I'm still working on the new website. Most of the posts (including artworks, blog posts and 365 posts from 2009, 2010 and 2011) are missing. These posts will return eventually. Thanks for your patience!
Today was our last day in London. Unfortunately. Of course, I'm also happy to go back again. I sure miss Seth. And I love the comfort of my own bed, my own shower, my own kitchen and so on. But I had such a lovely time here, despite the pain in my legs. I do love London. I still love San Francisco more though.
After packing all of our bags, we went downstairs to have breakfast, for the last time. I did enjoy the breakfast every morning. I usually don't like breakfast early in the morning. And if I do decide to have breakfast, it's usually limited to some tea, yogurt drink and kiwi fruit.
Unfortunately breakfast was not the same today. There weren't any yogurts anymore, nor did we see any croissants. I had the last bit of scrambled eggs, ChEeTaH had to wait a while before a new batch of scrambled eggs appeared. It tasted nice but I just missed some items, that's all.
When we had finished breakfast, we went upstairs again, got our luggage and checked out. I settled in the lobby, because it was around 11am in the morning. And our train was leaving around 4pm. So we got a coffee and cappuccino. I didn't finish my cappuccino, it was horrible. I'm sorry, it just wasn't a good cup of cappuccino. I know good cappuccino and this wasn't it. I took some pictures of the hotel, especially the lobby and restaurant.
One final time we ordered a taxi at the front desk. And then we left to go to Edgware station. I decided to take a couple of pics in the taxi itself, of the neighborhood. And once we were in the tube again, I decided to take a couple of pics of the areas we passed every day. People didn't really seem to mind, but I didn't really care either so...
At King's Cross we got off, and looked for a place to sit and drink, and perhaps something to eat as well. If not right away, we still needed to buy something to eat for the journey itself. We ended up at Starbucks. We ordered two frappuccinos, two paninis and a cinnamon swirl. When we left, we ordered two more cinnamon swirls for the journey home.
It was almost time to get ready to go, so we got all our bags again and started walking. After a security check of our bags and bodies, we were allowed inside, then got a passport check. Once all was done, we just waited for a long time until we could start boarding. Boring eh? Yeah we thought so too.
I tried to take some pics in the train. They didn't turn out great but it's also the memory that's important here, not just how great it looks.
The train journey was alright. Crowded and uncomfortable. But we got home safe, and that's what matters. The last train was annoying though. There was a drunk sitting behind me and he was continuously kicking my chair! I got really annoyed and nauseous. I was happy he left the train in Eindhoven. Pfffrt.
One thing I noticed right away in Belgium and The Netherlands was the horrible weather. Urgh! We had great weather in the UK. Not really sunny all the time but it was dry! I expected worse weather, which is why I didn't get to use half of the clothing I took with me in the suitcase. Lol. I really hate the weather we have here right now. And I was happy I decided to take my winter coat with me before we left last week. I never got to use it in the UK but here I couldn't go without.
At home, ChEeTaH grabbed the dirty laundry and put it in the laundry room. After that we watched the Rob Brydon show, two episodes of Family Guy and Little Britain. We're home again. It feels really weird. We're tired... It was a fun week though!
Today was the last day we could really go to the center of London, and so we did. After breakfast, we ordered a taxi at the front desk. Now I don't hate foreign people or anything, but this taxi service has only got foreign taxi drivers. And the one we had this morning didn't understand us, and vice versa. We tried to get a free ride. I forgot to tell in my previous blog post, but yesterday, the taxi service called to tell us they got the text messages about 1½ hours later after I sent them. So they never got a chance to send a cab. But then again, they can't really expect us to wait for that long either. They did understand our frustration and offered one free ride. But when we tried to claim it this morning, the taxi driver refused and wanted to see money.
We hurried to Buckingham Palace, to watch the changing of the guards, and it was crowded. I didn't mind though, just as long as I had a good view. And I did. I made a couple of nice pictures of the guards.
After this, we traveled to the London Film Museum. There, we viewed the old Tardis and Daleks, and we're all on pictures with them! Lol. It was a lot of fun. We also visited the Charlie Chaplin exhibition. I definitely enjoyed this museum visit.
I was a bit nauseous, so we went to 'Enough to Feed an Elephant' to buy two cokes and a donut. I don't like donuts. So I'm not sure why I bought it, but I needed to eat something and they didn't have much else.
Next door there was a souvenir shop. Unfortunately it was too expensive so we didn't buy anything.
