Friday, November 23, 2007

My kinda town

Well, so far so good. London, as always, rocks. This town makes me happy. I get a smile just being here.

I checked into my hotel room yesterday night and discovered they had upgraded me to an "Executive Room". It's all newly refurbished, with a huge bed and all the usual business hotel amenities. Not much of a view, it just looks down into a drab Victorian courtyard but I generally don't find many hotels with views in London. After all the kerfuffle with downgrading my choice of hotel (this one is much cheaper than my first choice), it's very nice to know that this hotel did not disappoint. The room is very big by London standards. I'll probably stay here from now on, unless, of course, they hike the prices, which is what will probably happen. Free wireless, too, though I had to have them reset it as it did not work last night. The little wireless strength meter on my computer screen ebbs to the very lowest level...I hope this post does not disappear.

I got up late this morning and headed over to Covent Garden. It's within walking distance of the hotel. Today was quite cold, but clear and even sunny at times. Checked out my favorite haunts, all the shops I like, etc. Popped in to Kirk Originals and had my glasses tightened and had a nice long chat with Seamus, the guy who works there. The glasses there are SO cool. Went, also, to my favorite travel book store and got my uncle a birthday present.

Hotfooted it back to the hotel, dropped off my loot, and then went around the corner to Cosmo Place (yes this is a real lane) and had a WONDERFUL lunch at a little Italian place. Great calamari, some penne with pancetta and onions, and a couple glasses of red wine. It felt like Italy. A couple came in, husband and wife, and she obviously had MS in its later stages. It was so sad and yet also sweet to see the husband take care of his wife, picking her up out of her wheel chair, getting her situated just right, making sure she could eat her food properly. His love and care for her was almost heartbreaking.

I was fairly tipsy after lunch. I was due in Regent Street to meet my aunt for coffee and shopping. We planned to meet outside the Wedgwood store. God people are annoying. It is so hard to walk with so many people around, and then some bonehead has to stop right in front of you or blow smoke on you or bang into you. Walking down a crowded sidewalk can be way worse than being stuck in traffic. At least in traffic all the cars are headed in the same direction. Anyhow, Tante Tine was sporting a very cool new pair of glasses and looked in fine form. I dragged her to Uniqlo which has some AWESOME cashmere at great prices and then went to COS, which is a shop by H&M that offers a higher level of quality and design than the usual H&M, where I found some incredible velvet wide legged pants (oops, sorry, TROUSERS). After a while we met up with my Uncle Peter and cousin Edward and went for a couple beers at a pub, thence to a very cool yet VERY cramped Moroccan restaurant. The food was excellent, but the place is so small and cramped with tiny rooms through hobbit-sized doorways, it became a running joke with everyone there about fitting all the people into the tiny clowns in a VW Bug. The food made up for the somewhat uncomfortable seating. I don't think I could take Rich there, though. He's too tall for the place.

Anyhow, it's now just past 10 and I am too fat and full to go to a pub, which is what i had planned to do. Instead I am going to hang out here in the room, digest and watch the BBC. Yes, I am old. (Burp.)

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