22 September 2013

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore...

One week later, back home with the wife and the dogs.  I cannot say which were happier to see me last night, but I did get a bunch of wet kisses.

I am working to catch up on all my chores, both at home and at work.  One week off world and I expect to have a ton of meetings and reports to file on Monday.  Enjoying my Sunday before I head back to the funny farm.  Already took the dogs to the dog park this morning to make up for my absence and get them a bit of exercise (always a hit with those two).  

I was trying to post up while I was on the road last week, but found to have difficulties with getting pictures to come across so I gave up until I got back home to the desktop. Besides, I was out wandering all over London to spend any time on the iPad.

Very good trip.  Audit went well.  Got a chance to see another region I had never visited before (Wales).  It was a very brief trip to Wales, but looked very pretty/interesting.  Hard to pick where I wanted to spend more time - London or the Welsh countryside.  But, I am getting ahead of myself.  

Flight over was pretty uneventful.  Not quite as fancy as the Hong Kong trip, but I did knock a few more movies off my NetFlix queue (Star Trek Into the Darkness, The Descendants, The Great Gatsby, After Earth).  Still found it hard to sleep on the flight over so I was pretty wired by the time we hit Heathrow.  Sun was coming up just as we stated to land and it was clear and looking to be a fantastic day in the UK.  But, as the day went on, the cloud and rain settled in.  Got my bags, cleared customs, exchanged money for pounds, and headed off to find the express to take me into London.

B&B in Vauxhall
Breaking from my normal routine, I found a little B&B south of the Themes that was centrally located.  Very nice, quaint place located a few blocks off of the Vauxhall tube station.  Given the prices for rooms in downtown London ($$$), this was a relative bargain for a nice, small room with breakfast included.  Served as a base camp for my explorations for the next two days.  Once I got checked in, I headed off to Vauxhall Bridge to find RC and Mrs RC.  We had been working plans up for the past few weeks and picked the bridge as a good spot to meet up (Buckingham Palace was way too crowded last time).  I showed up early and explored the general area trying before finally running into them walking across the bridge.  Was great to finally meet up with both of them!  We decided to have a bit to eat first before exploring London, so we set off north to find a good pub.  

Had a chance to enjoy lunch with them as we talked about our adventures, kids, dogs and other bloggers. After a good lunch with some typical English fare (for me) and a couple of pints, we set off to stroll along the Theme to see the sites.  Last time I was here was almost two years ago, and I barely had enough time to see a handful of places.  RC and Mrs RC haven't been to London proper for some time so it was a grand adventure for us to spend a few hours playing tourist.  

I recognized the famous MI6 headquarters from a James Bond movie.     
MI6 building
Got the typical tourist shot of Parliament with Big Ben.  

We talked as we walked and discussed just about everything.  One thing I lamented is that most of what I know about London comes from either the movies or TV. That led to all sorts of reminiscing over the shows we watched in our days.  We used to watch Fawlty Towers and Are You Being Served quite a bit when they were on PBS.  My wife and son are currently into Doughton Abby.  Of course, I'm an old Dr Who fan (Tom Baker, of course) and I have seen all the James Bond movies many times over.  Not to mention the Prisoner and the Avengers to round out the discussion.  I had to admit that the shows we watched were pretty classy/intellectual while at the same time I was embarrassed to say that some of the shows the US has to offer are not quite as intelligent (Swamp People, Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo).  We did agree on American Pickers as a good offering.        

Taking pictures along the way like a bunch of tourists.  

Crossed the Millennium Bridge.  Of course, I had to revert to my engineer mantra trying to figure out the cabling system that supported the bridge.  

Found several craft and food vendors along the walk.  Of course, being an Aluminut, I tend to spot certain things that stick out in my mind.  Anything about this food vendor trailer look familiar? 

And, of course, there were lots of interesting things along the riverbank.  

Had to stop and have our picture taken in front of old Big Ben (thanks, Mrs RC!).  I did this cause I forgot to get one of use together last time.  

And I had to get one of my tour guides as well.

We finally wound up back at Vauxhall after a long hike.  Had time for one more pint before they had to head back home to the kids and the dogs.  I think it was a outstanding day, even if I was worn out at the end.  Thanks RC for coming over to London for the day!  Monday I had planned to spend the day exploring London in depth and seeing a lot of things I missed the last time.  I even found the Death Ray tower...


ShadowRun300 said...

Welcome home! I can just imagine all the sloppy kisses you received!

Your time in London looks like it was fabulous! I can only imagine how fun it would be to explore the city with Mr. and Mrs. RC. The conversations, especially the ones on TV and movies, must have been quite entertaining.

And the B&B looks beautiful! What a great place to serve as base camp.

Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip and seeing more pics.

terri said...

What a beautiful place, made better, I'm sure by being able to meet up with a couple of blogger friends!

Is that a sand-art Homer Simpson? Pretty impressive... even if it is Homer Simpson! :-)

An AirStream in London - pretty cool! Did you buy food there?

agg79 said...

SR300 - the trip was great. Being able to meet up with RC and Mrs RC was the icing on the cake.

Terri - London should be one of those destinations you put on your bucket list. A ton of things to see & do. Didn't buy anything at the AS (had just eaten lunch). We actually spotted 2 Airstreams along the walk - this was the only one I got pictures of.

Rock Chef said...

It was a bit surreal to see those Airstreams there like that - I think they heard you were coming!

The B&B does look very English! I have not had much experience with places like this, but there are some great little places out there.

meleah rebeccah said...

"I was trying to post up while I was on the road last week, but found to have difficulties with getting pictures to come across so I gave up until I got back home to the desktop. Besides, I was out wandering all over London to spend any time on the iPad."

Yeah - I think if I were ever in London, I wouldn't worry about being on the internet, or uploading photos, until I came back home - so could take it all in.

Great picture of RC & Mrs RC! And great photo of YOU & RC!

And I love the Parliament photo. Wow.

"One thing I lamented is that most of what I know about London comes from either the movies or TV" - Same here!

PS: I am FREAKING OUT over the bridge. I could NEVER walk over that. NO WAY. NO HOW.

ShadowRun300 said...

Oh, that reminds me. On our way back from Tampa yesterday, we passed this:
I was driving and couldn't take a pic myself, but I thought of you, of course, and wondered if you'd heard of it.

Abby said...

How fun! I'd love to visit the UK someday, I'll bring an umbrella. (recently became an obsessed fan of Primeval)

Great photos too, but... where's your force diagram of the Millennium Bridge?