My Vacation Diary

December 14-15

Tom and I left Chicago, United Airlines Flight 955, 7:20 (40 minutes late, thank goodness, since we couldn't get a taxi from Hyde Park; we drove Tom's car and left it in long-term parking at O'Hare). Arriving ON-TIME in London (thank you, United), we took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station, then a taxi to the Albany Hotel (in the Bloomsbury district), where we could leave our bags until the keys for our rental flat were available at 2:00.



Where does one go in Bloomsbury to kill time? After walking around the neighborhood, we headed to the British Museum. The week before I left Chicago, I had read an article about the opening of the new "Great Courtyard" at the BM, so we decided to check it out. I think the proper term is GRAND.

We went back again later to view the Elgin Marbles and the Rosetta Stone.

Having gotten very little sleep for the past two nights (excitement, and then the flight over, not to mention Tom's car woes in Indiana and the Chicago snow), we were both dead on our feet by the time we picked up the keys at Apartment Services Ltd. We hefted our bags in the direction of 15 Doughty Street, to discover we were just across the street from the Dickens House Museum.

It was a wonderful street of row houses with grand entrances. I was quite amused by the "pay point" parking meters: one per street; you put in your coinage for up to two hours, then display the printout on your car's dashboard. No ugly parking meters to mar the streetscape!

Just a few blocks away were Safeway, grocery store home of the "Mushy Pea," and more pubs than you could shake a stick at. My favorite nearby location, of course, was "Fryer's Delight"--the best fish and chips around.


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