|Cheryl gets a look at her presents.|
|They were doing some jousting at The Tower.|
We saw the crown jewels. Sorry Ivy. No free samples...
|Ivy, Emma, Cheryl, and me. Just under the clock behind us is where the entrance is to see the Crown Jewels.|
|Emma, Ivy, and Cheryl|
|Cheryl, me, Emma, and Ivy. My feet were killing me.|
|The gift shop: Beefeater bears, and ravens. Legend is that there have been ravens at The Tower since the 1600's. They have become part of The Tower's mythology. Supposedly if the ravens leave The Tower the monarchy and the kingdom will fall. Seven ravens are kept at The Tower at the government's expense, (Six, and one in 'reserve' in case something happens to the other six.) There is even a 'Raven Master' to look after them. Recently the whole legend of the ravens has come into question. There's an interesting article about it from The Guardian you can read HERE. Incidentally, I didn't see any ravens while we were there.|
|The girls and Ken with a real Beefeater, one of the ceremonial guards of The Tower of London.|
|Tammy managed to get out of the purse again. She brought the shirt over with her, the cheat,|
Because it's such a famous London landmark a lot of people think Tower Bridge is London Bridge.In fact, London Bridge was in disrepair, and in 1967 it was sold to a rich Arizona business man. The story is that he was a bit upset when it was reassembled for him in Arizona and it looked like this:
...because he thought he was getting this:
|This picture was taken from the other side, after we crossed the bridge.|
|As was this one of The Tower.|
Cheryl and I had gone up in Tower Bridge the day we met the first time. (Remember, we had been pen pals back in 1985. I think we had exchanged all of two letters when we met.), and Cheryl had been up fairly recently. And it's a bit expensive, so Ken and the girls went up while Cheryl and I walked over the bridge and found a place to sit down for a while.
|We got lucky and the bridge had to be raised while we were on it, giving the girls a chance to see this. It reminded Emma of the movie "Inception", when Ellen Paige's character is learning to 'build'.|
|Ken, Cheryl, Ivy, and Emma. The bridge is raised to let a boat through. It may have been for show, as, according to Ken, the boat they let through could easily have gone without the bridge being raised.|
|The girls up in the bridge. I do remember hating that glass floor.|
|Ah! Those feet on the left belong to Emma and Ivy.|
After Ken and the girls met back up with Cheryl and me, (and yes, that is grammatically correct. Think about it.), we decided to head for The Globe, the recreation of Shakespeare's theatre, (and, incidentally, the theatre they used for the Doctor Who episode "The Shakespeare Code".) Cheryl insisted it was near enough to walk. I tried to insist that it was, except that we didn't have time to waste and maybe we should take the tube. I was out voted, so we began to walk. I wish everybody had remembered that part later when I got blamed for us running out of time to see the Globe...
It started getting late and we hadn't eaten. We weren't going to get to The Globe before it closed for the day. So we stopped to eat at a pub on the river called The Mudlark.
|That's a vegetarian pie and gravy! There seemed to be a lot more vegetarian options, as a rule, at most places in England, other than fish and chip places. And it was good too. I couldn't eat it all, but Ken was happy to help...|
|Ivy enjoyed another J2O. I know. It looks like she's not enjoying anything. Ivy frequently looks like that.|
|I think Emma had black current lemonade. I hate black currant, but it's a very popular flavour for a lot of things in England. Emma has always liked it.|
|Ken had 'a pint' of something. Bleh.|
|Cheryl and me on the right. Notice that hat hanging out of my bag. There's going to be a quiz later...|
Harrod's was one of the places Ken wanted to visit. He hadn't seen much of London in his life, but he'd been there. I'd been before too, and I remember that I wasn't that impressed because everything was too expensive to buy!
|Case in point: Remember me posting about mini lamps just like these that I bought at Dollar Tree, for $1? Wow! Harrods has the same ones!|
|Well, not quite the same! Look at that price!|
Harrods is beautiful though.
The only other time I was there I had bought a Christmas ornament of a crescent moon with a face. What did I buy this time? A Christmas ornament! (A bear dressed as a Harrods door man.) Ken bought food of course.
Ivy, who is possibly the cheapest human being in the world, bought a wash cloth! It was 6 pounds! For one wash cloth! (Remember, that's over $9!) When we checked into the hotel the night before we found that the hotel didn't have wash cloths. No big surprise, because wash cloths, (or 'flannels', as they are called in Britain.), aren't used by everybody over there. I was the only one of us who had brought theirs.Too bad for you losers! I always travel with a wash cloth, in case I'm somewhere that doesn't have one.
Harrods closed not long after we got there, so Cheryl and I went outside to wait for the girls, who were who knows where, and Ken, who was scouring the food department. Once outside I realized I had lost my hat. Since it was the only one I had with me and I am supposed to avoid the sun, (You may remember I had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my face earlier this year.) I ran back inside to find it. It helped that I knew I had had it when I paid for the Christmas ornament, which was the last thing I did before I left the store. I found the girls, and the nice Harrods employees located my hat, so we went back out to wait with Cheryl. The funny thing is, the only other things I've ever lost in England were an ink pen, (Ok, it was only an ink pen, but Paul McCartney signed my postcard with it...), and a hat. The weird thing about the hat is, I lost the hat when I left it on a bus in Hull: Hull is the town Ken moved from when he came to America! Nobody goes to Hull!)
Ken couldn't seem to locate which side of the building we we on! It was Liverpool Street Station all over again. It took him ages to find us. I told him to just keep going around the building until he came to us.
|Cheryl, Emma, Ivy, and me outside Harrods. Ken did find us eventually.|
|You know. This place.|
|Going the wrong way, but who cares? The Beatles even had to get over there to start, didn't they?!|
|The girls and Cheryl outside the Houses of Parliament.|
|Big Ben' is actually the name of the bell in the clock tower.|
|Trying to get a good shot of the Houses of Parliament through the fence.|
|"What?! You mean we can't go in?!"|
|On Westminster Bridge. Ken wanted to go on the London Eye too,(The giant Ferris wheel.) but it was somewhere around 30 to 40 pounds for a 10 minute ride. We all voted no.|
|Ivy on Westminster Bridge with Parliament behind her.|
|Parliament, Big Ben, a lamp post, and Ken.|
|The same, minus Ken.|
|It was another long day. My feet were killing me. Everybody was tired and grouchy. This is our reflection in the window of the tube train. We had one more day in London. What did we see? Well, the world's oldest toy store for one thing. Stay tuned...|