April 21, 2009

the last day in England

I once heard that when you're visiting a place far from home, and it rains when you leave, that country is sad to see you go. What does it say that our final day in England was the most gorgeous of our entire trip? It was even warmer and sunnier than yesterday, a perfect day for a jaunt through Covent Garden.

Not much to report today. We hung out a while at home and took a later train into London, then the tube to Leicester Square. We had lunch at Tokyo Diner, highly recommended.

After that, we walked over to Covent Garden and just walked around, found a toy store and candy shop, a tea shop, and some other things. A man and a woman were singing opera quite well in one portion of the market. Then when the girls (Maria and our hostess) went off to do shopping things, the boys and I went to the London Transport Museum.

I know! Weird. It would be like someone coming all the way from, say, Portugal to San Francisco and spending the morning at the Wells Fargo History Museum. (Which, by the way, is worth a visit if you happen to be in the financial district.) But the Transport Museum was pretty cool. Great gift shop, too. I especially like the thong panties with the "Mind the Gap" logo on the front. Very tasteful. I did no acquire a pair.

Anyway, the museum is much more interesting than you'd think. They had a number of old buses and train cars and cabs and such around, but they also had a lot of the history of how the Underground was built, some interactive activities, and other cool exhibits.

Probably the thing the boys liked best was the Jubilee Line simulator, which had just one control: the throttle. You had to start it up, then try to position the train (without brakes or reverse) at a station platform. I thought it a little boring, but they had fun.

We spent about two hours there, I think, and kind of rushed through the final exhibits in order to meet the ladies on time.

We took our final tube ride back to Waterloo, then our final train ride back to Virginia Water.

Then our hostess (the first person, incidentally, to purchase one of my stories for a literary journal) and I went out for an hour of writing at a local place. Not a lot of writing got done, but we did talk a lot about writing. And especially a lot about my new WIP, which I was losing confidence in when we arrived in London but which I now think has a better approach.

Our hostess is also quite a good photographer, and she set up her equipment for some family shots in her house and also a couple of head shots of me. One or more may be appearing in a future installment of my blog or Facebook. Or not.

Tomorrow: Up at 6 a.m., then off to Heathrow for our return through Frankfurt to San Francisco, finishing up with a BART ride home. Then, back to real life and real work. Le sigh.


Anonymous said...

Love love love that top picture! Thanks for letting us travel with you :)

JaneyV said...

I too love the top picture! My kids adored the transport museum (as did their Dad) but I haven't been. I really need to see London as a tourist. It looks like a lot of fun.

I think the sun came out on your last day so your final impression of the country will be warm and sunny - thus ensuring your return.

Have a safe trip home. It was great to meet you.

fairyhedgehog said...

I'm glad you had sun on your last day. It's not the country that's sad to see you go it's all of us that have met you. Come back soon!

I bet the boys had fun at the Transport Museum. It's a long time since I've been there - not since my boys were young.

I shall miss reading your journal about England so you really do have to come back and do some more.

Bob Palin said...

I want to come with you next time, although I go to England every couple of years at least I never see any of the interesting stuff, well I suppose I'm meant to be interested in me Mum, but you know what I mean.

Thanks for the write up, thoroughly enjoyed it. I too went to Warwick Castle on a school trip, it was still operating as a military castle then...

Precie said...

So. Very. Jealous.

Thanks for the armchair tour!!

May Vanderbilt said...

Awesome, awesome tips on London. And don't worry, I'm sure the city was sad to see you go--it just had a funny way of showing it.