In which we dilly and dally, then lolly and gag


On our third night in London, the middle toe of my left foot found the leg of the chair in the middle of the night. I was looking for the key to open the window and dragged the reluctant toe out of bed with me. It found the chair before I found the key.


We would have dilly-dallied and lollygagged around all morning even if my toe wasn’t complaining about the chair, but relaxing at the apartment helped it calm down a bit.


Imagine yourself as just a speck in London’s Eye


After lunch we slid down the Tube to the Eye of London, Europe’s largest Ferris wheel. It’s much higher in feet than meters (443 feet to only 135 meters), so if you’re afraid of heights, I suggest you use the metric system. One rotation takes about 30 minutes and the wheel doesn’t stop to let you board; you must jump on one of the 32 clear capsules as it slowly rolls by. We enjoyed the view and took lots of pictures. My brother, daughter, and I all pointed to the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster and exclaimed to the grandchild, “Look! There’s Big Ben.” Later we learned that it wasn’t. Technically, Big Ben is not the clock or the clock tower but the bell of the clock. It’s true that Big Ben-ness is now associated with the clock and tower, but I bet if you’re British it gets your knickers in a knot to hear the tourists exclaim to small children, “Look! There’s Big Ben.”


Look! There’s not Big Ben! It’s Big Ben’s clock tower!


After getting out of London’s Eye, we went to the 4-D London Eye movie, which is included in the price of the Eye ticket. Decked out in our 3-D glasses, we not only spent almost four minutes soaring over London town, seeing fireworks explode within arms reach, and watching seagulls fly by our faces, but we also felt the wind and mist of London all around us. When the precipitation first started, my brother thought someone had brought a water pistol into the theater.


From there, we walked over to Westminster Abbey. The grandchild took one of the children’s treasure hunt papers, and my daughter and I took turns finding the important historical information in the Abbey. We didn’t finish the treasure hunt, but the grandchild still received a large piece of chocolate wrapped up like a gold coin.


Watching the child eat chocolate reminded us that we needed some sweet morsel as well. We found a French bakery with scones and macarons. Perfect with tea.


The advertisement for the French bakery, BB Bakery County Hall.


Although the sky got drippy, we walked along the Thames after that, avoiding pointing out too many things to the grandchild, since we so often were mistaken. We took the last river tour down the Thames, and that’s when I didn’t take a picture of the real London Bridge.


My toe didn’t complain much during the day, but that night it looked like it was still carrying a grudge because it was all puffy and red like maybe it had been crying. It avoided the chair after that.


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Next installment: Two days and a wake-up until we say “Ta-ta” to London