Sunday, June 24, 2012
From the Bus
My stepsister Jennifer and nephew Jesse are visiting from Florida, and for the last few days we've explored the city. On Friday I took them on a walk around our neighborhood, including a visit to the graffiti yard at Trellick Tower. (I can just hear my dad: "Where did you take my 14-year-old grandson?!") We explored Portobello Road market and had Indian food for dinner.
Then, yesterday, Jennifer bought tickets for one of those open-top bus tours around the city. The first 3/4 of the tour was fabulous -- I learned lots of things about London neighborhoods that I never knew, such as the location of Margaret Thatcher's house and the origin of the Great Fire of London. The last quarter of the trip was horrendous, as a frigid wind blew in gray, rainy-looking clouds. Note to self: Open-top bus tours are a very bad idea on unseasonably chilly days. (It was in the 50s yesterday, and I have been insistently wearing shorts -- so maybe it's my own fault that I got cold, but it's summer, dammit.)
Jesse, being 14, was sick of the bus trip almost from the moment we set out. His mantra on vacations is, "Can we go back to the hotel now?" He wants his YouTube, his television and his big double bed. By the end he was practically catatonic with boredom. He did not appreciate sights like the world's largest photo of the royal family (above), installed on a riverfront building for the Queen's recent Jubilee flotilla. After we finally disembarked, we managed to find a pub for some lunch and then went out on the river itself, in a boat that, thankfully, was covered and served coffee -- and took us right back to Jesse's hotel room.
Dave comes back from his conference in Rhode Island today -- yay! -- so he'll be able to join us on upcoming sightseeing expeditions.
And speaking of Dave, you may remember me writing about a scaffolding collapse in our neighborhood during a windstorm several weeks ago. Well, we've learned more about the new Jamie Oliver restaurant soon scheduled to open at the site of that mishap -- it's called Recipease, and apparently it includes a kitchen shop and will offer cooking lessons. A certain someone (named Dave) will definitely want to check it out!