Feeling optimistic as a result of our awesome presidential campaign here in the good ol' U.S.A., Margaret and I decided to take a trip to old
Europe and spread the good news that America is back and can't be stopped! [editors note: see the rest of the site if you think we're serious!]
Tuesday, March 1, 2005
After the 6000-hour flight from San Francisco to merry ol' England, we arrived not-so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed just having watched "Around the World in 80 Days",
which miraculously and unfortunately did not put us to sleep. We didn't let the fact that we hadn't slept in nearly 6500 hours deter us, though! We got on that bus to our
hotel feeling like we just couldn't be stopped! But, we could.
The moment we stepped on that bus, our carefully planned itinerary to squeeze every last second of siteseeing into our brief visit to
London was DASHED! The bus ride from Heathrow to our hotel (which was about half a mile away as the crow flies) took 2 hours because, for some
inexplicable reason, we were the very last people to be dropped off. We did get to see almost all of London, as well as several sites in Scotland
on our way to the hotel, though. So, that was good. I was so bowled over by the bus ride (on the wrong side of the road even) that I took a bunch of pictures
like the one at right.
Once we arrived at our hotel (The Royal National...which sounds fancy but isn't), things started looking much much better. We dropped off our shit
(literally) and headed down the street to the British Museum! This museum rocks. There we were, looking at the Parthenon and the Rosetta Stone...
at the same time! Five minutes later, we were enjoying a mighty fine chicken sandwich. We didn't have time to dawdle, however. We took in the
highlights of the B.M. (hmm) and then started our trek to the circus (Picadilly, that is. Double decker buses, movie stars).
Picadilly was exactly like you would expect. Cold, dreary, and full of people who were totally confused by the whole "round-a-bout" situation and
who were desperately trying to figure out just where they should cross the street. We ducked into the British Airways Travel Store...which
was another big TIME SUCKER. There was no one in there, yet we had to go to the basement, then wait on some chairs until some lady
decided she was ready to help us. When we finally earned the privilege of getting to talk to this lady, our purchase of 2 London travel
passes took about 30 seconds...however, we had wasted yet another 45 minutes of our trip on yet more shitty European customer service!
The deal with the London Pass was that we could go to all these museums and attractions for free. We then went to the underground and
bought a 2-day pass. Fully armed with our cards and passes, we then headed to Leicester Square to buy some theatre tickets. Margaret really
wanted to see a musical like Jail House Rock, but I (Chris) dissuaded her. Instead, we bought tickets to see Jean Luc Picard in a play by the
ridiculous David Mamet. More on that later!
At this point, it was starting to get dark....and it was still raining and freezing. So, we took the underground to "Kings Cross" and got
lost on our way to the British Library. That British Library was totally cool. We saw some Shakespeare folios, some Joyce notebooks,
some old bible crap, and this Jane Austen history of England with little drawings of people's heads! It was bloody good.
After the library, we skipped back to Picadilly and ate some unremarkable food, because we were running late for our date with Patrick Stewart.
The play, A Life in the Theatre, was pretty good. Patrick Stewart was amazing. Not only is he in good shape and quite sexy for an old guy, he's
actually a very good actor and didn't even say "engage" once. Afterwards, we went back to our thrones at the bar at the Royal National and
downed a few pints before bed.