Thursday, May 14, 2009

London Callling

I ran from Harrison Street to the 16th Street BART Station this morning, dragging two rolling suitcases, so I could make my train to my plane so I could get to London. Fortunately that was the most exciting aspect of my journey. The plane arrived early and I was able to use the rather nice Star Alliance arrival shower facilities at Heathrow Terminal 1 before schlepping over to Terminal 4 to meet Mom. I must note here that Terminal 1 is still kind of a pit, despite the trumpeted consolidation of Star Alliance airlines there last year. I had thought that meant that Terminal 1 would also be renovated, but apparently not on the Arrivals level.

Mom's flight was about 45 minutes late, but eventually she emerged from Customs & Immigration and we hopped on the Underground to head for Central London. Our hotel was the Radisson Edwardian Leicester Square (located just off Leicester Square), not to be confused with the Radisson Edwardian Hampshire (located directly on Leicester Square). Our room wasn't ready when we arrived so I took Mom to my favorite quick food stop, Pret A Manger, for healthy sandwiches. After stopping at Tkts for some discount tickets to Hairspray, we checked in to our tiny but very comfortable and modern-looking room.

We took a nap, but unfortunately Mom was suddenly feeling quite ill, so I headed off to the theater alone. Along the way I did a bit of power shopping, picking up all kinds of face creams and lotions at Neal's Yard Remedies. I love Neal's Yard because everything is all-natural with no parabens or other odd chemicals, and much of each product is organic too. I then passed a store dedicated to socks, called Tabio. Apparently this is a Tokyo-based chain that pretty much only exists in London and Japan. I went a little crazy and bought 10 pairs of socks, but I'm completely delighted because several pairs were the kind of "toe" socks that I very much like to wear. Tabio had them in normal colors, not just bizarre stripey combinations.

The musical itself was wonderful. I thought the original John Waters movie with Rickie Lake totally rocked, and enjoyed but was also a bit let down by the later musical version with John Travolta. The live musical itself, though, is super enjoyable and I much preferred it to the movie musical. (The original movie is still the best in my opinion.)

When I got back to the room after the show, I found that Mom was feeling immensely better, so we planned our next day and then hit the sack.

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