I seem to be a big fan of those really quick trips to other cities. My most recent excursion was to join my dad in London for 2.7 days in London. I flew out of Naples on Friday afternoon and arrived back on Monday morning. It was fast.
During our stay, I first and foremost, crossed off another item on my 101 in 1001 list. #1: Go to London = Check. Yess!!! Also, in my goals for #76: Read 12 books in 2012, I started and completed The Testimony during my flight and am half way through The Descendents. But I digress!
On the top of my list from London was the Gershwin muscial, "Crazy for You," which we saw at the Novello Theatre near Covent Gardens (where they filmed the opening scenes from My Fair Lady. Bringing it full circle on musicals!). It was full of upbeat songs, bright, colorful costumes, dance numbers that left me grinning ear to ear and two glasses of a delightful Rioja. We saw the show and then strolled around the markets afterwards, noting how America lacks a strolling culture.
I haven't been on a trip with just my dad since 2001 when we were looking at colleges. This trip was decidedly more fun, involved less decisions about my future on a grand(e) scale and not quite so many hours in the car. Additionally, I am now 11 years older than I was on that fateful journey and it gave my dad and I some really great time to just hang out together without my mom, my sisters, the dog, the cat, the bird, etc. Sometimes you forget how it is to be with just one of your parents when you normal associate them with the family unit. We had such a good time together and got to explore the city, chat over a pint (or 2) and realize that we both turned out to be pretty cool people.
Just to make sure everyone knows that I'm still a freak in Europe, I had yet ANOTHER embarassing encounter with a shower. My dad even remarked, "What's with you and bathrooms in Europe?" Listen here, dad (and everyone else), bathrooms in Europe are confusing!! As is the scanner in my office, but that's an entirely different story. I find that I stare at the bathrooms in each hotel room in Europe for several minutes before committing to using them. My shower in England (both in Yateley and in Gatwick) mocked me openly with their seemingly easy operations. Oh no! They were not. At 7:15 AM on Saturday morning, with conditioner still in my hair but the scalding water boiling off about 10 layers of skin, I grabbed a towel and moved every knob (there were 3) in every direction. The water came out the spout, the water came out the shower head, the water was hot, the water was cold, the water boiled, never during this experiment, did the water turn off. Panic! I called my dad. Who laughed at me but wandered to my room and conducted the same experiment with the same results. Two Americans, one holding a Ph.D (I won't name names, but he was a nuclear engineer too. I mean, I can't be a complete idiot if he couldn't turn it off too!), were bested by a shower head dating back to 1988.
I thought I'd try to front desk. So I gave them a ring. And a ring and a ring and a ring. "My gosh! Does anyone sit at the front desk?" "Hallo??" It was an elderly British man. The "Reception" button on my phone dialed another room. And I woke this poor bloke up at 7:15 on a Saturday morning. "Mi dispiace." Quick! Fake being Italian. Everyone thinks Italians are crazy. That will surely fix things.... Attempting to problem solve, I threw on some clothes, my hair visibly dripping down my shirt, unbrushed, unmake-up'ed. The front desk clerk, with his tight suit and perfectly gelled faux-hawk looked aghast and I'm sure his internal monologue said something like "Bloody Americans. They never look respectable." I hereby formally apologize to Americans in general for presenting us as a flustered nation of spazzes. It's my fault. I admit it. Eventually he relented to come look at my shower. Which promptly sprayed him with water and drenched his little faux-hawk. 5 minutes later, he muscled the shower and all water off. "Yeah, it just requires a bit more effort to turn it off." A bit more effort? Seriously? You are soaking wet. European showers: 3. Lynne: 0.
Despite my lack of grace under pressure or in bathing situations, London was an amazing town. Beautiful and clean, under massive construction for the Olympics. The Queen had 200 decorated eggs hidden throughout the city to help celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. It was so fun finding them every so often and watching my dad judge my lack of maturity. What? The plaques said "eggstravaganza." Come on! There was a pun involved! I love puns!
Enjoy the pics above. The man that doesn't seem to resemble me is my dad's work colleague who toured around with us on Sunday. Didn't want Mike to feel like he didn't get mentioned in the blog!!