Then we traveled to the London Dungeons. I didn't know what this was all about, but I regret going there now. It's probably all very nice for normal people. But with my legs, I get to stand still for a long time, only getting to walk from one room to another after having to listen to stories about the old times in London. I can't stand still, because of my legs. I really hate this, but I can't change it. If I had known I would be standing still so long and often, I would not have gone to the London Dungeons. Because of all the pain I didn't really hear what people were telling either.
I got out of the Dungeons as quickly as I could and then I just had to sit for a little while. It was really cold though, so sitting still wasn't an option either. We discussed the plans for the evening. We would walk across the London Bridge, take pictures of the Tower Bridge, and go back again to look for some place to eat. The pictures are lovely by the way.
We didn't really feel like having Subway, Burger King or a meal in the hotel. We searched the area for a nice place. We came across Pizza Express. Another pizza place? Pizza, again? Well the name screams fast food pizza take out but in reality, it's a really nice Italian place. Nice ambience, nice people, and GREAT food! ChEeTaH ordered lasagna and I ordered a Leggera pizza. This is what the website has to say about the Leggera pizza:
At around 500 calories, the Leggera is an entirely new kind of pizza.
Inspired by the ring shape of the fresella bread from Italy, we've removed the centre of the dough and put a generous fresh salad in its place. These lighter pizzas are each designed to be lower in calories and in saturated fat without compromising on taste.
Our Italian executive development chef Antonio has also been looking for simple ideas on how to eat healthily the Italian way. Keep scrolling for tips on how to Live Leggera.
I tried the Gustosa pizza:
Hand torn prosciutto cotto ham, light fior di latte mozzarella and slices of portobello mushroom with sweet yellow peppers and a sprinkle of thyme
I LOVED IT! I enjoyed the entire visit. I almost got teary eyed because we don't have a Pizza Express nearby. And we're leaving London tomorrow. But not to worry. I will visit Pizza Express again in the future. And in the meantime, I will try and reproduce the pizza I had there. I'm a pretty good cook so...
When we left, it was already dark. I was happy about this, because this meant I could make some more pictures of the Tower Bridge! Woot!
Walking back to the tube, we visited one more souvenir shop, and bought one more souvenir.
Back in Edgware, the taxi driver came to pick us up. And when we were at the hotel, the taxi driver didn't charge us the ride! So apparently the free ride was linked to my mobile number. Anyway, problem solved. We got our free ride. Thank you taxi service. We do appreciate it!
In the hotel, I packed some more and then we watched Office Space to end the lovely week. Tomorrow we're going back to The Netherlands.
Today we didn't really go out. We are very tired from all the walking, especially me with my legs and all. So we decided to make this a Sarah Jane Adventures marathon day! After having breakfast, we just started watching SJA and when we watched everything from series 3, we went outside to get a frappuccino and a muffin at Starbucks, and a quick visit to WHSmith.
Back in the hotel we watched the first new episode of SJA on BBC2. And because we didn't feel like waiting another week, we watched the second episode on iPlayer. All legal too, lol!
After this, I fell asleep. I was so tired... When we woke up again, we went downstairs to the restaurant and ordered pepperoni pizzas!
I ended the day by packing some bags to save some time on Friday morning.
Breakfast today was different. For the first time, the girl helping us (every day another one btw) told us we could just sit wherever we want. Breakfast tasted nice. I did enjoy it.
Today we planned to go watch the changing of the guards. But we were also eager to send some mail to The Netherlands and the UK. And some of the mail required large envelopes, something the local postal office did not seem to sell. Luckily a Pound Stretcher store was nearby. There, I also bought three pairs or fluffy socks (yay!); zebra print, pink leopard and plain pink. So awesome. And a lot cheaper than the ones I can get in The Netherlands. Once all the mail was ready, we realized it was too late to get to Buckingham Palace. So we just decided to skip it today. Maybe Thursday then.
We traveled from Edgware to Baker Street, via King's Cross St. Pancras. We took the Metropolitan line. And it was here that I first heard the 'Mind the Gap' message out loud since we arrived here last week.
At Baker Street, we went straight to 221b Baker Street. We also found out it's not an actual address (anymore). Obviously we noticed the Sherlock Holmes museum. ChEeTaH wanted to see the souvenir shop. I on the other hand got annoyed because we don't have any money any more to spend on souvenirs. And then he wants to take me to a souvenir shop? Hell no.
