Monday, July 30, 2018

London 2018: Tucson on the Thames

 Mary Beth and I just got back from a week in London and we had a fantastic time despite the Arizona like heat during most of the week.  This trip was a combination professional and personal.  On the professional side, I had a board meeting and Mary Beth was speaking at the International Association of Dental Researchers (that's a wild and crazy group).  The personal side was that it was our 31st wedding anniversary.  We managed to balance both aspects well and had a fantastic trip.

I've been to London over 30 times (yes I counted that up) but outside of a few trips to the Imperial War Museum (for research, of course) I've never done any touristy things.  We made up for that this trip and really had a fun time.  I think I also have been granted honorary Korean citizenship for aid rendered to a group of retired Korean sailors who were visiting the Cutty Sark at the same time.  More on that in another post....


 Given Mary Beth was speaking at the IADR conference in the Excel center we stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel near the O2.  It was very convenient for MB to get to the excel center but the O2 is rather dreadful.  The Hotel itself is nice with excellent restaurants and is in close walking distance to one of the ferry docks.  I fell in love with the ferry service and used it extensively during the trip - going as far west as Vauxhall.  It's opened up a new way to experience the city that I really enjoyed.
 An accidental picture of me in full touristy regalia - bright yellow fishing shirt, cargo shorts and beat up sneakers.  Yes, what I do for men's fashion trends is similar to what Trump does to intelligent discourse - perhaps the less said the better...

I wasn't really trying to take an "artsy" picture of myself - I was, rather, trying to take a picture of the Cutty Sarks carpenters shop but it umm didn't work out so well.

 A photo of my lovely wife inside part of Westminster Abbey.
An action shot of my wife in an, ummm, contemplative mode, while riding back to the hotel in an Uber.  We did a lot of walking in the glorious weather.

Oh year the weather - wow was it hot from Monday through Friday of the week.  Like Arizona high 90's hot.  Flying in Monday morning looking out the window I thought we were flying over Arizona - all the grass had turned to a slightly charred tan.  The heat didn't really bother me that much while outside - some of the places we visited like the British Museum don't have AC and got rather toasty on the inside.

The weather broke on Friday as we were walking through the garden exit at Buckingham Place (I told you we did very touristy things this trip) - we got soaked but the things really cooled down.  It was also fun walking in the rain to the restaurant (The Thomas Cubitt on Elizabeth Street - it was superb).  Saturday's weather was glorious (65-70F sunny and windy).

Another great highlight of the trip was the chance to meet in person with Martin Cooke - a fellow gamer and legendary participant in the infamous Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.  We met on a non-gaming related topic and I tried to give what little amount of advice I could (i'm not all that bright, you know).  It was a real pleasure to talk with Martin and I look forward to seeing him again in the future.

All in all, it was a grand trip

6 comments:

Gary said...

My wife and I did the Princess cruise around Britain in June. The cruise was 12 days long. The weather was picture perfect. Currently I have been task by her and our friends to plan another for next year in May. The only problem is we never have enough time to see all the sites. Glad you and your wife enjoy your trip to London.

Ray Rousell said...

I'm glad you and Beth had a great time!

Curt C said...

What a wonderful trip you two had. I can't imagine visiting some of those un-AC'd museums in that heat, they would be like ovens! Glad you got to meet up with Martin, I had the pleasure a few years ago at Partizan - a capital gentleman if there ever was one.

legatus hedlius said...

Sounds like a good trip. I have tried to avoid going up to London while it has been this hot. Unlike Arizona, air conditioning is the exception not the rule.

Martin Cooke said...

Was great to meet with you at last. Thanks for all the help, grown ups at work are all a twitter now. Glad you both have a good time, it was very hot. I can highly recommend the V and A and the National Gallery, if you've not been, for your next week. V&A is my favourite museum

Lee Hadley said...

Glad you had a chance to visit London for pleasure, even if it was unspeakably hot. Ironically I'm on holiday in Greece and it's been hotter in London than here in Rhodes. Go figure.