After our day in Paris, we collapsed in our comfy bed at the hotel and slept until noon. Guess we were tired. :) After awaking and cleaning up, we took the tube to Westminster but didn't make it in time for the last entry of the day into the Abbey (pay attention and you'll notice a pattern in our day), so we just walked around and admired the outside and took lots of photos.
After wandering around a bit, we tubed over to the Tower of London. They were still open, but the last Yeoman Warder tour had already begun, so we just walked around, taking pictures.
Alex was totally psyched over being so close to Tower Bridge, so we walked over. And by "over", I mean to the bridge and over it. He thought that was just the coolest thing, ever. Go figure. Afterwards I did a little shopping in the Tower gift shop and while taking pictures of the City wall (part of the wall that surrounded the original Roman city of Londonium), a kind stranger offered to take what would be one of only 3 pictures of all of us together.
Since Alex had been so patient with all our tubing around without much real action, we decided to go on the Ferris wheel, AKA the British Airways London Eye. We tubed back to Westminster, walked over the bridge, and plunked down some poundage for the 30-minute ride. Not the best time for it as it was a rather dreary late afternoon, but...eh, who cares? We were 400 feet up, but we might as well have been in heaven as far as Alex was concerned. The low lighting, the glass of the bubble we rode in, and the misty weather combined for some not-so-hot photos, but you'll note that I haven't let poor photography stop me yet. ;)
Okay, so that last one is really blurry. But if you squint, you can pretend you are Mary Poppins floating over the city.
All-in-all, it could have been a dud day -- we didn't even leave the hotel until after 2pm and didn't actually go in the two major tourist spots we visited. But it was delightful -- we soaked in a lot of London atmosphere, took our time, and just enjoyed each other's company. We did, however, promise ourselves we would be at the Abbey at opening time the next morning. :)
For dinner we decided to try this place we'd read about in a couple of guidebooks, Ed's Easy Diner. It reminded me a little bit of Johnny Rockets, except without the good food. (eyeroll) One good thing came out of that outing, though: The diner was on the same street as the Prince Edward Theater, home to the current staging of Mary Poppins. We'd seen adverts for the musical, but I hadn't really thought seriously about it until I saw the theater.
A word about the hotel...I took a bath almost every night we were there (and then a shower most mornings), and the bathtub was sinfully deep. Thanks to the speedy taps, it filled very quickly (so quickly, that they leave a warning note about it, lest unsuspecting guests open the taps and then leave the room for 5 minutes). If I filled it as full as possible without triggering overflow drainage, the water level was too high for Alex to sit down in the tub -- it was more like a swimming pool for him. Turndown service was the most elaborate I've ever seen, but some nights they didn't arrive to perform this service until very late. Oh, and most days they left fresh fruit in the room for us. One afternoon we returned to find the strangest looking item. It was pinkish-grey and prickly on the outside. Inside the shell was a glistening white layer of...something that looked like a pearl onion but definitely wasn't...surrounding a brown, nutlike core. I can't remember what Joe said it tasted like, and something tells me that he would prefer I not wake him up right this moment to ask him about it.