Well, so much for taking it easy!
We’ve started out with a few frustrations, not the least of which was compatibility issues with electrical devices. Fortunately, Mr. Tattered realized that all he had to do to make our multi-device adapter work was to cut off the ground prong. Jeez. I’d a never thought of that!
We decided to take care of some behind-the-scenes business, and discovered that the “google map” app we’d hoped to use to help us get around isn’t working on my phone, and his is losing battery too quickly for it to work all day. Not the end of the world, just another inconvenience. We were chewing each other’s heads off by mid-day.
Anyway, first up was getting our “oyster” cards for use on public transportation. It’s a prepaid card you use to “tap” on and off the tube, and onto buses…like a subway card in NYC. Just makes getting from place to place easier than having to buy new tickets all the time. We probably used it a dozen times today, mostly on the tube. “Mind the gap!” I never get tired of hearing that!
We also bought reserve seating for a couple of up-coming side trips on the train, got tickets for a play (The Book of Mormon) in the Theater District (Picadilly Circus) towards the end of the trip, and the “hop-on hop-off” double decker bus for tomorrow, and picked up our 6 day “London Pass” and 7 day travel card for use after we get back from our trip to Ispwich. Those are going to be 6 KER-A-ZY days of seeing as many of the iconic places as we can. We were running back and forth across town from one station to another buying tickets. Their system is a little archaic – couldn’t do much of it on-line. ANYWAY…
Getting some of the business out of the way improved the man’s mood (yes, I’m going to blame it on him!) He doesn’t handle stress well. We (okay, mostly HE) kept vacillating between wishing we could stay in London 3 more weeks (to do everything we WANT to do) and wanting to just be home. By the end of the day, we kinda figured out there will NOT be enough time to see and do everything we want to, so we’ll need to prioritize, knowing we’ll just need to come back! (Bummer!)
In the middle of the day we stopped at “Govinda’s” an Indian, vegetarian restaurant in Soho run by the Hare Krishnas. Our friends, Nitika and Denish in Folsom told us about it. I suspect we’ll be back. More than once.
All the running around caused us to get a pretty good idea of how the tube system works. It’s funny how quickly you figure it out. That in itself provided some stress relief. We now know that being so far away from city center won’t be too hard to deal with.
By late afternoon we’d accomplished most of what we wanted to, and headed to the Whole Foods in Kensington. My friend Connie said we HAD to see it, and she was right. It takes up nearly a city block and has 2 stories, filled with almost every healthy food known to man (but the produce department didn’t come even CLOSE to what we’re accustomed to – very strange!)
I LOVED the bulk spice section…
It almost made us wish we’d be spending more time at the house, so we could eat there. Almost. Breakfast, yes. lunch and dinner? No way. The good news is we found some killer meusili (a muti-grain, fruit and nut cereal you can toss in yogurt or just eat with almond milk – I guess you can cook it like oatmeal, too, but I’m not really a hot cereal kinda girl.)
Mr. Tattered asked a young man working at Whole Foods for a pub recommendation (who better to ask for one, than a young man!?) who showed us one right down the block that he likes, so we headed there for our nightly ale/cider.
Yes, I believe this is going to become a nightly tradition.
The food? Still not good enough to require a second visit, but it wasn’t bad, and I’m so thrilled to be able to find vegetarian food at a pub, I’m REALLY not complaining. It’s a big step up from the pub fare just 13 years ago.
I felt like I’d been clicking the camera all day long, but I really only took a few.
SOOOOOO many darling little streets filled with outdoor tables in front of restaurants and interesting-looking shops…so much to see, so little time to take it all in! The architecture is killing me. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. It is seriously making me crazy to not be walking around with the camera right up to my eye. And the best is yet to come!
I hope you’re getting just a bit of the flavor…
We ended the day with a bus ride back home. Didn’t take nearly as long as we feared. Mr Tattered was sooooo annoyed by a lady on her cell phone, and I got jostled a bit when the driver left before we were seated, but it’s all part of the urban experience…right?