London Dispatch: Sun’s shining, did we land in the wrong city?

June 6, 2013


Well, of course, you’re probably wondering why I’m starting my post off with a photograph of the purser in the aisle of our United 777 aircraft. That’s because, as we waited on the runway to take off, he had the honor of telling us there was a “passenger issue” and we needed to return to the terminal, remove the passengers, find their luggage, refuel and then try again.  When we arrived back at the terminal, a woman and her three children were escorted out of coach and off the plane.  We were left to draw our own conclusion, after being told that the return was “warranted.”

Finally aloft, we were served dinner, then cocooned in these wonderful new pods that laid flat, allowing me to have at least a few hours of real shuteye on our 11-hour flight.


We landed in London at 3pm, and my fabulous husband had hired a car and driver, which met us after customs.

car traffic

The wonders of London rush-hour traffic awaited. Not too bad, though.  When we arrived at the Intercontinental Park Lane, we were greeted like visiting royalty. Our room had been upgraded to a small suite with a separate living room and it was quite nice.

rm1 rm2 rm3 rm4This was quite nice, although had we been real royalty, it would have been much larger. Still, lovely surprise.

rm strawberries

Shortly after arrival, the most perfect, sweetest English strawberries were delivered to our room as a welcome gift, along with a tall bottle of still water and coconut shortbread cookies.  I could get used to this.

We weren’t tired (although we should have been) and decided to take an early evening stroll to pick up dinner. deli deli1

Hot meals and sandwiches were on offer at this darling little place a few blocks away.

bev2 beverAlthough we live in a global village, it’s fun to see that some differences in products on offer still remain.

Of course, strolling the neighborhood is a must upon arrival in any new place.  Many embassies near our hotel, but this one’s Thai.

thai emb thai seal

The Kuwaiti Embassy is also nearby, but we decided not to photograph it. 😉

Shared language is not the same as shared cultural references, even for signage.sign sign2 sign5

I love the history that signs like this evoke.  And so, our first day in London closed with an 8pm bedtime.

“Let’s pull the blackout shades,” M said.  Sounded good to me.

When we awakened at 10:30am we realized what a good idea it was! Or maybe not.  We ordered a pot of coffee and slowly got our act together. The Victoria & Albert museum was our destination, where we thought we’d have a nice lunch, come back for a rest (don’t want to tax ourselves, 14 hours sleep wasn’t enough) and then, to the theatre tonight to see Helen Mirren in The Audience.

The V&A was marvelous, as always, although we didn’t arrive until 1:30pm. And the weather? Great for strolling. A gorgeous blue sky, sunshine and 75 degrees. Unheard of! Stay tuned for more.

5 comments on “London Dispatch: Sun’s shining, did we land in the wrong city?
  1. “… blue sky and sunshine…”? We have Tropical Storm Andrea hitting here. What’s wrong with this picture?!

  2. Joyce says:

    It all looks lovely. I would love to see London but have never been. My sister went after I entered her name in a huge contest to win a free trip to London.

  3. Ellen Dolgen says:

    Those strawberries look perfect. Looks like a gorgeous day in London, enjoy the rest of your trip!

  4. admin says:

    I’m watching the sky clear for another sunshiney day. If I can get M up, we’ll hit up the changing of the guard at the palace, thinking good thoughts for the Prince, who is in hospital for exploratory surgery today.

  5. Susan Cooper says:

    Aw… I love London, all of England for that matter. This makes me want to hope on a plane and go back. 🙂

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