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London – glad to be in a town I know! by Ann Treacy
June 25, 2011, 8:51 pm
Filed under: London

After our ups and downs (mostly ups) it was great to land in London. People speak English, which is a boon when you speak English. I lived in London for years, so I kind of know it. And as soon as we got out in the train station I saw a big ol’ sign for free wi-fi. Nothing could have made me happier.

I called Patrick (via Skype) and learned that he had secured the apartment I had tried to book. That too was good news since a search earlier in the week indicated that there were no hotels rooms in London for less than £600 per night. Apparently there was a big tennis match in town – and that may have hurt my chances for accommodation. But as I said, in the end, despite my utter lack of responsible planning we got a nice place in Hammersmith. Actually it was a good size bedsit, which means everything was in one room (shower right next to the stove) and the toilet was outside the front door (luckily right outside the door for us). I’ve included pictures.

We took it easy in London. We had visited before and we had 2 full days so we didn’t feel like we had to see anything so we could just do what we wanted. Aine wanted to go to Hamley’s, the big toy story. Lily wanted to go to the Times Square of London and the street where Austin Powers went shopping. Kate was up for anything.

So we started by taking the Tube to Leicester Square, a quick jaunt to Piccadilly Circus, en route we popped into M&M World. It was a big highlight for the girls; me not so much. We walked by Ripley’s Believe it or Not, which also drew great interest from everyone but me. This time I pulled the meanest mom ever card and we didn’t go in. But we enjoyed the ambience of Piccadilly.

Then up Regent Street to Hamley’s and Carnaby Street. We bought some things and made plans to return the next day for others. Then we walked down Oxford Street to Marble Arch. I made my usual side trip to find the Banksy picture in the Tube station but realized that the girls didn’t share my passion for a graffiti boondoggle. We walked through Hyde Park – just hours before Kings of Leon were slated to play an outdoor concert.

Then we scooted to Chiswick to meet an old friend of mine – Alison. It had been nearly 20 years since we last met. It was great to meet her, her gorgeous daughter Millie and partner Matthew. We had a fun night. Years ago Alison and I used to go on big hikes in London. We’d stop to get Wotsits (a detail I had forgotten) and then pooled our pennies for a pint. My favorite thing was how often people asked if we were sisters. As the pictures probably indicate we don’t look much alike – except that we both have always had long hair.

It was a great, easy day!

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