Wednesday, December 23, 2009

To Market, To Market

For those of you anxiously waiting to hear what other calamities befell Sheryl and I on our first day in London -- we did eventually find our way about. We wandered for what seemed like hours, kept asking people where the "Underground" was, and were directed all around one area.

Then Sheryl decided we should duck into a Borders store that was in the midst of of a giant clearance sale. Apparently all the Borders bookstores in London will be closed soon.

She had a brilliant plan. We'd find a local map or guidebook and figure out where we were, and how to escape. It took a while. The crowded store had NO employees. Or they just decided to have their staff Christmas party early. Whatever.

After searching we finally located a map book, flipped through it and found our last destination, and figured out the direction we'd need to travel to find the subway stop we'd been searching so frantically for in the neighborhood. NOTE: I am a planner, but cannot navigate my way to places I've been before much less a major city I've never visited. Sheryl reads maps.
This is the thing - that area was in the midst of major construction and that's why the "Picadilly Line" had a detour. The "Underground" was indeed nearby, behind massive walls blocking folks from the construction area. It was NOT our fault that we got lost. We found the entrance, located the correct train, a were greatly relieved to finally tumble into bed after an exhausting and very long day.
The next day, we discover our hotel, Twenty Nevern Square, offers a breakfast... with complimentary lattes and mochas. We feast upon fresh fruit, croissants (with or without chocolate), yogurt, cheese, meats and various lovely things. We don't miss bacon and eggs at all, because this is a high energy breakfast for two high energy babes. And lovely parakeets singing in the back ground.

Since I'd realized we would be in London on the weekend, I researched "Flea Markets" and discovered that Portabello Road is actually one of the biggest in the world. Our goal for Saturday morning was to find the market, and shop -- shop--shop. So we hopped a bus and headed through the lovely Kensington area.

Finally we arrived at Portabello Road... and walked through the shops area on the way to the market.

We were intrigued by this display of sewing machines.

And we cooed and fussed over all these dollhouse miniatures.

The shop windows were enticing, with special things piled on tables outside the stores.

My husband refers to any store that looks like this as "Mermaid Fairies" and knows I will be in the door instantly.

But if he was here this would be a place he'd stop.

There are friendly Bobbies walking around.

In addition to Antiques, Collectibles, Crafts and Food... they have plants and flowers. Sheryl said I acted like I'd never seen an Evergreen tree before, but these are English Evergreen Trees!

Sheryl has an uncanny way of finding things I will love and she found this fabulous store called Punkyfish. I bought a great top there, something like this... and you can see how just being in London for one day has changed me!

I even discovered a woman making jewelry and she has a Steampunk piece I can't resist.

But all the shopping must come to an end and we head back to our hotel.

There are choirs singing holiday carols along the way.

And apparently... George Orwell slept here.

So we return to our hotel, drop off all our treasures and head for the "West End Theatre District" to pick our tickets and see "A Christmas Carol"

We discover that this weekend is the busiest shopping weekend of the year. It's like "Black Friday" in the states.

We pick up our tickets and even have time for tea.

Coming tomorrow -- Scrooge, Panto and Ruby Slippers -- OH MY!

No comments: