The Fuzi London Report

All the pix for this page can be seen here.

Thursday, Dec 1, 2005.

Again, learning my lesson on not leaving butt early in the morning, got to the airport at 4:00 in the afternoon for a 6:55 flight. After a few text messages of ...
             Christine: "Where are you?"
           Me: "At the airport."
           "What gate?"
           "I've changed my mine, I’m going home"

           "Just kidding!"
           "NOT funny".
Christine finally caught up.

Once on the plane, the stewardess handed out traveler registrations cards. This was the first of many hilarious exchanges with Christine.
            "Are we suppose to fill this out?"
           "No, it's just a test to see if you can hold on to it for 8 hours".
We laffed and laffed and laffed; 'we' being 'she'.

The flight was only 1/2 full on the way out, so lots of empty seats around to least that's the theory. Until, a really big guy decides to take the row behind me and bumps my seat and snore all through the flight. Ultimately I dozed, occasionally getting my foot smacked by the food cart, and get glared at for bumping Christine's chair one to many times.

Friday Dec 2.

When traveling abroad, first thing you gotta to is stop doing math. For instance, the last thing you want to do is…
           "hmm... It's 9am... so it's really 3am Texas Time. That's why I feel like $#;+".
Once landed, we had to go through the "Did you pack your stuff yourself?" "What is the nature of your visit?" "How long are you staying in the UK?" "What is your name?" "What is your quest?" "What is your favorite colour?"

Amy met us at the airport. She was so happy to see us. Something about London is full of foreigners with strange accents. So off we go, getting a ticket to ride the train, and the tube and traverse the greater Croydon metropolitan area. And on to the B&B, Kirkdale House, more like Fawlty Towers. Being the newbie I had to figure out how to work the steam heater. I never did get it to work. Had to go downstairs and ask Manuel. Once he turned the steam on to our room, I felt less stupid. Oh, and the 'off' position for switches is 'on' and vice versa. Then the next hilarious exchange.
            "Do you hear a high pitched whine?"
           * looking straight at me *
           "All the time!"
We laffed and laffed and laffed; 'we' being 'she'.

It's like I asked if my MasterCard works over there. I was informed it wouldn't ...
“No, Mastercards do not work in London. Neither do cars or light bulbs. Make sure you bring plenty of heating oil and a couple candles, and some hay for the horses. Actually, we may have to buy that at the airport b/c we can't take it on the plane. The heating oil that is, not the hay. Hay fits in the overhead compartment.”
We laffed and laffed and laffed; 'we' being 'she'.

After a quick nap so Amy could show up at work for an hour, we ventured out. Time for lunch and learnin some Engrish. It's not a "fanny pack". And the word is "trousers". "Pants" is women's underwear. (Which would make the Wallace & Gromit movie “The Wrong Pants” an entirely different movie ;) ) I thought, dang, wouldn't it be easier to fix the stupid thing instead of just painting a sign that the toilet is disabled (pic)? Had my first bangers and mash. These Brit cholesterol levels have GOT to be off the charts. At the end we asked for the 'bill'. If you ask for the check, they think you want them to write you a check for money. Works for me.

Then on with more sight seeing. The plan was see stuff, then possibly hook up with the London Friday night skate. But being cold and drizzly all evening, the skate was cancelled. Got some nice pics of Buckingham Palace (pic), Big Ben (pic), Parliament and Westminster Abbey(pic)(pic). Then back through the tube. I SWEAR half my time in London, was spent underground...WAY under ground (movie). And I think I'll have better luck working on my quantum physics project of creating dark matter by way of cold fusion, before I ever figure out that tube system. Amy and Christine are pros so I just followed along.

There was a chance to see a taping of a British comedy “My Hero" at the BBC. And I thought COOL!!! What I actually thought was "zneet zneters zneet", but you'd have to have seen the show to understand that. But turns out we couldn't get tickets. Bummer.