We had loads of time to spend, but nowhere to go. ChEeTaH spotted a Starbucks. So far, every attempt to go to Starbucks has failed. Simply because it's either closed or just too busy. I'm not going in there, spending a lot of money on a drink that I have to take with me again and not having any place to sit. I don't like strolling down the street with a drink in my hand. After yesterday, my legs were still hurting badly, so I had the need to sit.
So no Starbucks then.
We also spotted Costa Coffee. But this one, was next to the Starbucks and was just as busy, maybe even worse!
So no Costa Coffee either. Pfffrt.
And then we came across the EAT. (The Real Food Company). There was enough room to sit, inside and out. They had free wifi. And the drinks were pretty cheap as well! So we got two cokes. We had a bit of an early lunch inside, 2 Ham & Jarlsberg baguettes (unfortunately English cheese isn't the same quality as Dutch cheese), a chocolate muffin and a strawberry cupcake!
When we were done, we slowly walked towards Madame Tussauds. We already had tickets for this. Despite the pain in my legs and feet, I had a great time. Junior went on many pictures with many celebrities. Pay attention to Junior's website because he will soon be updating with lots of cool pictures. Imagine Beyoncé or Barack Obama posing with Junior! People were laughing about Junior. Everyone seemed to like it. At Madame Tussauds, we also watched Marvel Super Heroes in 4D. This was really cool!
Again, we didn't buy any souvenirs. If I would have known how many cool souvenirs they sold at Madame Tussaud's, I would have saved more money.
We traveled to Waterloo station pretty quickly. There we decided to wait a little, before entering the London Eye around sunset. But first we watched the London Eye experience in 4D. We were indeed in the London Eye during sunset. I made some great pictures! Again, people noticed us taking a few pictures of Junior. And people were laughing again. Some even took pictures of Junior! People really like Junior.
After the London Eye experience, I took a few more pictures at the pier, and then we continued to the Namco building, where we went to Costa Coffee. Unfortunately there was a corporate party so dinner was taking some time. We waited for over an hour, but I didn't mind that much. Just as long as I could sit down and relax, use free wifi and watch some TV. After drinking a coke and a hot chocolate, we got our pizza and chips dinner. There was something wrong with the communication between staff members. The girl serving us the plates of food, gave us ketchup and barbecue sauce. I don't like either of these. And yesterday we got sour cream with salt, pepper and vinegar. I absolutely loved that! She seemed annoyed that I asked for sour cream. When she came back again with drinks, I asked if I could have some pepper. This time she seemed even more annoyed. What's the problem? We had the same items yesterday. I didn't enjoy today's visit to Costa Coffee as much as yesterday. Service was so-so and it was freezing inside! Food tasted nice though. And we got to see the first half of the England-Montenegro game.
When we left, I took a few more pictures of the London Eye and of course the Big Ben. The lights made everything so pretty. After that we traveled back from Waterloo to Edgware.
In Edgware we texted the taxi service. 30 Minutes later there still wasn't a taxi. I got annoyed. It's cold outside, it's dark, there are people outside that make me feel uncomfortable. I texted again. 15 Minutes later, no taxi. We decided to grab a different taxi service. Expensive compared to the taxi service we normally use, but it was almost 11pm and we were tired and just wanted to go to the hotel. I did send a third text, because we're decent people and want to let them know we want to cancel the request. 45 minutes is too long.
Luckily the WHSmith store around the corner is open 24hrs a day. So ChEeTaH bought a couple of Buxton bottles, another Frijj milkshake (Thick & Smooth Chocolate Fudge Brownie) and a Lion candy bar.
Today we decided to take the bus tour. Which one? Yes, there are many bus tours you can take. We chose "The Original Tour", which was rather nice. We were able to use our "Bus Tours of London" ticket for other tours as well.
The reason we decided to take the bus tour, was simply because we could see more within a short amount of time, English commentary included. I also liked taking pictures of a lot of the famous buildings and places, like the Big Ben and London Eye.
We also walked all the way to Downing Street, only to find out I couldn't really take any pics there. What was I thinking anyway? It makes sense, but we didn't think about it. So there I was, making a picture of the street sign...
For some cold drinks and lunch, we went to Costa Coffee. We actually went there for coffee, but the machine was broken, so we couldn't get any coffee. I was happy enough with just a coke. We shared a pizza and chips meal, which tasted great!
