It has been an exhausting 24 hours since we left Lexington. Well, a little more at this point.
Yesterday I spent the day preparing to leave, getting the house ready, packing preparing the kitties who, I must say were not happy. Well, Sheba was not happy. She recognized that I was probably leaving and Suri . . . well Suri, was oblivious. Mostly underfoot, she quizzically engaged me knowing that something was not right but, she couldn’t quite determine what. Well, I guess she knows by now – sorry Melanie (my house sitter). I feel certain she will recover and immediately begin terrorizing Sheba again without delay.
I finished everything, went to pick up my colleague, Christina and Terry graciously took us to the airport but, not before Christina got acquainted with the new kitten.
The trip from Lexington to Charlotte was uneventful even if the plane did leave considerably late making us run for our connection to London.
Happily, we made it and breathing a sigh of relief settled in for the almost 8 hour flight. I am terrible on long flights. I can’t sleep and this one was no different. It was cold and the monitors on our row didn’t work. I made every effort to rest but to no avail.
We arrived on time in London, found our way through the longish passport control line and were admitted to the city. The quick ride on the Heathrow Express brought us into Paddington Station and a quick taxi ride got us to our new accommodations at Ramsey Hall in the University College of London. The facility is a dorm room for an urban college and it has seen better days but, it is serviceable and besides I don’t expect to be in it much anyway.
We, of course arrived well before check in time, left our luggage and made out way out for lunch and to take care of business. Christina set a break neck pace and I kept up. We went for lunch at Pret a Manger. Nice sandwich and we were back on the trail of picking up tickets and getting re-acquainted with the city. On the way to the National Theatre, we came across this new attraction, a new play opening about the boy wizard. A number of our students are hoping for tickets but, we understand it has sold out for months. There is hope and a lottery I believe so, maybe one or two will get lucky.
We stopped at the Garrick Theatre to get the tickets for our first production, Romeo and Juliet which is one of the last productions of Kenneth Branagh’s new company. At the National, we picked up tickets for the three shows we are seeing there and then sat down to enjoy the many changes to the theatre since we were there two years ago. It was relaxing on the terrace. The weather was beautiful, a breeze blowing of the Thames River and we almost immediately felt the wear of the trip to London.
Somewhere on the trip down, we picked up our tube passes so, we made our way to Waterloo Station and caught the train back up to Ramsey Hall so, we could officially check in and get settled.
By then it was dinner time and Christina suggested Franco Manca around the corner. They make a sourdough pizza that is excellent but, as you can see Christina was about ready for bed.
First, we had to make a trip down to Covent Garden to the Apple store. Computer issues you know. On the way we encountered London at 5 pm on a Friday evening.
The pubs were packed and patrons lazily enjoying a brew or two or three.
Covent Garden and the streets were packed with people enjoying the buskers and a beautiful evening in this busy city.
As we headed back to the hall, I saw an advertisement for a new production of Guys and Dolls with a startling addition to the cast beginning June 28.
I didn’t see that coming. Tomorrow, we hope to see a show before the students arrive.