24 February 2008


 Armani rides the Picadilly Line

British Airways made good by providing a comfortable hotel room near Terminal 4 at Heathrow and two meals. I fell into a dead sleep last night--didn't even have the energy to turn off the lights or put on my pj's... Checked in, signed onto the computer terminal in the lobby to let family and friends know about my "delay" and went straight to bed.

Decide to keep the hotel room near Heathrow so that I don't have to touch my luggage for three days. £ gets me to Heathrow via the Hotel Hoppa Shuttle. The Underground Terminal is between Terminal 2 and 3, and the Picadilly Line takes me straight to Leicester Square to check out theatre tickets and has stops in both South Kensington and Knightsbridge.  £7 buys a Tube ticket that works all day. There are computer terminals in every terminal--20 minutes access for £2 .

The Sunday ride to South Kensington on the Picadilly Line takes only 45 minutes and seems much shorter because it turns out that Armani (with his mom and auntie) rides the Tube! It is, after all, Fashion Week in London with runway shows in the marquee adjoining the Museum of Natural History and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Arrive at South Kensington Tube stop and then a short walk to Holy Trinity Brompton with time to spare for the 11:00 am service. Nicky Gumbel gave the message and prayed for the U.S. elections. Impressed with the simplicity of the service--historical surroundings of the Anglican community, but a simple message with simple worship. It is easy to stay focused on praising and worshiping God.

The V&A is just down the block one direction and Harrods is the opposite. I choose culture first and discover quickly that all the museums in London are free. I soon get my bearings and head for the Fashion rooms on Level 1 then cross the John Madejski Garden for tea in the William Morris Rooms--English Black Tea and a scone with clotted cream and raspberry jam. I can die now. I have tasted perfection.
Two Australian guys, newly emigrated via Seattle, chat me up and we exchange Chicago and NYC food tips. One assures me that the local currency should be treated as "play money" or the constant reminder of the devalued dollar [$2 / £] will drive you to distraction.
After a quick trip to Harrod's Food Halls for some fresh fruit, I finish off the afternoon touring the British Galleries at the V&A.
Since the theatre is dark on Sunday nights I opt for Charlie Wilson's War at the Casino in Leicester Square followed by a walk through Chinatown and then the requisite Indian meal at Maharaja of India, 19a Charing Cross Road. Yummy chicken jalfrezi with basmati rice and Naan.

I can't stop smiling at how this is all working out.