For dinner, we visited Sherlock Holmes Pub and went upstairs to the restaurant. It has a lovely feel to it, as you can see on the picture below. The restaurant looks a lot nicer than you can see on my photo, but I didn't want to get the attention of the other dining people so instead of grabbing the decent camera I grabbed my iPhone. We had "The Retired Colourman’s", which, according to the website, is "Traditional English fish (crispy battered haddock), served with chips and mushy peas!"
Of course today I also purchased some more souvenirs, but after today we can't afford any more souvenirs. Besides some souvenirs, I bought a new book at Walker Books. It's called "The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm" and I love it.
Walking is more painful every day. I'm not sure how much longer I can last. I'm really in a lot of pain, don't think I'm a lazy person or someone without a decent level of endurance. I really have pain in my legs, which has more to do with my disease than with my willpower.
The taxi service today was okay. The taxi drivers are a bit rough, and the cars are usually sedan cars, so nothing too fancy. Tonight I really hurt my head when the driver drove on a road bump. Now I have the bump, on my head.
Hotel seems nicer every day, which is a bit weird. Our breakfast was nice. Again, a fixed place. But the girl helping us offered us coffee and spoke loud enough. I think she even smiled a little, which is pretty rare around here.
Today we had breakfast at the hotel again. I'm a bit annoyed at how soft the staff talks. When we got downstairs, we walked to the restaurant. The girl at the counter couldn't find our name on the list. What is it with this place? She went to check with the front desk, but no one was there, so we were allowed to continue to he restaurant. Then she just walked away, so we didn't have a clue where to sit. And she didn't return either. So when we grabbed food and chose a table to sit on, she came practically running to us to tell us it wasn't allowed to sit there. Because apparently she had set another table. Well, maybe she shouldn't have walked away without telling us this first. So I was a bit annoyed because of this.
After breakfast, we collected our things and arranged a taxi to drive us to CanonsPark station. We traveled to Wembley Park. When we walked out of the station, we were surrounded by many young Doctor Who fans. And a few older ones as well. After having taken some pics, we continued to Wembley Stadium. We later on found out we needed to go to Wembley Arena.
At Wembley Arena, we had to pick up our tickets. We booked in the summer but sending the tickets didn't really succeed so we didn't have em yet. We went in, had a security check and continued to get something to drink. Then got some money from the ATM and bought merchandising! Woot! We bought a program booklet £10, a lanyard with laminated cards £5, Tardis backpack (for Seth!) £15 and a poster £5. I will show pics of the items later.
We had to wait quite some time, but we arrived early because we didn't want to be delayed or anything. We stood in line in front of the stairs. And once the security let us pass through, we walked upstairs quickly. People helpled us to our seats. We had very nice seats, but we already knew this, because we had the best choices when we ordered them months ago.
Just a few minutes before the show started, Steven Moffat showed up with his family and he was sitting only a few rows in front of us! We were in awe lol! I didn't want to bother him. However we did ask if he'd like to go on a picture with Junior during the break.
When the show started we heard that video and photographic material was strictly prohibited. I was really disappointed about this. I came all this way to see Doctor Who Live, and I just want some snapshots to remind myself of what it was like, when looking back at a later date. However, during the show, characters from the show started to walk by and NO ONE listened to the request not to take any pictures. And to be honest, I didn't want to listen either. So I took a couple of pictures, no flash of course, and I took some really nice ones. I may upload some of them later on to my gallery. Will probably do this once I'm back home. I don't have a lot of time here in the hotel to sort pictures and all that.
Doctor Who Live was fantastic. We didn't get to see or meet Matt Smith or Karen Gillan. But it was a really nice show. We loved it. And it was worth our money.
When the show ended, we walked outside and there was an actor named David Ajala who plays the character Peter the Winder. He was signing cards. We also got our picture taken with a smiler! Lol. ChEeTaH was holding a staring competition with the smiler.
We got on the tube again and decided to travel to Canary Wharf. The sun was already setting when we got there. So I was a bit disappointed, because I wanted a nice view to take pics and I had to walk a long time before I got to the pier. I did make some nice pictures though. I would love to go back again. It's a beautiful place.
We tried looking for something to eat, but it was either closed or it was too expensive. We gave up and traveled back to Edgware. In Edgware we went to the Subway, which was still open (yay!) and had a meal there.
Taxi brought us back to the hotel. We ditched our bags and went to the Welcome Break to visit Starbucks. Unfortunately, it was closed. We then chose to grab something to eat and drink at WHSmith.
And then we enjoyed all the items we bought during a couple of episodes of Sarah Jane Adventures!