So I said let's shop. So we magically wound up at Harrods (pic)(pic). That place was packed. Lots of Christmas stuff. And that was the odd thing. There wasn’t a lot of exterior illuminations on the houses or steets. Found one lonely decoration (pic). Either too much bah humbug or just too early.

And from there, we went to the TX Embassy (pic) (pic). (No idea why the star is upsidedown (pic)). From 1836 to 1845 TX was a country, and had an embassy in London. Now it's a Tex-Mex restaurant. Ah, capitalism. So we went in there and had overpriced margaritas. I was sent to fetch them. So I bellied up to bar.
            "Canna help ya mate?"
           "Well, son, I'sa got a hankerin for some mar-ge-reee-tas."
After being looked at funny, and setting Anglo-Texan relations back 100 years, I supplied my chickas with some ritas. Upstairs lots of old and new Texas flags. Seems fitting the A&M flag was bigger than the u.t. one. Whoop!! Aggie!!

While checking out the souvenir shop, met a chick from Midland.
            "Been here long?"
           "Nope, just fer the weekend"
After that moseyed on back to the B&B to crash. Only 1 *bed kick*-“SNORING!!” Incident.

Saturday Dec 2.

Ok, Brit culinary choices are bizarre. Imagine runny sunny side up egg with an orange yolk, toast, some nasty Sunny-D juice, some Van Decamps baked beans and mushrooms for breakfast. Mmmmm that'll get ya going.

Off for site seeing. Packed a bag with helmets and pads to catch up and skate with a group at 3pm for their version of SAG.

First stop St Paul's cathedral (pic) (pic). At this point we decide better call THE Paul(pic) (movie)to see how the Adolphus Parade is going.
"Hey Paul. Oh sorry. It's only 5am there isn’t it. Oops. Well you'll be on time then."
{Donna, consider yourself lucky, you were gonna get a call to, but that's a expensive wake up call ;) And I hear it still didn’t help him get there on time ;) }
We go check out the gift shop. So what happens when you get buried in 1785 (pic)? You become a post card holder(pic). We then went up to the cathedral, after taking several pictures inside (pic)(pic)(pic)(pic)(pic) and THEN seeing the 'no pictures' sign and THEN seeing the £8 sign to get in, we decided to move on. After Queen Amy took a queeny pose (pic).

After walking a good bit and passing some folks who's fashion sense is WAY behind the times(pic)(pic), we hop a boat (pic) to cruise up the Thames to Greenwich. Along the Thames you get a good view of the London eye [440 foot ferris wheel] (pic) (pic) , Big Ben (pic) , Parliament, and, of all things, London Bridge (pic) . Also some rubbish (pic) . Also the reconstructed Globe Theater (pic) . Also, the pub where Captain Kidd was arrested. And the tower of London where Captain Kidd was executed. Cool huh? By the way, the Thames was freakin cold ;)

Unloaded at Greenwich. And to make us feel right at home, was Café Sol "real Tex-Mex" (pic) . We opted for pub food instead. Some yummy beef & ale pie & fish n chips & beer & bread n butter pudding & carrot cake. Yes, we suffer on these trips. So we're chatting. And this elderly lady from Edinburgh and her son inquired from whence we hailed.
            "We're from Texas, mam"
           "Oh really? I had thought from Canada"
           (wft!! Sorry James, but Canada?!?!? :) )
           "So on a long holiday?"
           "No just the weekend."
           "Oh my goodness!!" which translates to "Daaaaaaaaaaam!!"
After a couple points and the chickas turned in a bunch of lazy cows (pic) (pic) . At this point I had had enough of being drizzled on. All last night and all today. So I’m buyin a freakin umbrella. And guess what?! IT DIDN’T RAIN ON US THE REST OF THE FREAKIN TRIP!!!

