Monday, May 14, 2018

SIX DAYS IN LONDON, Part 1: Guest Post by Paige Arnold


Tower Bridge, London, England
My granddaughter Paige, age 12, spent six days in London with her parents during her spring break and kept a diary of her daily activities (a family tradition.) She has written them up in this blogpost. I am impressed with the number of things they did and the detail of her report. I thank her for her excellent writing! Part 2 will post next week.

My first day in London was very nice.  We rented an apartment near the London Bridge, which is in a very nice neighborhood.  It’s close to the tallest building in the U.K., the Shard.   
The Shard, London's tallest building, was designed by Renzo Piano and is 1016 feet tall
We walked around a bit, and ate dinner at a pub called “The Garrison Public House.” They had some classic English food like mushy peas and fish and chips.  It was great food. Before that we walked across the Tower Bridge, which is one of the many bridges crossing the River Thames. 
Fresh juice at the Borough Market
The second day, we went to the Borough Market. It’s a big market with many stands selling a variety of foods such as meat, fresh produce, and baked goods. To have lunch, we went to somewhere called Fish! in the market. There was lots of seating and great food. They even gave me and my dad a napkin and a little bowl of water with a slice of lemon in it, just in case we had greasy fingers from our lunch.
Tower of London
Later that day, we went to the London Dungeons. It was around 80% fun haunted-house-like and 20% historical.  It was fun, and there was a water roller coaster in the middle of the tour. They went over many subjects, such as the torture methods, the plague, and murderers. It was very realistic and neat to go through. Also, the tour guides were very good at acting. For dinner, we went to a restaurant named Sartoria.  It was really fancy and the food was super great and rich. The only problem was that it took a really long time for us to leave because they forgot to give us our check. 
At the Olympic swimming pool
On the third day, we went to the Olympic complex to swim. They have three pools: a competition pool, a training pool, and a recreation pool.  They are all very nice, and the competition pool has a good depth. Afterwards, I went outside into the enormous park to draw people.  
Climbing wall in park outside Olympic Complex
There was a playground, a climbing wall, and it was right next to a river which had boats you could rent.  Right across the river, there was West Ham United.  We spent around 1 hour 30 minutes there, and then went home. 
Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theater, London
That night, we went to Wicked, which was playing in the theater district. It’s kind of like the prequel to the Wizard of Oz that shows the Wicked Witch of the West’s backstory.  But, it was shown in a different format, with her going to high school.  It lasted about two hours, with a 15 minute intermission in the middle.  Before that, we went to an Indian restaurant called Simply Indian.  The food there was the best Indian food I have ever tasted, even though it was just this little hole in the wall place on a side street.
High Tea at Sketch
For the fourth day, we went to this place called Sketch for high tea.  It’s a modern restaurant with art posted all around where you eat.  They had really nice plates and cups and things that said random stuff on them.  For example, forget about it was written on the bottom of each teacup, ghosts was written on all the teapots, and it’s ok and it’s not ok were written on the sides of the little sugar bowl.  
Egg bathroom at Sketch. Inside each individual egg, forest music was playing.
But the coolest part of the restaurant was the bathroom.  Both the men and the women went through a door; then there was this giant fat egg thing in the middle of two curved staircases. Oh, and the whole bathroom (including the stairs and the giant fat egg) was pure white. The women went up the staircase on the right, while the men went up the staircase on the left.  Then comes the most interesting part. The toilets were inside eggs. There was a cluster of about 8-10 eggs on both sides.
National Portrait Gallery
After that, we went to the National Portrait Gallery. They had a lot of portraits of kings such as King Charles II and King Edward VII.  For dinner, we went to a pub called Trinity.  They had some very interesting food. My dad ordered whitefish fries, which we thought were deep fried pieces of whitefish, but they were entire fried mini-whitefish! My mom ordered fish and chips, which came with the fish’s skin and scales on. Overall, the food was good. I had a good time. 
Old London phone booth

Photos by Paige Arnold and Matt Arnold


Look for part 2 next week. 

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