn to any body of water could be of Selkie ancestry!  See him here with his mysterious cohort the "Swanky Swan".

Signs kept pointing to the Diana Memorial Fountains.  We never located them.  We did come upon these lovely fountains near Pan.

On the way back to the hotel we were looking for potential places to eat.  After our notorious KFC every single day in 2000, I determined that this time we would try to find some traditional English foods that we might like.

A small bakery provided a bit of the sweets I was looking for.  I love all the little cakes that are small works of art.
Larger intriguing cakes, oh, doesn't anything with strawberries seem appealing?

And meringues!  I never did try these but they live in my imagination.

Also, I thought that we should explore the "English Pub Experience" the travel guides write about.  Somewhat inspired by a coworker who has been touring local MN breweries, I thought I could try a local brew in each place we visited. 

We found that London and England generally are very much in love with foods from foreign lands and you find every cuisine from the near and far east up and down every street.  No traditional English food.  NOT going to allow that Burger King!

In the evening, we met Mr. D.O.A.'s longtime online Bridge partner, the wonderfully named Utensil at a local pub.  Our First pub! I had cleverly brought along the Snoopy deck of playing cards from my last year's Christmas stocking, thinking we might actually play a hand or two.  I haven't played in say 15 years.  That I could play at all was miraculous.  Under the circumstances nobody cared, as you may surmise.

Our brew du jour was Fullers, recommended by our local host.  I chose a dark brew in every case because if you are only going to drink one, maybe two tops, you don't want some puny weak stuff, right?
I had also teased that I would "interview" Utensil regarding the origin of his name.  He graciously allowed me to use my beloved iPod for a few words of wisdom and after viewing it, said I could post it here.   He and my husband are really a fine match for each other I must say, and now I know why my husband is always calling out to me for spellings of fancy words and the names of obscure songs while he is playing and laughing uproariously all the while.
We told Utensil of my plan to try interesting local brews everywhere we went, and it was his long ago trip to Belgium (in the 80s) which led us to seek out Kwak, the topic of another post.   I have no clue how to turn the clip upright.  Just turn your head and enjoy.


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