Friday, April 10, 2009


Some folks bring back treasures from their trips. A few, myself included, bring back bits of garbage, shown below.

We always attempt to travel light, but never seem to. At least not me. We had two carry-on size rolling suitcases, two dufflebags, one tote, one backback and one briefcase for the three of us. Sounds manageable, huh? Well, one tired child can't carry much of a
nything (and wants to be carried herself). Getting these items to the airport, to the baggage check, from the airport, down three flights of steps to the subway, up a flight of steps to another subway, up two flights of steps from that subway, over several blocks, up another flight of steps and through revolving doors, makes one not want to purchase anything on vacation and then tote it home. That $100 cab ride (that I wanted to take) was beginning to look like a bargain.

The best item purchased in London was the Oyster card. You can get on and off the subway and on and off the buses all day long. No cash, no tickets, no tokens, no long lines at booths that dispense tickets and tokens. Love it. Love those double-decker red buses. One could spend the entire day on them, upstairs, looking out the front window. Bargain entertainment. And the subway -- it makes sense. And the people on public transportation, at least the places we went, did not much scare us. Lovely.

And the Oyster card is such a pretty shade of blue.

My next favorite souvenir is really garbage -- a smooshed cup from Caffe Nero. The photo does not do it justice, but it is the most fascinating shade of blue I have ever seen. In a city teeming with coffee joints of all nationality, side by side, I was most attracted to Caffe Nero, just because of their sign. Electric blue. I am not one for loitering in coffee houses, but something about this place made me want to stay all day. I am going to use this cup when I dye fabrics this summer. I must achieve this color. I just wish it would show up properly here.

Perhaps the attitude is different in coffee shops in London, or Europe in general. When I am in a coffee shop in the U.S., I am generally irritated by those around me. No one seems able to, uh, stop and smell the coffee. People are frantically tapping on their laptops or sharing their phone conversations with all. Over there, they drink coffee and talk to each other. I loved it. My daughter is now a fan too. I've got to show her that sloth is good, at least in small, espresso-sized amounts.

Yes, I will eventually share other photos. We each took a camera, and now all photos must be downloaded and categorized by the computer whiz (not me).

I must now continue with the laundry. Apparently, dirt was the largest souvenir we returned with. That and our increased girth. That's what those fish and chips will do to you. And, oh, the beer. Yum.

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