Visiting the "Mother City" and more...

Visiting the "Mother City" and more...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Great day in Britian

June 24, 2010
o530 am London
No longer feeling like we hadbeen run over by a double decker. Tanja and I had a wonderful day of lessons. The education started immediately upon picking up and reading the breakfast menu at a nice establishment. Pardon our lack of knowledge, but the word "bloomer", which only brings to mind a pair of pants that are worn on your body[made us chuckle]... Well our vocabulary now was expanded to include this very common term used in restaurants, to mean simply toast ( *yes, like the bread). Oh boy, this was just the beginning of our British English lessons, for the day. We smartly moved into the Underground Subway system shamefully hiding our faces, only to be directed by the PA system to "alight" at the following station.

What? Huh? we asked each other, while following the others off of the train.
[I totally feel like a heel, not knowing such basic English terminology. Please respond, if this is your first time hearing this word.] Ok, back to the day.

Our day began at a house of worship. The infamous St. Paul Cathedral was super cool. Although not Catholic, we were astonished and floored, by the sheer beauty of this building and its artwork built in 1666, after the great London fire.
In more recent times the church has been the setting for: a speech that Martin Luther King Jr. gave just prior to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in 1964.

It may also be remembered for the opulent wedding that I, and most of the America stayed up all night to watch on tv in 1981.[OMG , I was only eleven years old back then.} The ceremony of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer... I was fixed to the screen, seeing the newlyweds "alight"
[to come down from or to exit from] from their royal carriage and walk into this massive church, for all of the pomp and circumstances.

I will not continue with a history lesson but, I was quite enamored. There are at least some 15 notable persons from history that even I personally found to be familiar; entombed in this architectural and historical landmark. The crypt below holds too many war hero's to bore you all with, but just seeing names like: the Duke of Wellington, Florence Nightingale, and Lord Nelson was down right cool !!!
Finishing up the tour, we challenged ourselves and got a free work out in, by climbing all 528 stairs to the roof terrace of the dome structure (some 370 feet) into the London skyline.
Did I ever mention that I am afraid of heights?
The rest of the day consisted of visiting other well known land marks, which everyone visits or sees when coming tothe citythat features the crown jewels.
Feel free to reminisce about your trips here while enjoying the pics. All of this was done to a fantastic 87 * F temperature backdrop. Tomorrow is a flying day... South Africa here we come!
TMZ was not around, but one table away from us during our morning breakfast sat Venus and Serena Williams parents.They both said a polite good morning, as I fought the urge to say good morn'n back to them for todays match... I merely ended up saying G'morning and sipped my tea trying not to stare.
The current time is 11:00 pm gmt Good Night!

With Love,
Bill (Tanja is getting her beauty rest)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

... In need of a massage and a nap

We arrived early this morning [UK time] after taking the red- eye from Chicago. Although the Queen mum was not available to have tea with us, we had a fantastic English lunch consisting of our favorite weekly meal, Indian Food.

Of course, we missed our gym work out today, so we decided to go for a walk, through one of the many wonderful parks in the South Kessington region. Acting like the typical tourist, in the city that boasts the River Thames; we took photos and walked dangerously into traffic several times. Just remember to look right first, before crossing any intersection.

Finally, Tanja decided to call it a day/night.
I am sitting here typing around 9pm GMT... Tanja has showered and melted into the bed. I am going to join her in the fine idea as she has begun to breathe softly with her eyes closed.

I would like to remind folks, that the only reason why we came to Europe was to battle jet leg for South Africa. I must leave this disclaimer, that this is not a travel blog about where go to while in London, but rather more of a non forced adjustment for our bodies and mind in relationship to time.

The London eye is wide open, but our eyes are half shut, due to us fighting off our jet leg. Until tomorrow friends and family!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The bags are packed.

After 2 years and almost 5 months of planning, the time has finally arrived to go to South Africa. Looking back, I have noticed that I may be a bit off the scale in terms of "normal" when you hear the story of how much time, I actually put into winning this lottery just, to purchase the initial seats.

I set my alarm for 2am. on Feb 20th, 2009. This is where the determination goes beyond most individuals. I spent the next 5 hours straight pounding refresh, on my home computer screen and on a separate laptop.
Pining to see the Fifa Championship, with feelings of discouragment set in around the 3 hour mark. Sigh, I made a cup of tea... Then closer to 5am cst, knowing that the whole world was still trying, I began to lose doubt. Surely I thought; by now the 88,460 seats for the Soccer City in the Joburg venue must be sold out. I wanted to throw in the towel. I personally believe that most "rational" individuals would have given up at that point, but thanks to my "stalker like" firmness, I sought out my former lover; the most popular game of the world.

Long story short, at appoximately 7am[cst] I got in on the laptop link...Next>>> total jubilation as I screamed, jumped up and pinched myself. All of this activity scaring my Tanja, who usually has very subtle morning rituals of greeting the sun with her yoga practice and then having a fruit smoothie... Meanwhile I was dancing like the 14 yr. old at their first concert.[** my childhood flash back to 1984 Michael Jackson and the Victory Tour, a shout out the good ole' days.]

I repeated the same computer scenario set up later in that week. I was fortunate to be able to purchase with only 10 mins of invested time two other games. I felt that it would be a shame to visit South Africa and only visit one city. Our final schedule of events will weave us from the "Mother City" of Capetown through the wine country, climbing table mountain, touching the cape point penguins and finishing up on the garden route in Port Elizabeth. Aside from soccer, we will attend Africa's largest art festival and visit a Big 5 game reserve. A trip and dream of a lifetime for my lovely wife and I.

Please stay tuned and feel free to comment.
Next stop, London.