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London – A City of Lights

Several months ago when Nick invited Tim and me to Scotland for Christmas, I don’t think he expected us to actually make it. Neither did we. But as the time got closer, the idea took hold and by November, we’d booked our planes, trains, and automobiles. We were on the way.

Departing Falls Church where we left the truck at Mark Weiser’s office.
In-air flight view

Above the Atlantic, we leave North America and Nova Scotia in the rearview mirror. Travel time from DC to London with layovers = 15 hours

Finally on the ground in the UK

After the redeye flight, we arrive in London at 8:30 am on the 18th. We receive hearty London welcome at Heathrow.

Door to door service! Nick met us at Heathrow and while we were tired, we were ready to explore.

Our new London home base was Gay Christie’s flat in Chelsea, just across the street from Stamford Bridge, home of the Chelsea Football Club. It was a great location, surrounded by delicious restaurants (Meaghan’s was a treat), shopping and a quick tube ride to the heart of London.

Stamford Gate, the “local’s” entrance, looking back at the flat.
Stamford Bridge – a different view – from the window of the flat.
Napping

Upon arrival in London, we had a delicious breakfast of avocado toast at Meaghan’s and then laid down for a much-needed nap…Then we were off to explore the City with Nick and his – now our new – friend Ross.

Our Chariot – the London Underground
First stop, Embankment, and our first glimpse of the River Thames.
We met up with Nick’s mate, Ross, for some refreshments – champagne, cheese and fresh baguettes at Gordon’s Wine Bar – literally in a cave next to the river Thames.
Wine and candlelit in the dungeons of Gordons

Established, approximately, in 1890, Gordon’s is widely considered to be the oldest wine bar in London, and has been frequented by the likes of G. K. Chesterton and Rudyard Kipling. The cave seats behind bars are the best seats in the house.

From there it was time to see the Lights of London!

Exploration begins!

The Lights of London – click below to enlarge the pictures

Picadilly Panorama
The old Covent Gardens is now a popular shopping center and tourist attraction with lots of pubs and dining.
The best way to cure a little jet lag? Espresso Martinis of course!
Tim in the McLaren

The Microsoft McLaren experience in downtown London let us drive a virtual race in a real McLaren. Mary Lynn may have outdriven Tim…but who’s counting?

Bodean’s BBQ Fulham

At the end of the day, the only place open for food in the neighborhood was the unexpected: Southern American BBQ cooked by Polish immigrants in ugly Christmas sweaters.

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