Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Anniversary Adventure Begins

I'm finally back from my travels and just sat down to upload photos to Blogger. Not sure if it's Blogger or my computer (I ordered a new one today), but the photos are loading without any of my straightening and cropping edits. So I guess you can either tilt your head or tilt your computer, ha ha. 

I simply must share the horrors I encountered on the flight to London. The actual flight was fine. It's what I saw that made my skin crawl. Across from me sat a man who thought that his seat on the airplane was the perfect place to trim his fingernails and toenails. I. Kid. You. Not. He seriously trimmed ALL of them. He seriously let ALL of them fall to the floor. Every little click of his nail trimmers made me want to S C R E A M. And G A G. And C R Y. And tell him that he was being
 N A S T Y. Then he handed his nail trimmers across the aisle to his wife. Apparently his grooming habit doesn't bother his wife one teensy, weensy bit. That made me want to scream my red-haired head O F F. Unfortunately I am not the "Common Courtesy Police," so I kept my mouth shut. It wasn't easy, but I did. Rick was thankful. (And BTW, I think I would make a fine Common Courtesy Police officer.)

I must be a glutton for punishment. After calming myself down, I got up to use the lavatory (aka one of the most disgusting places EVER). The woman who exited was wearing her socks. Not shoes, just SOCKS. In case you've never noticed, airplane lavatory floors are covered with (how should I say it...) sticky spots. Yellowish sticky spots. Her socks touched those spots. She was eventually going to put those socks back into her shoes. Does she know how many peoples' urine she was going to carry home with her? Ugh. A shiver literally ran up my spine. Then, as if I hadn't been grossed out enough, I noticed a little cup dispenser in the lavatory. Think Dixie cups. In an airplane lavatory. Right near the sink. The sink full of germs. The sink with a faucet and spout that has been touched by a bazillion germy hands. Who in the world would ever drink from that faucet with one of those cups? I stumbled back to my seat shaking my head in dismay at the human race. Then I couldn't help myself. I watched the lavatory for awhile to see if anyone came out holding one of those cups. I nearly passed out from anticipation! I am happy to report that I didn't spy a single one. I guess people could have discarded the cups in the lavatory trash can. I decided not to investigate. After all, someone (namely Rick) may have reported "I'm concerned about the mental stability of a passenger on this flight" to one of the flight attendants, who would have told the captain, who would have called ahead to have doctors with straight jackets meet me at the gate. And since I didn't want to spend my anniversary trip in a psychiatric hospital, I decided to muster up all of my mental strength and say nothing. Trust me when I say that it wasn't easy.

My valiant effort was rewarded. Right before we landed in London, the Purser (I think that's what the head flight attendant is called) presented us with a bottle of wine and announced that we had won the "Mushiest Couple Award" because we had held hands for the entire 7-hour flight. Except for when I was in the lavatory, of course. I can imagine how utterly embarrassed my kids will be to hear that their old parents are still affectionate in public. (It's not like we made out or anything. Still, holding hands is and being called "mushy" would embarrass them.) Anyway, off to jolly old England we go.

When we went to the Tower of London in December, we only toured part of it before running out of time. So we returned to see what we missed the first time. (If you want to read that post, click here.) 
See that cross at the top of the column in the above photo? It's an archery window. There are tons of them in the several towers comprising the Tower of London. Here's a closer view of one.
This is how it looks from the inside.
Wanna see some royal digs?
A throne fit for a king...
This is the Lanthorn Tower.
I like this one. I think the sun looks kinda cool.
Here is the view of the Tower Bridge from Lanthorn Tower. 
 
This is cool. It's a piece of a Roman city wall left behind from hundreds of years ago.
We really wanted to see the Line of Kings and the Royal Armouries exhibits in the White Tower.
These exhibits were created in the 1600s so that visitors could see the royal armour and carved heads of some English kings.
Ever heard the "my head is on the chopping block"expression? Well, here it is: the real chopping block.
Thought this Royal Coat of Arms from the 1600s was cool.
Next up was the Bloody Tower, famous for being the site of the legend referred to as Princes in the Tower. "Now explored in a display in the Bloody Tower, one of the Tower's darkest mysteries concerns two boy princes, sons and heirs of Edward IV. They were put into the Tower by their uncle, Richard of Gloucester, when their father died in 1483. Neither was seen again and Richard was crowned later that year. In 1674 the skeletons of two children were found nearby." (DK Eyewitness Travel: London, pages 154-157. Copyright 2012 by Dorling Kindersly Limited, London.) It was also the site where prisoners were tortured. Here's a torture rack designed to dislocate, separate, and eventually break the victim's joints. 
The Scavenger's Daughter compressed the body in such a way that blood drained from the victim's nose and ears.
Manacles hung victims from their wrists, resulting in excruciating pain.
Nice guys, huh?

Then we decided to tour the top of Tower Bridge.
It was worth it. We saw some spectacular views of the River Thames.
The Tower Bridge is raised several times each day to allow for the passing of ships. We got to tour the engine rooms. These are some seriously big engines.
Here's one last view of Tower Bridge from the opposite side of the River Thames.
We walked along the River Thames as we headed towards Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. I can't remember what this church is called, but I thought it was pretty.
This is the top of St. Paul's Cathedral as we saw it off n the distance. My new zoom lens totally rocks!
Unfortunately, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre was closed for tours when we got there. We were able to tour the museum. We went back another day to tour the theatre. I'll post all of those pics together in a few days. 

We ventured back near our hotel and landed at a nearby place called Gaucho for snacks 
followed by dinner at Le Relais de Venise, a French restaurant that only serves Steak Frites. Y U M. We had eaten at this restaurant, though at a different location, when we were in London in December. We loved it so much that we just had to enjoy it again.

That's it for Day One of our anniversary adventure. If my computer cooperates, I may be back tomorrow for Day Two. In the meantime, happy Tuesday!

1 comment:

Christy Lynn said...

Oh Miss Vicki, I think you and Rick need to get a private jet so you can control how clean the bathroom is, who goes in it, and the availability of Dixie cups. Personally, I try really hard not to use airplane lavatories--I wait till we get back on terra firma!

My dad's side of the family is planning a family reunion in Scotland over Memorial Day weekend next year. The hotel they're looking at to stay in is a converted lunatic asylum, which sounds about right for that bunch...