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Sunday, November 30, 2008

England!

Back from a week in England...glorious! My daughter and I had the best time -- good mother/daughter bonding time (I'm hoping it will help come those teenage years!). We left last Saturday on a non-stop flight from LAX on Air New Zealand (side note, the best airline I've flown, by far, customer service-wise). Landed at Heathrow and had a car waiting. The car dropped us at our hotel in Kensington, close to Kensington Palace. It was so.cold.and.rainy -- so different than California! We loved it! Our room wasn't ready so we dropped our bags and did a very English thing -- went to TEA! We have a special tea room we love, the Muffin Man. By the time our trip was over, we had eaten at the Muffin Man EVERY DAY in London! A pot of tea for two and cucumber sandwiches fortified us for some shopping on Kensington High Street.


Then back to the hotel for a short nap (for me) and some TV watching (for Madison) before taking a cab over to the London Eye. There was a Christmas fair going on and we got some hot chocolate and crepes made before our eyes (like on the streets in Paris) to munch on while we wandered the booths. We crashed the first night and slept until noon....

....and then more shopping! Can you tell I love, love, love shopping in London?! Took a cab to Oxford Street, a great shopping street, and spent about three hours shopping (with another tea break). In the cab on the way over we passed something called the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and Madison really wanted to go, so that evening we went. Super cool -- she went ice skating (I watched, since I fell in May that kind of thing is out for me) and rode all kinds of rides. It was like a carnival. So fun for her. Then we went to dinner at a nice restaurant, didn't get back to the room until after ten. We had an early train to catch so we went straight to bed.

The next morning the hotel called us a car to Euston Station, where we caught a Virgin Train to the Midlands. London is wonderful but the English countryside is something special...we were met at the station by friends, who took us around Rugby (the town where the game was created). Went to a museum, a few shops, and a great little tea shop. Our friends, feeling sorry for us being out of America for Thanksgiving, cooked a turkey with all the British trimmings -- stuffing, roasted potatoes, parsnips, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower with cheese sauce. For dessert (or pudding, as they say) we had a Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, a throughly British dessert. Very sweet gesture!


Coventry was the best day out, I think. Madison was fascinated by the story of Lady Godiva (Coventry was where she rode her horse naked through the street) and bought a tiny statue. We went to a parish church where a 'doom painting' has just been unveiled. The painting was painted in 1435 (the folks thought the end of the world was coming because there had been an earthquake) and depicts what the end of the world will be like. The Puritans, for some reason, didn't destroy the painting but merely whitewashed over it. It was forgotten for years but recently found. There is only one other painting like it in England but it has been repainted; this one has not. It was gorgeous! We visited the cathedral that was bombed by the Germans in November, 1940, and not rebuilt -- there is a new cathedral adjacent. Powerful is all I can say. And there is a fabulous museum in Coventry that was so kid-friendly; Madison was able to interact with all the exhibits. She had a really fun day!

The next day we took the train back to London and did some shopping for my mom (she sent me with a list). And then....THE LION KING!! What an amazing show! What a gorgeous theatre! WOW! and WOW again! Superb.


A bit more shopping and eating and then a flight back to Los Angeles...it was a marvelous trip that went by all too fast! If I didn't know myself so well, I'd be sad it was over, but I have a feeling I'll be back in England before too terribly long...and back to work tomorrow....

6 comments:

Lori H said...

awwwww, yay. So glad you two had such a fab time. Did you buy anything shopping? I was just telling Kurt that I would love to do London.....I will have to ask your advice once we do go. I am thinking maybe in may.

Rebecca said...

Glad you had such a great time! When I went to England earlier in the year I didn't get to make it down to London (I was north in Manchester) but it sounds like you enjoyed yourselves!

Mindy said...

What a fabulous gift for Madison - world travel! The things she learned and experienced and the time she got to spend with her mom will surely be more treasured by her than any "thing" you can get her. Glad you had such a great time!

Los Angelista said...

This sounds like such a fun trip. I've never been to the UK but I want to go SO much, and, like you, I want to get out into the countryside. How amazing it is that your daughter's getting to go as well. Our children will surely have a completely different idea of what being a world citizen means due to all the traveling they do.

Heather said...

So glad you two had a great time. Can't wait for next year when I get to go with you! YAY! Tell M I said hi.

Heather said...

Hey! Haven't seen you post in a while. Hope everything's okay and that you've just been busy.