London-Day 9

After three days of being in denial about being sick the jig was finally up on the morning of the ninth day of our trip to London. It was my husband who said it first. But I couldn’t deny it any longer either. Not only did I have a sore throat but for the first time I actually felt sick. If we had been back home in Los Angeles we both would have taken it easy to try to knock our colds out as quickly as possible but we weren’t at home, we were in London. So we kept going. We weren’t going to let our colds stop us.

After eating breakfast and showering we headed out for the day determined to try to make the most of our time in London despite our colds.

We had tickets to see a play that afternoon on London’s West End but we had a few hours before the play with beforehand so we decided to check out the National Gallery. When we got off the tube in Piccadilly Circus we found that it wasn’t nearly as crazy as it had been when we visited it the first time on the third day of our trip.

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As we made our way to the National Gallery we messaged our friend who we supposed to have dinner with. We wanted to let him know we were battling colds. We weren’t going to cancel on him but we wanted to give him a heads up just in case he wanted to avoid being infected with our plague. He didn’t have a problem with us being sick. In fact he said that it was probably allergies from pollen and that since he is English he is well inoculated against colds. We found this amusing because most people in South California would want to reschedule if you had a cold. That certainly is one of the many differences between Los Angeles and London.

As we found the entry doors for the National Gallery we realized we had stumbled upon a cool square called Trafalgar Square. It hadn’t been on our list but we figured since we were there we should take a few minutes to take some pictures.

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We were a bit annoyed because we wanted pictures of some lion statues that were a part of fountain but people kept climbing on the lions even though there were signs that clearly stated that you weren’t supposed to climb on the lion statues. Finally we got our pictures without the obnoxious people on them.

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We were also intrigued by a protest going on. It turns out the protest was in front of the South African consulate and the demonstrators were upset with something their President, Zuma, did.

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There were signs that read “Zuma, not my President.”—I could certainly relate to the “Not my President idea”.

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After our time walking around Trafalgar Square it was time to check out the National Gallery. The good news is that the museum was free (but we each did leave a donation). The bad news was that we only had two hours to check out the museum before we needed to head towards the theater to see our play. We saw as much as we could see in our two hours. There was a fair amount of religious art.

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However, one of my favorite pieces was just one of English children and their crazy looking cat.

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In addition to the amazing art at the National Gallery the architecture of the National Gallery itself was pretty amazing.

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We could have easy spent the entire day at the National Gallery looking at the amazing art.

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But we had a play to get to.

Having only seen one small section of the National Gallery it was time for us to leave. As we exited we found that Trafalgar Square was more crowded than before. We took a minute or two to look around.

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Then we headed toward the theater our play was at.

We went to the Harold Pinter Theater.

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The play we were seeing was “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?”

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Having seen the movie in film school I knew exactly what was going to happen but I didn’t mind seeing a story I was already familiar with because of the amazing lead actors of the play. They were Academy Award nominee Imelda Staunton and Conleth Hill of “Game of Thrones” fame. Unfortunately, we were not able to take pictures inside the theatre. The play was really well done. Both of the actors we saw the play for were wonderful in their roles. It was too bad I was quickly descending into the worst twenty four hour period of my cold. I couldn’t enjoy the play as much as I would have liked because I was filling worse and worse with each passing minute. In addition to having a sore throat and a runny nose I also had pretty bad body aches. My knees especially hurt.

When we got out of the play it was time to meet up with our friend. Once again if I had been at home in Los Angeles I would have just gone home and gone to bed but because I was on vacation I kept pushing myself. We met up with our friend in front of the Palace Theater.

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That theater is notable because that is where the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is playing.

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It was cool to see the theater. We wanted to see the play but as I mentioned in a previous blog it wasn’t in the cards for us. At least we got to take pictures in front of the theater.

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As we waited for our friend to meet up with us I didn’t know how I was going to be social when I felt so bad.

When our friend arrived I pushed myself to the limit to try to make sure the three of us had a good evening together. He took us on what felt like a very long walk (in reality I’m sure it wasn’t that long, it’s just that I was sick and very hungry) to a specific area where there were a few restaurants that he thought we would like. We settled on an Italian Restaurant. I did manage to find a second wind once I got some food in me. I had spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs were especially good. The three of us had a nice dinner and I especially liked the view of the full moon out of the window of the restaurant. For dessert I took our friend’s advice and had Affogato for the first time. Not only was the dessert delicious but the caffeine from the espresso gave me the energy boost I needed to keep going for another couple of hours.

After dinner the three of us decided to hang out for a little bit long and go back to our friend’s flat for a drink. I would have gladly taken the tube but our friend wanted to take us on the bus so we could enjoy the views from a double decker bus at night. This was one of those things that had a nice intent behind it but it didn’t work out for the best. When we got to the bus stop we had to wait for about twenty minutes which wouldn’t have been as annoying if I hadn’t been sick. Because of the delay to wait for the bus my caffeine kick was already wearing off by the time we got on the bus. At least we got to ride on the second level and ride a double decker bus through central London. The views were nice but the traffic was horrid so if felt like it took forever to get to his flat.

Fortunately, the bus let out off right in front of his flat. Our friend was such a sweetheart once we were inside of his flat. He gave us both some cold medicine he had on hand. He also had a nice present for us in form of the tea towel that celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. The three of us hung out until I was basically too tired to function. If our hotel had been closer I probably would have been able to hang out longer but I felt really awful by that point I knew it was going to take us at least a half an hour to get back to our hotel since we had to transfer once on the tube. So we said good-by to our friend and thanked him for the cold medicine (he gave us some to take with us) and the tea towel and headed back to our hotel.

I felt truly awful as we headed back to our hotel. I was glad we had gotten the chance to hang out with our friend again but I hadn’t been able to enjoy myself nearly as much as I would have if I had been healthy. It’s really too bad because our colds lasted for the rest of our trip and that would be the last time we would be able to hang out with our friend. I was worried we might have gotten him sick but apparently he is well inoculated against colds because when we messaged with him later in the trip he never mentioned getting sick.

Back at the hotel I couldn’t wait to go to sleep and rest. If I had been healthy it would have been a great day but because of the illness nothing had been as enjoyable as it would have been if I had been healthy. At that point all I could do was sleep and hope to feel better the next day.

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Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

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