Monday, November 12, 2007

First Night in London

10/13/2007 - The plan was to take the Picadilly line underground to our bed and breakfast, the Jesmond Dene across from Kings' Cross station. However, Mary had arrived 6 hours before Haley and me, and in addition to purchasing Oyster tickets (preloaded tickets for the underground) she found an article in the London paper that author Terry Pratchett was autographing books at a science fiction store in Covent Garden. Mary's son is a big fan of the books, so we made an unscheduled stop at the bookstore to get autographed books for him. The line was long . . .

But the author was charming and the time spent talking to people in line and taking turns checking out the nearby shops made time go by fast. After that we hailed a black English taxi, squeezed into the one seat with all of our luggage, and hung on while the taxi driver duplicated Mr. Toad's Wild Ride through London traffic across town to the Jesmond Dene. . The bed and breakfast turned out to be very cozy with a friendly staff person who helped us muscle our suitcases down a curving, narrow staircase to our room, downstairs right next to the cheery breakfast room.

We were still on L.A. time and ready for bed after unpacking, but we walked through the neighborhood to find dinner at a local Italian restaurant. Then it was back to the hotel to finally sleep!

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