Wednesday, April 27, 2011 12:38 AM
Dear Friends and Family,
We learned one thing for certain -- four days is not enough in England...:-(
It hadn’t dawned on us six roomies that we would all be going our separate ways later in the day, but in actuality, the cab ride to St Pancras Station was the beginning of saying goodbye. Four of us, Susan, Robert, Isa and Sarah, bag-checked our luggage at the train station -- and two of the ladies, Karen and Jean, went on to their next hotel for the remainder of their stay in London.
Sarah was heading on to Plymouth by way of Paddington Station for the start of the next six weeks of her vacation. She has two months of holiday -- you've got to love the Australian time-off system!
Susan had acquired a bad blister during the walking tour of Bath, and I was determined to try and keep her off her feet as much as possible, so off we went via cabs to Buckingham Palace. The main street leading into the Palace was lined with British Union Jack flags in preparation for the Royal Wedding in two weeks. There were grandstands being put up, flowers being embedded into the gardens, electrical wires being connected via men in manholes, and TV platforms being erected. Quite interesting to watch!
So many people have said to us: "Why didn't you plan your trip two weeks later so that you could be in London for the Royal Wedding?"
The answer is simple...we've had this trip planned for a year and a half, and Will and Kate only announced their engagement in January! So the question should actually be directed to them! Why didn't they decide to get married two weeks earlier? :-)) Ah, well...
You may reference my "romance" admission from our Bath update...and I will also admit to setting my alarm for 4 am to watch Charles and Diana get married. So, yes, I will do the same for Will and Kate. Without apology!
After seeing the Palace, we hopped into another cab and went over to Piccadilly Circus, where Isa wanted to show me a particular shopping alley. It was pretty amazing, and worth the look, but well out of my price range! After walking a little further, we found a place for lunch.
After lunch, the group kind of realized that everyone was headed in different directions -- and the tears began to fall. After some long hugs and many goodbyes to new friends, Susan, Sarah and I headed off to Regent Street to check out some of the shopping there. Both Sarah and Susan did this for me, as I hadn't had a lot of opportunity to shop while we were touring the MI-5 scene locations.
London is filled with shopping, and Regent Street is just one area packed with shops. If shopping were an Olympic sport, it would be held in London. After stopping in a few stores and making a purchase or two, I remembered my resolution to keep my wife from having to walk too much -- so we three caught a cab back to St Pancras Station. We collected all our luggage and waited happily for Isa -- off our feet for the first time in SO many days. It was great, actually!
Sarah caught her train to Plymouth after another difficult goodbye, and once Isa arrived, we boarded the Eurostar, just the three of us, headed back to Paris for the rest of our adventure.
Which leads me to my French phrase of the day: “Triste bebe canards” -- which means “sad baby ducks” -- the others all had to leave Isa, and go off on their own adventures.
Lucky us, to still have “Mama Canard” with us to guide us back home to Paris.
My French Phrase -- The colorful American expression: "My dogs are barking" -- used when our feet are tired, is unknown in France. In fact, using it made Isa laugh at the picture it presented. The literal translation into French is: "Mon chien aboie"...and Robert and I used it quite a lot toward the end of the trip! Isa, however, had a bit of trouble getting the phrase into her head, and was fond of saying that her "legs were barking"...:-)) We understood...ours were too!
And now, after our numbers had gone from three to six to twelve...our little group was back to three again. I don't suppose we can say that we had only just met, as we've been chatting online for so long together -- and the chatting will continue as it always has. But we'd gotten used to seeing each other's faces and hearing each other's voices...and it was very hard to say goodbye...
So we just said, "A bientot," which means, "see you soon!"...
:- )) xx
Susan and Robert