December 2006

This was trip #12 for us.  We decided to travel over our winter break and spend Christmas in our favorite city.

Thanks to Tom Smith, we got to use the Red Carpet Lounge at LAX.
Sheila in the lounge

Check out these Business Class seats... 

They fully recline.
They have leg rests.
They have a rolling massager.
There is about four feet of leg room.
You get your choice of OJ or champagne before take off.
Sheila standing in the leg area of the business class seats!

Walt usually sleeps well on the way over... but I don't!
Walt, sleeping like a baby...

Sunrise over Iceland.
Sunrise at 40,000 feet

Covent Garden at Christmas.
Red bunting outside Covent Garden

The Piazza is always beautiful!
The decorations inside the piazza

Saint Martin-In-The-Fields Church is simply our favorite.  They do so much for people in need.
Saint Martin's from Trafalgar Square

The church is currently undergoing a major renovation.  It is so extensive that they even discovered a roman-era sarcophagus with skeleton buried next to the church!
The view from Saint Martin's Lane

Under St. Martin's is a crypt, wit an award-winning restaurant, a brass rubbing centre and a great shoppe.
The tree in the crypt.

Walt emerges from the Crypt.  The cafe tables are actually on top of tombstones.
Walt coming up the steps

We rented a flat near Covent Garden.
1 Market House
12-16 Parker Street
London WC2
The living room

Above is our living room, below is our kitchen.
The kitchen

In our flat, we cooked our Xmas Dinner (thanks to Marks & Spencer).  We had "Tur-pig-en," which is a turkey with a chicken stuffed inside, and stuffing in the chicken, all wrapped in bacon.  We also had Brussels Sprouts and roast potatoes.
Nummy Turpigen

Seriously yummy!
Cleaned plate!

Walt and I ate Xmas dinner in our pajamas.
Wally in his Jammies

For dessert, we had strawberry trifle and mince pies!
    Marks and Spencer mince pies!

"Flapjacks" are perfect little oatmeal bars made with golden syrup.  I can't seem to make them right at home.  Delicious!

On Boxing Day, we sat in the 6th row to see the Blue Man Group at the New London Theatre (which was directly across the street from our flat).
Walt, being stared at by a Blue Man

View of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.  The Xmas tree is given each year by Norway to thank Britain for its help during World War II.
The National Gallery

Trafalgar Square is known for its pigeons.  This girl was chasing them all over whilst wearing her new pink coat on such a gray day.
The little girl in the pink coat

From Trafalgar Square, there is an amazing view of Tower Clock one mile away.
The view down the road

We enjoyed having the time to stroll through the National Gallery artwork.
The front of the gallery

Cool shot of Tower Clock as seen through the lions at the base of Nelson's Column.  The lions were made from melted cannons used at the battle of Trafalgar.
lions and clocks

What amazes me are the flower baskets kept beautiful even in Winter.

Tower Clock... as part of the Houses of Parliament.
the clock again

Personally, I think looking up at Tower Clock and hearing Big Ben chime is one of the most awe-inspiring experiences in the world.
Impressive clock

The rose window of Westminster Abbey.
The Rose Window

The front entrance to Westminster Abbey.
It makes you feel small

Buckingham Palace in the distance.
Across the lake in st. James park

Early blooms in St. James park, between Whitehall and Buckingham.
The park in December.  Blossoms!

I just love Willow trees!  (St. James park)
Lovely Willow

A war memorial for those who gave their lives for King and Country in World War I.
The war Memorial behind the Admiralty

One of our favorite shopping spots.  Foyles is a seven-story bookshop on Charing Cross (right across the street from a four-story Borders.)
The best bookstore anywhere, anywhen

The new courtyard of the British Museum, as seen from the Annenberg Reading Room.
The dome

My favorite restaurant... Pret, on my favorite street corner, where St. Martins Lane, Long Acre and three other streets intersect and lead to all the great places in London.
The best corner!

Oh... the Fish and Chips!  Available at the Rock and Sole Plaice (Not OSHA or FDA approved).
Nummy fish and chips!

This Yule Log from Tesco was my birthday cake.
Yule log (Not available in the U.S.)

12:01 AM on 12-29-06.  I have turned 40, and this is how I feel.  I've decided I can't possibly be 40, so I'm going to say I'm "Somewhere between 39 and death."
Between 39 and death

In A Christmas Carol Charles Dickins described Scrooge's house as a little house that went off to play hide and seek with the other houses and forgot to quit hiding.  This little house acoss from our flat made is think of that tale.
The little house

And then we were on our way back to our regular home in California.  The end of another wonderful trip.

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