Monday, October 31, 2005

The England Journal: Saturday 22 October

Well, this was an interestingly great day. We got out on the Tube at 10:30 to go to the London Eye, that Sheryl and I had done before in 2000, but we wanted Kinsey to go on it. We met up with 6 other team members and the 9 of us did it together. It was great and Kinsey had a blast. We got some really great pictures up there.

From the eye, the three of us went with Lesley Cromer and Chris Adcock over to Westminster where we got the obligatory pictures of Big Ben and Parliament (“Look kids! Big Ben! Parliament!”) and then over to Westminster Abbey, my favorite place in all of London.

Unfortunately, it’s not very kid/stroller-friendly. We got to see quite a few things that were great: the Tombs of Elizabeth I, Henry V, and Richard the II. I went over to Poets’ Corner again and saw all of the memorials to the British writers: Wordsworth, C.S. Lewis, Shakespeare, Austen, and the tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer. I even got the experience of doing some quiet time in a little chapel, called St. Faith’s Chapel. It’s a small chapel built around 1250, and it was a great place to calm down and meditate on God and just kind of take a break from all the tourist stuff.

After that, Kinsey started getting cranky/tired, so we headed out, just as she fell asleep. On the way up Whitehall Street, we met up with Tracy Dean, another team member, who’d been out alone. We all went to an Italian restaurant for a late lunch, then to somewhere else Sheryl and I hadn’t been before, the Covent Garden Market.

It, too, was amazing. It’s basically an outdoor mall, but it was so packed with people that I sometimes felt like I was using Kinsey and her stroller as a battering ram. We finally got down to a less crowded place call the Jubilee Market Place, where we picked up a few souvenirs.

At this point, it was time for Tracy and Lesley to get to their show for Saturday night, Guys and Dolls with Ewan McGregor. Chris stayed with me, Sheryl, and Kinsey and we went back to Leicester Square and just saw tons and tons of people. We decided to take Chris over to Piccadilly Circus since it was dark and all the lights would be on. We did and it was very cool.

We decided to head back over to Westminster and get some night shots of the landmarks. We did get some great ones and then headed back to the hotel.

Which is when things got interesting.

I waited in the lobby for Bart to come back from Guys and Dolls. While I waited one of the girls on the team came back and said that her purse had been stolen when she was out. She wasn’t as upset about the purse or the cash as she was about her camera and her pictures, including some of me, Sheryl, and Kinsey. I completely understood how she felt. It made the night a bit more traumatic.

Bart and I ended up going out anyway and talked about a lot of things. It was a great time and I was glad we had the chance to do that. We went back to the hotel and I had another conversation with another member of the team for a while. I don’t know how much it helped, but I tried to be a listening ear.

We have taxis for tomorrow to take us to Heathrow, so since it’s 1:45, I’m going to try and get just enough sleep to be ready for tomorrow.

Sunday 23 October

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