Today we will be taking Barbie's sister Carol and her fianceé David on a Waste Tour of London. David has never been to London before, and has not even ridden the tube yet, and we have some plans for him. Get ready for too many pictures.
Carol and David met us at our hotel, and we started on our journey. Our first destination will be to visit the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. We have not seen it before, and Barbie and our guests are quite interested. Even if Lady Diana was not my cup of tea, I shall avoid crude and terrible comments at her expense.
Our hotel is located on the Southeast corner of Hyde Park, which means our first destination literally involves a walk through the park. It is the sunniest, most pleasantly beautiful day that you can imagine; a sunny day in London.
Hyde Park, and the contiguous Kensington Gardens, are as wonderful an urban park as you can find. It dates back to 1536 when Henry VIII acquired the land from manor Hyde. It remained a private space for the royals until Charles I opened it to the public in 1637.
There was hunger in our group, and we stopped for a bite to eat.
This boy would not stop crying about something that was too minor for his parents to bother caring about. He was finally told, "Keep crying and you'll get nothing at all." And he kept crying. I have heard this kind of behavior referred to as nature's birth control.
We then came to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. It was not what I expected at all.
Also, with people rushing in every direction, the above panorama came out particularly avant gardé, no? Half bodies, random feet, and floating torsos.
After a lunch and an hour's stroll, we were about to escape the park and enter the Underground, when we spotted a sign that said Peter Pan Statue laid by J. M. Barrie. I had no idea, but Kensington Gardens is the setting for J.M. Barrie's book Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, a prequel of sorts to the Neverland story. Barbie and Carol are big fans of Peter Pan, which means we are diverting course for the statue.
Sue me. I joked about Peter Pan's peter. The more lyrical version would be Peter Pan's Pecker. Yes, I quite like that one.
Barbie and Carol with the Kensington Gardens Peter Pan statue.
For the record, we checked with Carol and David if they had interest in The Beatles and would be interested in visiting Abbey Road. When they said that they wanted to check it out, I rushed back to the room and changed shirts.
Had it not been a warm, sunny day, I seriously considered coming here with my black sports jacket so that I could kick off my shoes and cross barefoot as Paul. Perhaps someday when I am old, or older, I will come here offseason and with a group of friends and truly recreate the album cover photograph. That would be epic. It just would.
There is the building where an unbelievable amount of history has been made. Not just by The Beatles, but by many other artists as well.
Back to the Tube!
Our next destination is Buckingham Palace, but first it is time for more foods. Two years ago we stayed at The Browns Hotel (loved it) and became attached to a pub across the street. Since we exited the Tube at Green Park, it was a quick detour for a great lunch.
My lunch, a Chicken and Ale pie. (This was GREAT.)
It is a short life, but a life of the greatest quality.
And now, Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you a very carefully premeditated and skillfully produced stop-motion extravaganza.
The Life and Times of A Pint of Guinness.
Time to pay a visit to the Queen's digs.
It is a good thing that Tracy reminded me yesterday to take more pictures with my feet. I had been forgetting to do this. And now I have done it to her Queen.
Next stop, St. Pauls' Cathedral.
And my favorite bit of history is that the Romans founded Londinium around the time Jesus was making some noise over in Judea. It took another thousand years for the medieval tribes of England and Scotland to develop their own kings, and it was not until 1603 that the Kingdoms were united under one monarch, and until 1707 that the England and Scotland were united into Great Britain. There. That was some history.
And with that, we called it a day. Carol and David had already seen Parliament/Big Ben/The Eye on the previous day, and tomorrow we can all head to Scotland knowing that David has gotten a genuine taste of London.
After some time to rest and clean up, we needed to head over to Carol and David's hotel, the Sofitel.
We went down to our valet and asked for a taxi. That is when we got a little surprise. The Four Seasons has a car for use by guests, and we were offered to ride in the hotel car instead of a taxi.
This marks the second time my behind has sat in a Rolls. The first was the car sent by The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong, on our honeymoon.
We walked over to dinner, and I spotted the following sticker in a car window.
And that wraps up dinner. I think both Barbie and I would encourage you to eat at Indian restaurants while in London.
We needed a final shot for the Waste, and we chose the meta-shot, as that is me actually working on the Waste. I shall now refer to my feet as zebra feet, because that dark and light bands across them will never go away. (Pronounce that, "zeh-brah," please.)