It's November and that means it's NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, when you're supposed to try to post to your blog every day.
I was out of the house by 8 on Nov. 1 and so exhausted by the time we got back 12 hours later that I couldn't hold my head up long enough to blog. I know I'm going to be away from the computer (don't know how I'm going to survive!) for the rest of the week, so I'm going to have to change my goal from "post every day" to "post 30 times". Fair enough, I say.
So what had me so exhausted yesterday??
I'll give you three clues:
1. I needed an umbrella
2. I had to mind gaps
3. I saw a lot of black cabs & red buses
That's right, I took a trip to London!
My goal was to leave the house at 7:45, so I was pleased enough when we pulled out of the driveway at 7:56. I'm usually up before 7:45, so getting out of bed wasn't a problem...it was getting out of my pajamas that was difficult! I absolutely refused to take a shower, which was fine, because it rained much of the day and I was absolutely soaked!
We had almost forgotten about the rainy weather during our tube ride...but immediately upon getting back to ground level, we were reminded: we had picked a really crummy day to go to London. And my cute flowered umbrella (that has matching "wellies" that I stupidly opted not to wear) apparently doesn't do well on windy days:
It was flipping itself inside out every few minutes. At first it was annoying...then it got kind of fun, sticking it into the wind in the opposite direction to get it to pop back... then it just got annoying again.
David's request for our trip to London was to see "Big Ben". We came out of the tube station right next to it, and by the time we got across the street to Westminster Abbey, our shoes and pant legs were already soaked! That's my umbrella in the top of this picture.
This phone booth was the only dry place I found all morning!
We walked past the Horse Guard on what we thought was our way to Buckingham Palace. David wondered if I wanted to get my picture with the horse, but I declined since the sign says, "Beware! Horses my kick or bite." I was already cold, wet, and dangerously close to miserable, the last thing I needed was a throbbing injury inflicted by a horse who might be even crabbier than I was!
We both decided that our need to eat took priority over our need to see any more sights. The first spot we tried didn't open until noon and we really didn't want to wait 30 minutes. So we walked a little further and found a place that was already serving food. I had a pot of tea since they were out of hot chocolate and since I forgot that what I really wanted to order was the hot mulled cider. The tea was tasty and warmed me up! Unfortunately, it didn't dry my socks! :)
David was totally boring and ordered a coke and a chicken sandwich. I ordered "mini Toad-in-a-Hole"! I remembered my web-friend Helen talking about Toad-in-a-Hole in a 12 of 12 or something and this was the first time since I've been here that I saw it on a menu. So, I just *had* to order it, even though it was a "sharing platter" and I had to try to eat 7 little Yorkshire puddings with sausages in them. I ate 4 and gave one to David. They were good, but it was just a lot of food!
Shortly after we left The Old Shades, it stopped raining!We continued toward Buckingham Palace and decided to walk through St. James Park.
The park was really nice. I'm really quite satisfied with fall in England. Okinawa fall just wasn't the same! England fall still isn't quite the same as I'm accustomed to, but it's definitely a HUGE improvement over the perpetual green in Oki!
David enjoyed playing wildlife photographer in the park. There was a big variety of water birds and lots of squirrels who mostly seemed to think that all the people walking through the park were there to be entertained. Or attacked. One squirrel chased me! I was freaking out! It wasn't this one:
He seemed content just hanging out on the fence until too many pictures were being taken.
When we were almost to Buckingham Palace, I announced to David that I want a pair of black equestrian-style riding boots. This soon became the focus (or half of it anyway) of our afternoon.
After seeing the squirrels, David seemed pretty uninterested in the Palace. He was also disappointed that he couldn't mess with the guards.
A fire alarm in the Green Park Station meant we walked to Piccadilly Circus for the tube. That was probably the luckiest thing to happen all day (well, besides the rain stopping and the sun coming out in the afternoon!) because we walked past a "Japanese Shop". I said, "Japanese Shop? Like a 100 Yen store?!? Let's go in!" So we went in and guess what... it WAS a 100 Yen store! Only the items were all marked waaaaaaay up. Good thing I still have some pals in Oki that I can place a 100 Yen order with if I need to. Some little bento-picks that I actually have already were 3.50 pounds... not at all 100 Yen! Even so, I was so excited! Felt like "home" to be back in my favorite Okinawa store:
(My pants are all rolled up because they were wet and heavy, so the bottoms were dragging and I'd rather look silly than ruin the bottoms of my jeans)
From Piccadilly Circus, we headed to my faaaaaaavoritest place, Covent Garden. It was my favorite place in all of London when I was here on a college trip in 2000, and guess what! I still LOVE it! It was Arts & Crafts market day. David was such a good sport and patiently sat through me trying on 4,000 pairs of black boots (and coming up fruitless) and 300 grey wool coats (also fruitless).
We started our journey home and got as far as Loughton, where we had to wait for a few minutes for a train that would go all the way to the end of the Central Line to Epping.
Soggy & tired, I was happy when our trip was *almost* over. From Epping, another hour or so by car to Mildenhall so we could grab some pizza and watch the Giants game. I worked on a tiny mitten while we were there, but the Giants were not doing well and D was tired and disheartened so decided to leave at halftime. No arguments from me!