London Day 1

Now that we have returned to Canada, I can go through some of the photos and share with you a little bit of our itinerary in more detail.

We had left Toronto Pearson at 6:30 last Wednesday evening. The flight arrived into London the next day at 6:30 in the morning local time. Which meant that we had to push through a day of touring and put off sleeping for about a day and a half. The jet lag hit us hard by about 3:00 in the afternoon but we managed to keep awake until 9:00 in the evening before finally taking in some much needed rest.

It was a fairly quick and easy entry into the city. Clearing customs into England was straightforward. And, from the airport, we took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and a cab from Paddington Station to the hotel. We checked in to the hotel at around 9:00am, left our bags there, and made our way to St. Paul’s Cathedral.

However, on our way to the cathedral, we decided that it would be a good idea to eat a small breakfast at a nearby Pret a Manger. Pret a Manger is the U.K. response to Tim Horton’s. Although with a much wider array of food choices. I counted 187 Pret a Manger restaurants in London. They are as common as the CCTV cameras.

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Appetite being satisfied, we headed over to the cathedral and spent several hours touring the place. The highlight was the step chase up the main dome. 259 steps. We only climbed up to the Whispering Gallery as opposed to the very top of the dome. I have a bit of a thing about heights and so we stayed closer to ground level.

The Whispering Gallery runs the interior of the dome. It is called the Whispering Gallery because if you make a whispering sound it will be audible on the opposite side of the gallery.

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The weather being a bit overcast this day encouraged me to substitute a museum in place of walking through the streets of London. Matthew and I made our way to the British Museum. The British Museum contains a large collection in excess of 8 million works. It might take a bit longer than a few hours to see them all so we restricted our tour to just a few million. We’ll come back another year to catch the rest.

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Enough time had passed by this point in time, along with the caloric expenditure climbing 518 steps up and down at St. Paul’s, that we decided to take a break for lunch. We walked out of the museum and found a nearby pub — the Bloomsbury Tavern. Established in 1856, this pub claims to have its own ghost. We did not see it.

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After lunch, we were back to the British Museum. Matthew was forced to pose for a photograph. I told him it was necessary to prove that he was at the British Museum. We became sidetracked with a deep metaphysical discussion about how to prove existence, particularly with a digital image. And I wasn’t sure if that was just an attempt to get me to stop taking his picture. If it was, it did not work.

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Next stop was the ever popular Churchill War Rooms. The construction of these war rooms began in 1938 which leads me to believe that Churchill knew war would be taking place long before the declaration of war on September 3, 1939.

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Matthew and I both hit a wall at around 3 in the afternoon. And the walls in London are mostly made of stone so it did hurt a little bit. The jet lag and the lack of sleep really hit us hard and so we decided to return to the hotel, take a bit of a break and then head out for supper.

Matthew had this bed. I had the floor.

Day one in London.

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Vive La France

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After several discussions with our server last night, he presented us with the bill. And then he asked me: “Vous vivez en France?”

Being back in France is bringing back my french. Being mistaken for a native speaker is probably as good as it gets.

We head home tomorrow.

Paris

Matthew and I made it into Paris late this afternoon.

Once we had checked into our hotel, we walked down to the Eiffel Tower. Matthew forced me to the top observation deck where we we awarded with some amazing views of the city.

This was our view of the Eiffel Tower after a 30-minute walk.

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And the view from the highest observation deck.

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Matthew confirms his presence at the Eiffel Tower.

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The typical sunset shot of the Eiffel Tower.

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We had supper at the Cafe Le Dome which is very close to the Eiffel Tower. It was this same cafe where I had taken my oldest son in 2007 after our visit to the tower.

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Look Right

Or, in my case, when in London, look the right way. Cannot tell you how many times I looked the wrong way for traffic. Not the only one apparently as most of the pedestrian crossings look like this:

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London Has Fallen

No. Not at all. London has been amazing. Another day of active touring, somewhere in excess of 25,000 steps.

A few photos from the day. Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Victoria and Albert, Piccadilly Circus, Royal Albert Hall, Chinatown. Well, you get the idea. We were everywhere in London today.

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Across the Pond

Matthew and I are enjoying a father and son trip to London and Paris. Hitting all of the main tourist spots and having a simply wonderful time.

Weather so far has been terrific in London. A few photos to share from today.

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Ten Years Later

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Bankers boxes.

Lots and lots of bankers boxes. Full of paper items.

I have made some great progress in terms of purging a number of those bankers boxes. I have scanned items that I wish to keep. And I have released to the shredding and recycling bins those items that do not hold any meaning.

Time capsules have been created for my children. And one time capsule for Lorraine and myself. Most of what we have will be contained in a digital time capsule. Only a few items will retain their physical form.

I am really pleased that we are doing this purge now. It would not be fair for my children to have to sort through all of this stuff sometime in the future.

Yesterday, as I was working through one of the boxes, I found a file folder labelled RV Research. It contained all sorts of material on RVs. From ten years ago.

The 2006 Dutch Star looked like this:

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Fast forward a decade and this is the 2016 Dutch Star:

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Here is an interior shot:

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Similar in some ways and dramatically different in other ways. A lot has changed in ten years.

It was our dream back then to get an RV and travel around North America. Sometimes dreams can get put on hold for a season.

But not forever.

The Red Dot and Walt Disney World

I took my Leica camera with me to Walt Disney World. First time I have shot Walt Disney World with a Red Dot. Here are a few frames:

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