Anyhoo, we ventured up to the observatory to check out the prime meridian. Also, at this point deciding we probably aren't going to make the 3pm skate. Being a GPS geek, this was really cool, seeing 000° 00' 00" (pic) (pic) . They also had this green laser that shoots down along the hill showing the meridian (pic) (pic) (pic) . So we took several shots straddling the eastern and western hemispheres (pic) (pic) .

Then back to Greenwich for more shopping. Went to a booth of Christmas stuff. And chatted with the shopkeeper.
            "You are from somewhere from the south?"
           "Why yes we! Not any where near Canada".
Later on, had to potty. I think I will send an email and thank them for there wonderful potties (pic) .

Lots of interesting stuff at the market there. Someone at the white elephant party at Donna's was gonna wind up with a can of haggis, but £20 was a bit much. Plus the American laws of importing hazardous cargo and just plain bad food would have prohibited it. But Amy & Christine were on a quest. So we ventured to Regent's street. Holy crap that was crowded. It's a wonder no closterphobic folk live in London. That was the first Christmas stuff I saw. But even that had a tie-in with the movie Ice Ace II (pic) . I found a sign that seemed fitting for some critters I know (pic) . {just kidding bro!}. Once we acquired the sought after item {that will be making its debut at the previously mentioned white elephant party} we headed back to Croydon. "Mind the gap" "Mind the gap" all I ever heard. Found out the 'gap' is between the train and the platform (pic) . I said I was a newbie.

So a brief siesta, and then on to dinner. Amy came by w/ a bag of stuff to bring back. Wonder what kinda stuff we gotta mule for her. Lots of chocolates, but um...hmm.... I don’t think they made it back Yea that's it...they Confiscated. Yea, that’s it.

The last meal of the day, Zizzi's Italian. While waiting I bellied up to the bar. This time I didn’t have a hankerin.
            "A rum & coke please"
           "We don’t have rum"
  I point to a bottle of Bicardi...
           "Ok, how about a Bicardi and coke"
           "Oh ok".

Someone needs to take a refresher course at AIMS Bartending Academy. Also asked for a glass of water. It came with this one sad lil ice cube (pic) . Yummy calzone and a big red wine put me in the mood for a nap.

So back to the B&B. 2am, pillow comes flying across the room “SNORING!!” 5am I hear Christine in the bathroom filling up a water bottle
"holy crap, better stay awake now, or have to explain to Manuel I'm really not a bed wetter".
Later Christine said "you sure did get awfully quiet after that". We laffed and laffed and laffed; 'we' being 'she'.

Sunday, Dec 3.

Got up at 6am, hey that's only midnight. ;) packed up and caught a taxi to the airport.
            "So are you going home?"
           "Have a long holiday?"
           "How long were you here?"
           "For the weekend"
           "On business?"
Stop in a greasy spoon at the airport had to get one last 'traditional' brit breakfast. I STILL don't get the whole baked beans thing (pic) . Oof!!!! And wtf is this Marmite spread?!?! Looks like chocolate, but tastes like something died in your mouth. Oh mama, it’s bad.

Went through the process again on the way out of Gatwick airport.
            “What is your final destination?”
           “Do you have any electronic items with you?” [obviously not knowing who he’s talking to]
           “Um, iPod, cell phone, GPS, PDA, digital camera, another mp3 player…I think that’s it”
           “What is the relationship with the lady you’re with?”
           “I’m her biotch.” [ok, I didn’t actually say that, but it crossed my mind]
           “Ok, have a nice trip”
So now I’m on the plane killing 10 hours writing this report, while watching Wallace & Gromit’s “The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit” for the 3rd time, I'm thinking, I'd like some cheese. Mmmmmm Wynsleydale!!! And duty free bottle of Jack Daniels would make this flight go faster too.
Cheers, yall.

Final score
'Cheers'ed at= 5 times
A 'sorry luv' = 1 time
Snoring abuse:
    1 kick
    1 pillow
    possibility of one water bottle
'Daaaaaaaaaaam'=3 times
Lugging skates for 10,000 miles and never actually using them...priceless

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