Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Awesome Anniversary Trip - Part 4

One thing you may or may not know about Prince Charming is that he is a board game designer. What was once just a hobby has turned into something a bit more, well something a bit more. His first game will be released in July of this year. Stay tuned. When it comes out I want you all to go buy a copy or three. Not for the money, you understand, but for Prince Charming's sense of accomplishment.

Anyway, part of this game design odyssey has brought him into contact with like-minded people all over the world. One of these people lives in Southern England. This man consented to come have dinner with us during our visit. So Wednesday night, after touring the War Museum and Westminster, we headed back to meet him.

We had a nice meal together. Prince Charming insisted on having the fish and chips. After all, how can you go to England and not eat fish and chips?

The two game designers managed to squeeze in one board game before our friend had to catch a train home. Because our room was so small, they played in our hotel lobby. Which drew some curiosity but otherwise it worked just fine. It was nice to put a real person with the blog and game personality and I hope our British friend also enjoyed himself.

After a good night's sleep (no jet lag repercussions that night!), the next morning we got up bright and early (well, for us) and took the tube toward Buckingham Palace.

We took some pictures but there wasn't much else to do as it turned out the Changing of the Guard wouldn't take place until Friday morning. We walked around the Queen Victoria Monument while we planned our next move.
Since the day was young we decided to catch a train to Bath. (You really must pronounce it "Baw-th" for the full effect.)

From the train we saw countryside like this: Once we were out of the train we saw things like this:
Gorgeous, isn't it? We walked around a bit, enjoying some of the street performers (and not enjoying others, as the case may be) and trying to find somewhere to eat lunch.

We walked into a really sweet little restaurant. One side said dining room, the other said tea room. So we went in the dining room (because we, you know, wanted to dine) and waited a minute. Finally a harried looking server walked into the busy room and told us we would get quicker service on the tea room side. Prince Charming asked if they served hot meals on the other side. She assured us they did. So we walked over to the other room and sat at the counter as directed.

"Can we order lunch?" Prince Charming asked the new waitress (although I hesitate to call her that).

"Sorry, this is just the tea room," she told us.

"No hot meals?"

"No," she smiled at us like she couldn't believe how stupid Americans are but what can you expect? "You'll have to go to the other side for that!" We looked at each other and unanimously agreed to leave that building entirely.

So we found another little place. This place was serving Cornish Pasties. I got the Bacon and Leek and it was yummy. We took our pasties and went back to the Abbey square, where we shooed away pigeons (I had to spread the bench with napkins before Prince Charming would even sit there) and enjoyed the beautiful day.

Thus fortified, we headed off to the Roman Bath. This place is amazing! We wandered around, listening to the audio guide sometimes and sometimes just taking it in.

This is an example of Roman engineering. They built it to bring water into one of the pools:

Feeling pretty happy we indulged ourselves in a little gratuitous "hold your arm out and take a picture of both of us" in one of the niches around the main bath:
After exploring the Roman pools as much as we cared to, we headed up to the Georgian Pump Room. And yes, we each "took the waters". They don't taste bad per se, but they are warm and not exactly something I'd want to drink very often.

More exciting than that was the fact that we were in the Pump Room. Where Jane Austen probably took the waters. Or at least some of her characters. You can just imagine Catherine Morland and Isabella Thorpe walking around the room. If you can shut the Pump Room restaurant tables out of your line of sight, that is.

And the afternoon wasn't over yet...


Anonymous said...

I am enjoying this episodic narrative, quite.

Pastor Dad

karin said...

Love your travelogue and all the pictures that go with it. We only had two days in London before heading over to Europe and Israel - many years ago - but the memories returned. Thanks!!

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