London – “where the world meets”

April 28, 2008

I had the awesome privilege of showing London to two very special people this past week. My friends Ryan and Kathy from Canada came to visit and we really hit London hard! If you ever visit London, get the London Pass with travel as it saves you time and money if you want to see alot of history and monumental sites in the city.

We visited Kensington Palace (where Princess Diana used to reside and became the royal residence in early 1700’s under Queen Mary and King William’s leadership), Hyde Park (read a romance novel and it’s where the couples often meet the first time), High Tea at the Ritz (worth every pence), Windsor Castle (Queen’s residence), London Zoo, Tower of London (built by William the Conqueror, a must see in London), Buckingham Palace/Changing of the Guard, the Queen’s Gallery and Royal Mews, boat cruise on the River Thames, St. Paul’s Cathedral (where we climbed the 450 steps to the top dome!), Winston Churchill Museum (the actual bunker he lead the country from in while in hiding during WWII), Picadilly Circus, Notting Hill and Camden Markets … and ate alot of bread and coffee! We rode the double-deckers, tubes and train. One great thing about London is that nearly everyone you talk to has a different accent – be it English or from another part of the world; so there is an instant intrigue and fascination when you meet new people.

We took in four shows: Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, Lion King and Grease.  The theatre experience was the best way to end the day really. Music that touches your very soul with beauty, costumes that make your mouth drop, and sets that move magnetically and gracefully across the stage.  Every day and night was like walking in a movie. Talking of dreams and legacy, I hope London will remain in their hearts. I have big dreams, and Ryan said to me something I’ll never forget “People who know how, will work with those who know why.”

We watched Aviator in the hotel one night, and then my new nickname became Howard. I’d like to think it’s because he was a genius, but I know it also has something to do with his OC nature. It’s not a big deal if I don’t like to share bottled water!

I had moments of bravery when at Paddington Station I approached a group of Australian model-type men to ask for change for the toilet. “Take five pounds…” when all I needed was 10 pence! Thanks gentlemen.  Unfortunately, I always think of more brilliant things to say AFTERWARDS.

I also tried caviar. Not my thing, but glad I tried.

I will leave you with a speech from Winston Churchill I read this week. You just never give up…and always let your thoughts be big…

“I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. …We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

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