Monday, October 16, 2006

Shafted in London

Now one might think that finding a converter would be an easy endeavor. After all - this is a city of 8 million people and I am sure one out of every 4 Canadians have been to England at some point in their life. Not to mention that we can't be the only gong shows who have ever misunderstood the requirement of energy conversion . . . . but NO!! Not a one!! So here we sit with frizzy hair yet again - in fact the guy next to us had to move over our hair was so big it kept blocking his computer screen!!!

Not only were we shafted on the converter but also at St. Paul's. On these lovely little tour companies called The Original Tour - apparently you have to "stop drop and roll" off the second floor of the double decker as standing next to the driver breathing in his ear and pointing to the main attraction does not indicate that you want to get off. Perhaps Fran was whispering sweet nothings to him instead!! And then there was West Minster Abbey - apparently Sunday is still a sacred day some places and the Queen's church is one of them. But you will be proud of the way we navigated our way on foot from the one stop over to West Minster Abbey and on to Buckingham Palace. This was certainly a safer bet as our driver was so crazy that I am sure the bus was up on two wheels for a couple of the corners and Fran found herself at the bottom of the stairs during one rocket launch off the line. As Fran is laughing over here - picture Otto from the Simpson's and you might begin to have a clue of the fear we experienced. The London Dungeon has nothing on this gentleman!! Oh well at least we have round number 2 in London.

By the time we arrived back at our hotel (after seeing the night lights on Oxford St and a couple of cool pics to show later) we were starving and so set off to enjoy the local Indian restaurant. This was not to be - shafted again due to it being Sunday!! Curses!! However, it gave us the opportunity to wander around our area a bit and find another delightful little Indian restaurant. The food was quite yummy and as usual we ordered enough for another 10 people - Yorgo you would be proud!! number of people plus one baby!! but we certainly are on the quest for the ultimate Butter Chicken as that was not it :(!! And Fran managed to get through an entire meal with not looking like the tablecloth by the time it was all said and done - not one stain on her shirt!! (You should have seen her after the train wreck flight - her white sweater was very sexy!!)

Now one would think we had been shafted enough for one day . . . but No!! We needed to get a hold of Missy to arrange to meet up with her. Well apparently London has some funky dial tone which got us nowhere in our room, to some strange man on the payphone that hung up on Fran as soon as she asked for Marcus (guess we had the wrong number - oops) and finally led to the bartender dialing for us on his cell phone (certainly some pleasant people on our travels so far!) and getting the same wrong number - oops again!! But as Fran says, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then - our persistence paid off and we have a tea date with Missy at Suffrages on Friday!! Yeah!!

Okay - I am somewhat reluctant to hand the keyboard over to Fran after her incessant ranting yesterday but we weren't flying with Air Canada today so here goes nothing. Hold on everyone - Fran is about to let loose - yikes!!

So after repacking our suitcases and trying to figure out if we wanted to take both of our bags or leave one behind in storage, we headed off for bed, around 11ish. After waking up at 2:30 I was glad when the alarm finally went off at 4:00 and I could actually get up. Apparently we should have brought only 1 bag each as we had to pay extra baggage (54 pounds each - Jules says to tell you Shane - she doesn't want to hear I told you so buster!!)

So after breakfast off to the plane we go. We managed to figure out the video portion of the camera and thought about striking up some fancy lotus poses, but decided to wait for a more opportune moment like in front of the Eiffel tower. As we are boarding, there is a man in the row in front of us who whacks his head on the overhead baggage compartment (twice on the way in and once in the way out) and of course I try not to laugh, but I can see the flight attendant looking at me and I know that he knows that I know and I bust out laughing. Plus there is a man next to me who is the size of Jules and I put together who is now praying that he had a different seat elsewhere, especially after the flight attendant gives me his little "I know your secret smile". What can I say...someone else's pain is our gain.

But we make it to Paris in one piece and all is well. As I'm thinking about how excited I am to be here a little boy walking behind us who is yammering about how excited he is to be here. Picture in your best Coronation Street voice...we're in Paris, yup this is definitely Paris. Which was exactly what we were wanting to say, but because we're 30 and not 5 we would look like idiots. After picking up our luggage we are off to find a shuttle to take us to our hotel. While I am waiting for Jules outside of the washroom, I see a soldier with a semi-automatic weapon. Interesting...so later when we hear a massive explosion....smell the powder...walk on the bits of broken plastic....it was really nothing to worry about. Just a routine check. Thanks for the warning.

Okay I am back - and Fran didn't get a chance to tell any embarassing stories on me :)

It was finally off to our hotel. We dropped the other passengers off first and so were able to catch a close up look of the Arc, see the Eiffel tower, drive through the adorable streets with the cute little flower window boxes and plan out our next few places to eat - okay I think we are going to have to delay our flight and buy two seats for each of us on the way home. They will be charging us for excess baggage if we eat at all the wonderful places we have seen. The driver was pretty entertaining and gave us lots of tips on where to hit up over the next four days. Our hotel is all right. You have to know with Fran and I travelling together we are guaranteed to find at least one semi - dive and it looks like this is it. The room is pretty small - two twin beds side by side with 2' on either side of the bed and the closet is our washroom. Alas - we are in Paris, as if we are going to be in our room for longer then need be anyways!!

Later - places to go, people to see, food to eat . . .

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