And a good morning to you from across the Pond after a TRULY PERFECT Saturday in the Mother Country. Talk about a day of photos and memories!
So when we last chatted, Muffin Puffin and I were en route to Ozer for a 1:15 PM "breakfast." Sure enough, Ozer confirmed once again that they are THE GREATEST RESTAURANT ON THE PLANET. So get this - Ozer does "All Day Breakfast" on the weekends, complete with complimentary hot drinks (filter coffee, espresso, tea, hot chocolate), complimentary OJ's (Sunday only), and NO PRICE ON THE MENU. That's right - you pay WHAT YOU THINK THE MEAL IS WORTH - NO QUESTIONS ASKED. So Muffin and I had two GREAT cups of filter coffee whilst tucking into our eggs smothered in cheese and spiced Turkish sausage. Yeah, it was pretty much the greatest meal EVER.
After that, we made the walk down Regent Street (I just LOVE that walk) amidst GORGEOUS blue skies and white, puffy clouds. March weather has been NIGHT AND DAY different from February, and yesterday was honestly our first blue sky day in London since last November - needless to say it did TONS to lighten my mood.
From Regent we took some detours, wandering down new streets and seeing some new monuments before finally arriving at Buckingham Palace Road, where we were treated to a FANTASTIC display of colors in the form of both Union Jack and South African flags. As it turns out, further down the way were displayed ALL of the flags of the former colonies now turned nations, commemorating Commonwealth Day (which is tomorrow). And yes, in case anyone is curious, the US is the ONLY former colony who does NOT participate in the Commonwealth Games. Um, think we could bury the hatchet by now?
JT and I then wandered through St. James' Park, taking in the sights and watching all the birds in the water. For us it was truly a stroll down memory lane, as we thought about the first time we arrived in London, taking our inaugural stroll through the park after visiting the Imperial War Rooms (Churchill's Bunker). Mom - I distinctly remembered calling you from the bridge that had Westminster Abbey, Parliament, and the London Eye in front of me and Buckingham palace behind me. Such wonderful memories, and yesterday was EVERY BIT as glorious.
We then rolled over to cross off something on our "London to-do" list - the tower atop Westminster Cathedral (this is different from Westminster Abbey, as this is the Catholic church serving the borough). I simply must say that the hour we spent in there yesterday was MAGICAL.
For starters, we walked into a service in progress, and the place was PACKED. Secondly, incense was burning in the church, making it smell of pine and spices. Furthermore, the smoke from the incense gave volume and shape to the light streaming in from the windows above, and I think it's fair to say that it looked like God was truly smiling down on the congregation.
A unique facet of the church is that it's been a work in progress for over 150 years. The bottom half of the church is IMMACULATE, covered in red, green, and white marble, as well as tons of mosaics. On each side of the congregation are small chapels dedicated to various purposes or Saints, with my two favorites being the chapels of St. George (patron saint of England) and St. Patrick (um...I'm pretty sure you know this one).
Above the completed section, however, is old, grimy, smoked out brick. Basically, the church is in a state of constant construction, with the goal being to move through the work very slowly in order to grant myriad generations of future members the opportunity to assist with the completion and help to leave their signature on the sanctuary.
The last piece of it is the tower, which JT and I used to walk past every single day from our flat to London Victoria (for the ride to Bromley Vegas, baby). We rolled into the gift shop expecting to pay 3 GBP, but the price had now risen to 5.11! However, realizing that increase was the equivalent of ONE BEER, we figured it was worth it. I am happy to confirm that we were right. We were treated to some spectacular views of Westminster, and Jenny humored me by going experimental with the photos! Check out wife muffin's handiwork!
After that, we rolled up to Green Park, where we walked past the memorials. We watched the sunset over Wellington's arch, and then we hopped the tube to Leicester Square, where we hit our new favorite pub (R.I.P. Bear and Staff) - The Salisbury. This place is AWESOME. I mean where else can you get Deuchar's, Timmy, London Gold, and Bombardier all at the same bar? AMAZING!!!
I had a Timmy there (JT had wine) before walking over to the Fortune Theater, where we caught one more pint (Bombardier this time) before settling in for the evening's activity: "The Woman in Black." So back story - this is a show JT had been wanting to see and that I had LOVED in 2005 when visiting J-Wade. It's a ghost story, and it's CREEPY AS HELL.
We had GREAT seats, and Jenny really enjoyed the show. I'm happy to report that I jumped two or three times even though I knew what was coming - QUALITY.
After that, we walked along maiden lane and had an 11 PM curry - green chicken curry from Thai Pin to be exact. :-) It was SO GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUD (peppy cheekies).
We then caught the Bakerloo home, and we passed out around 1 AM (but we did manage to get up at 10:30 this morning in case anyone's scoring).
It's another GORGEOUS day out there, but MAN is it cold. Consequently, we'll be inside for a bit whilst Jenny books some Slovenia stuff, we do our taxes, and then we look at Italy. Mum - we're gonna book those flights today!
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat later today (most likely).
Sam and Jenny