Friday, July 19, 2013

London Bates-Treleaven Travels Part 2

This is Marcia again. I just posted all the 'good' things that have happened since we arrived in London 24 hours ago. Now for the bad things...

It is impossible to sleep on the plane. Gabe and I tried several times to close our eyes, but we both kept peeking at each other and giggling. So no sleep was to be had, and we arrived at 8am London time.

When we got to the Best Western Hotel, Wyona (my mom) had switched to a family room in the basement. It was larger than our original two rooms, but Gabe was aghast at how small the bathroom was. When you sit on the toilet, your knees touch the sink plumbing, and the sink is the size of a tissue box. There is a very small shower in the corner and the shower head is no higher than 5 feet. If you stand in the middle of this bathroom, you can touch all four walls. Cozy for sure.

It is so hot here. It is hot on the tube, on the new busses, in the hotel, in the airport... but it is supposed to cool off in the next few days. Can't wait.

We had a 3 hour nap at the hotel, but then Wyona woke us up at 1:30pm. Gabe and I would have slept the day away if she hadn't. As it was, he was hard to wake up, and when he did, he woke up with a tummy ache. I went to the matinee show 'Once' while Gabe and Wyona went to 'Billy Elliot'. Can't say anything bad about those to shows, they were so entertaining. I did get a little nervous just before the show when I went to look for my money wallet and couldn't find it. I was a little bit sick to my stomach, and then I remembered taking it out at the hotel room and not putting it back in my purse. Oh well, as least I had my show ticket and a drink and snack in my purse for the Interval.

I went to Trafalgar Square to meet up with them, and they didn't show up for 45 minutes. My mom had forgotten the evening tickets for Merrily We Roll Along, so she and Gabe went back to the hotel before meeting me. He kept telling her to call me on the cell, but that is too expensive and we both know there is nothing the other person can do anyway. Funny how available we all are with our phones and texting. It is really fun to hang out in Trafalgar Square and watch the people and the traffic. Those cyclists weave in and out of traffic. I saw so many things that would have caused many vehicle honks in Calgary, but didn't phase the drivers or riders here.

We couldn't find a place that Gabe would eat at, he is sometimes quite picky. We were hunting for that ever elusive McDonalds, but found a Burger King instead. Not my first choice, but the fruit smoothie was good.

Then we were nervous about making our next show and the bus wasn't showing up, so we hailed this 'rickshaw' driver (for lack of a better word, not sure what they are called), and he drove us to the show. Gabe was on my lap since it was a little squishy. We were laughing so hard out of fear and embarrassment... packed in like that and being in bumper to bumper traffic with the busses, cars and cyclists. Three minutes down the road, and Wyona realized we were headed to the wrong theatre. We checked the tickets, the driver pulled out his phone to check where that was (I had a mild coronary watching him peddle and check his phone map at the same time) and we realized it was back where we had started. The massive coronary came a moment later when he did a u-turn in traffic! I just had to numb myself and close my eyes, it was so crazy!!! And no one honked at us. I just couldn't believe it. A wide rickshaw being driven in the narrow spaces between vehicles. Oh if only I had had my video camera out. I was trying to keep my 11 year old from falling off my lap into traffic. He drove us back to where we started (literally), we through him 5 pounds for his troubles, then ran. We ran past the Burger King we ate at, then past a McDonalds (!!), and right around the corner from the McDonalds was the theatre for Merrily We Roll Along.

It was 7:27pm and the show started at 7:30pm, so we rushed in, showed our tickets at the entrance, then again at the dress circle door, and ran in to this empty theatre! As my mom was saying "When does this start", I was checking the tickets and realized they were for 2:45pm. We had matinee tickets instead of evening tickets! Oh my! Exhaustion and the frantic last 20 minutes made me want to cry, but we laughed instead. Honestly, there was only 3 other people sitting in the theatre at that time. One of the fellows sitting in the theatre told us he thought it started at 7:30 as well, but he looked at his ticket when he arrived and saw it was a 7:45pm start time instead (he probably thought we were crazy for not looking at our own tickets for the start time). We laughed about rushing, we laughed about the 2 ushers we showed our tickets to not seeing the time, and we laughed about the mix up in theatres. W didn't dare leave the dress circle area just in case on reentry an usher would see we had the wrong time. Five minutes before the show started the seats started to fill up. We hung out at the back and took seats in the back row just as the show was starting. It was a fantastic show.

I was happy to get back to the hotel that night to find my wallet right where I had left it. We laughed again at all that went wrong. Gabe fell asleep at about 1 a.m. and Wyona and I kept talking. At 1:45 a.m. Gabe woke up and wanted me closer, so Wyona had this wonderful idea to move the beds around. Now my family knows how important Wyona's environment is to her. She moves furniture (I mean, has us move furniture) around every few months. There I was, executing her new bed arrangement... going from single, double, single to single, single, double so that Gabe and I could sleep side by side on the singles. I didn't completely clear the path of shoes and purses, so the single bed got stuck at the foot of the double bed. Not to mention that the room was just wide enough for the length of the double and the width of the single. It was a nightmare. At one point Wyona said "maybe we should just sleep like this" with the T-shaped bed arrangement and the beds blocking one side of the room off from the other. Laughing and crying again, we got it all set up properly. Of course, thinking it through afterwards, we realized we should have just slid the single and double together, and then had Wyona sleep on the single on the outside. But that would have just been too easy. As it was, Gabe reached out for me several times in the night, probably a time-change-induced restless sleep. But he was still asleep at 9 a.m. when I came to the foyer to right this blog.

As always, loving London. Here for my 3rd time and still can't get enough. I wonder what adventures this next day will bring.

Cheers, Marcia

3 comments:

  1. That first day was just tooo full of stuff. Wyona here! I had been to five shows in three days. Jet lag is still hanging on and that is why I was mixed up with theatres and times. But when I saw that I was at the theater for the evening show and out tickets were for 2:30, I just told Marcia to be quiet and find a seat. The show did fill up except for the back three rows and they were spotty.

    The next night as I was leaving with Gabe for the 7:30 p.m. 'Chocolate Factory', he looked at me and asked me if I was sure that the time was 7:30 p.m. and not 2:45 p.m. Cheeky Kid! Marci went to the 5:00 p.m. matinee of 'Bodyguard' and then she had 10 minutes to get to 'Chocolate Factory'. She made it one minute after the show started.

    No shows today.

    Marcia and Gabe did St. Paul and Hamley's and I did Portabello. I won!

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  2. So glad you are having a fantastic time and I am doing my best to keep the jealous part of me sedated. I did have a long and lovely time there myself. Keep going. You can sleep when you get back!

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  3. And now I can no longer remember who it was that said, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life".

    London, an exquisite pleasure. I am there in spirit as well.

    Wyona, I forgot to tell you to bring me five more of those light silk scarves that we found in Hong Kong for $12 each. Only pick out the best patterns.

    Marcia, thank you for all of that typing. I feel as though I should pay for part of your tickets, if not plane tickets, at least theatre tickets, the reading was so fun. The singing line from Pygmalion seems to fit here, "Get me to the church (or theatre, as the case may be,) in time."

    Arta

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