Sunday, November 16, 2008

London

So far we've been having a blast in London. We ended up in the 2nd row at Monty Python's Spamalot and it was hilarious. I couldn't believe how much I was laughing considering I already knew 90% of the jokes. We wandered all around the theater district, china town and strolled through the National Portrait Gallery. It's been nice to just be able to roam the city without any plans.
Today we visited the Imperial War Museum which is a huge place with lots of tanks, rockets, missiles and planes on display from World War I and World War II. I didn't know squat about WWI and seeing WWII not just from the US perspective was very interesting. There were cool interactive walk through sections for the Trenches of WWI and surviving The Blitz of WWII. There was a special area just on D-Day which was much more wide ranging than the US centric battles at Utah and Omaha beaches. Plus a floor just for The Holocaust. After visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC in September, I figured I was all Holocausted out but the section still packed a wallop. We spent 5 hours at the Imperial War Museum and still didn't see everything.
Then we visited Europe's biggest Salvador Dali exhibition; over 500 pieces at the Dali Universe. As you can probably tell by my love of Angry Johnny, I don't know shit about art. I'd heard the Dali name of course and knew he did a lot of whacked out stuff - but that was it. I was shocked by how much I liked some of his art. Some pieces made me laugh out loud and I spent hours taking my time looking at everything. Though I did pass on the additional Picasso gallery - by that point I was just spent.
Tomorrow we'll hit The British Museum and our final pubs before flying home Tuesday.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Weekend in London

In front of Buckingham PalaceYesterday we got back home from a weekend getaway to London, England and it was a blast. Lori visited London about 20 years ago, but I had never been and didn't really care to. I always figured I'd get to Europe when I was too old and tired to enjoy the adventure trips. But everything we did and saw was so much more fun and interesting than I ever expected. We spent two days bopping around London on double decker buses seeing all the traditional sights of Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace and more. Then we explored the tourist stops like The London Dungeon (actually a haunted house type of attraction with a couple thrill rides), Tower of London (much bigger and more interesting than I expected with many tales of torture and execution - also the home of The Crown Jewels which were very cool to see), The London Eye, Madam Tussauds Wax Museum (way more fun than expected. I didn't know you could get up close and personal with all the figures) - it was all much more fun than I thought it would be. Our third and final day we took a full day bus tour out to Windsor Castle (like the Tower of London - this was much bigger and more interesting than I dared expect. Rooms full of the spoils of the English Empire), Stonehenge (quite cool to be visiting this so soon after being on Easter Island - two of the most bizarre places in the world) and Bath (home of some ancient Roman bath houses and just a very cool town full of 18th century buildings). We could have easily spent a week in London and not been bored, there are still so many cool old places and museums we didn't get to, not to mention a countless number of pubs we didn't have time to frequent. I was really impressed by the history, the architecture and the good humor of all the English folks we met. StonehengeAll the Londoners were much more outgoing and funny than I expected, and of course they all loved Larry The Lizard (who by the way seems to have a cameo in the movie "Michael Clayton"). And even though everyone was bundled up, the temperature was a bit warmer in merry Ol' England than it was back here in New England. Will certainly have to visit again someday. More pictures coming soon.

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