Bringing the Crazy to Europe (now it's a trip report) updated 09/5 (all done)

Canadian Girl 77

Hoping for some pixie dust
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
March 14

I woke up before my alarm went off. DH and DD stayed and slept in while I took a taxi to the train station. The message had been from King’s Cross, so I headed there. I found the lost items area with a little help from Information. The man there looked for me. He couldn’t find it! I had him listen to the message on my voicemail. He looked again. We were both bewildered. I was verging on panic again. He suggested I go over the lost items at St. Pancreas station (they are next to each other). So, that is what I did.

Our passports were at St. Pancreas. I was so relieved when they handed me the pink pouch. Normally, you’re supposed to pay to get back a lost item, but he told me it was on the house. Thank you, kind man!

I took a taxi back to our hotel. Making sure our passports were locked tightly in my purse.

I was back at hotel by 9 a.m. Our stay included a complimentary hotel breakfast. So, we went and ate. The buffet was plentiful. Lots of options. It was nice.

After filing our bellies, we headed off. We took the tube to the Globe Theatre. We found the tube perfectly all right. Even made it to our stop without incident. I just had a little trouble navigating from the station to the theatre. So, we got a lot of exercise. Eventually we made it to the theatre. Just in time for the rain to start!

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We took the tour. It was quite awesome. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. After the tour, we spent a few pounds in the gift shop. Kid wanted a t-shirt and some Shakespeare manga books. DH wanted the Deadpool Shakespeare book. I was still so relieved that I didn’t have to spend the day at the Canadian consulate that I let them get whatever they wanted.

We decided to have afternoon tea at The Swan. It’s attached to the theatre. I am not a fan of tea or coffee. Honestly, it always just tastes like dirty water to me. But, I figured we needed to get the full English experience. We ended up getting one traditional English tea and two Gentleman’s afternoon teas. The food was great. Way too much for the three of us. I am glad that we got the Gentleman’s tea. We needed a little more substance. I also discovered that if you add sugar to the tea then it tastes like sweet dirty water. That is much more palatable.
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It was beautiful when we went back outside.

We decided to take the tube to the Doctor Who store and museum. It took a long, long time to get there. And it was not worth it. We didn’t buy anything. There was nothing we haven’t seen in every other comic book store. I didn’t go in the museum because they insisted I would have to leave my purse at the counter. Since the owner was hardly behind the counter and there were a fair number of people in the crowded store I declined. If they can’t trust me to do in their museum with my purse, why would I trust them with my purse containing all my money, credit cards and ID. Our passports were locked in our hotel rooms safe. DH and DD didn’t think the museum was impressive. While they were in the “museum” I was entertained by listening to the owner interact with other customers. One customer mentioned that it was hard to get to the store. He wished they were located in a more central London location. She argued with him that it was in central London and was very easy to get to. Yup. That happened too.

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That evening we shopped around the hotel. We had a very light, late dinner of Pret a Manger sandwiches in our hotel room. We were all quite exhausted. And relieved to have our passports.
 

Canadian Girl 77

Hoping for some pixie dust
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
March 15

This was our last full day of vacation!

After a lovely hotel breakfast we headed off for some sightseeing. Specifically, the Tower of London. We took the tube there and made our way over to the castle. I finally had the opportunity to use a pay toilet in England! It cost a pound but it wasn’t nearly as nice as the one in Paris.

We viewed the Crown jewels first and then took the first Beefeater tour offered. Along with everyone else in the world. Or at least that is what it felt like. Because it was windy, they took us to the chapel and held the 40-minute lecture there. It was very entertaining and informative. After that, we were sent on our way. We spent a lot of time checking out the crows.

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After we had gotten our fill of history, we decided to go shopping. The plan was to visit Fortum and Mason. Well, that was my plan. Of course, DH and DD’s feet were hurting. So, we ended up hailing a cab. He tried to drive us to Fortum and Mason but the Climate Change protest had caused a lot of streets to be closed. He got us as close as he could (still a 10-minute walk away) and we had a nice trek. On the way we decided to stop in a pub for a bite to eat.

We were able to get seats in the very crowded pub. We each ordered a toastie. They were tasty. The kid told us that the pub was giving her a bad vibe. It was crowded…with white, middle-aged and elderly business men. So, she was probably right to get the creeps.
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Fortnum and Mason was fun. We picked up a lot of different treats to bring back home. My favourite treat ended up being the fondant fancies. We bought a few counter treats and ended up bringing them back to Canada with us. I wish we’d had high tea there. Of course, that would have cost about 60 pounds each!
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We did a bit more shopping. The oddest thing happened in Marks and Spencers. We bought a bunch of items. The lady at the checkout was borderline hostile with us. Until she saw my passport. The change was ridiculous when she realized we were Canadian.

We had dinner in another pub. It wasn’t memorable. The kid and I were so done with pub food. But DH needed to have fish and chips. Understandably.
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In the evening we went to see a play. DD wanted to see Hamilton but it wasn’t possible to buy three tickets together. So, she picked Showstopper! The Improvised Musical. The play was fun. Not as good as the other play but it was fun. The play “we” wrote was a talent show set in the middle ages. It was called “The Axe factor”. DH didn’t love it as much as DD. But it was a fun way to spend an evening. After the play, we went to Sainsbury’s so I could stock up on Malteser buttons and blackberry pastilles. We took a taxi back to the hotel. Where I proceeded to spend an hour packing while my family went to sleep.

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Canadian Girl 77

Hoping for some pixie dust
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
March 16

The end of our trip was here. We woke up early and dragged our bags downstairs to catch the car we had prearranged to pick us up and take us to Gatwick. The trip was uneventful. Check-in was fine. There were a few hiccups while we tried to do the self serve check-in. But, we made it. We walked through the huge duty-free store and sat it the waiting area while we waited to find out what gate to go to. DD and I went and checked out the other shops while DH watched our carry-on bags. We bought a few things. I love that all the stores are duty free.

Around 9:15 a.m. the boards showed our gate and indicated that our flight was already boarding. That didn’t seem right since our flight was scheduled to leave at 10:45. But we headed to the gate anyway. And yes, they were boarding. So, we got to spend an extra hour on the plane. Hurray!

The flight was long and uneventful. Just very, very, very long. We finally arrived back in Canada. Customs didn’t take too long. I was unimpressed with the car that picked us up. I had prearranged it. Rather than being met at the door, we had to cart our luggage to the other end of the terminal and then wait for the driver to actually show up. And the driver ended up running a stop sign at the airport AND in our neighbourhood. We won’t be using them again.

Overall, our trip was great. DH didn’t enjoy Paris anywhere nearly as much as he thought he would. In fact, it is on his “been there, done that, don’t need to go again unless we just go to Disneyland Paris” list. DD discovered she actually likes shopping a lot more than she thought she did (and ended up buying 7 coats). Me, I liked the entire trip. It was great!

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pamcarey

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Great TR! Misplacing your passports must have been very stressful, but I’m glad they were found. I chuckled when you mentioned that you stayed at the Amba Hotel Marble Arch! We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel Marble Arch last week, and we had a fire alarm one night and our muster location was in the Amba Hotel! I found Marble Arch to be a great location for public transit!
 



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