My shiny little online spot to help y'all keep track of me while I galavant around London.

Monday, September 05, 2005

MTM come to London!

A couple Fridays ago (it seems like forever) Tony (Grimey), Mel (Mumbles) and Meru (Murray) arrived in London. I'm gonna handle the posting much like I did with the DarNat visit, going day by day, which means you'll have lots of words to read and pictures to admire.

As you'll know if you've been reading this thing, I started work. So I was working on the 26th, the day MTM arrived. I got off early however, and met them at London Bridge station. The first thing I noticed was they had a lot of luggage. The second thing I noticed was Mel wasn't there (she was waiting in a different spot, by the main doors). The third thing I noticed was Tony's hair had pink and gold streaks. Pretty cool. And, pretty.

So we caught the train to New Cross. This is of note only because Tony almost pulled a Nat (missing a train by a split second) but threw himself between the closing doors instead. In Calgary, this would cause the doors to reopen. In London, they're less worried about your physical safety than they are trying (and rarely succeeding) to make the trains run on time, so Tony was stuck, and needed one of the train employees to pry open the doors so he could get the rest of the way thru. Welcome to London, Tony.

After dumping our stuff in my room, we tubed it to Westminster to start the tourist tour. Here, I tried to do something Daorcey taught me in Paris: surprise people with a famous sight, ala the Eiffel Tour. So I didn't really mention we were about to see Big Ben, and when we stepped out of the station and I told them to look up, both Mel and Meru seemed pleased, but Tony, well his face just lit up, and he started snapping photos and saying how big it was. I didn't think I'd find anything to get such a reaction out of him, but apparently he likes big things. If so, he clearly needs to do a road-trip of small North American towns (the world's biggest egg! the world's biggest nickle! the world's biggest whatever!).

From there, I walked them past the abbey, and down along Green Park past Number 10 and the Horse Guards Parade to Trafalgar Square. The last destination is one of my favourite London spots, so I was hoping to get a similar reaction from Tony here (it's a big column, come on!) Instead he just said: "Is that supposed to be Napoleon up there?" And, if you know your French/English war history, you know how utterly wrong and hilarious that is.

At this point, everyone (myself included) needed food. We ended up eating at the Princess of Wales pub on Villiers Street, by Embankment/Charing Cross, so MTM got their first taste of "real" British food. The general consensus: hearty.

Bellies very full, we walked through Leisceter Square and Picadilly Circus before finding a pub to chill in before Mel and I took in some musical theatre. Everyone was pretty tired; Tony wanted to find a park to nap in.

A pint (not the best choice for tired folks, let me tell you) later, Mel and I took off in search of the Picadilly Theater (turned out to be one block over) and Meru and Tony took off in search of--and I kid you not--the Apple Store.

The show we saw, Guys and Dolls, was pretty cool. The staging was great, blah blah blah, I love Ewan McGregor, who just happened to be starring in this run. Yeah, seeing him live was pretty cool. I remember going to see Moulin Rouge on preview with Nat, expecting to hate it, looking forward to shredding it in the review. Instead, I loved it, almost entirely because of his pretty voice. Hearing that live was worth the steep ticket price, made steeper because the tickets have been sold out for months, and I had to find alternative means of purchase. When we arrived at the theatre, there was a long line up of people waiting to buy tickets any extra seats or returned tickets.

To be honest, it's not the greatest musical. The songs were good, but the story is silly and the ideas are, well, at best condescending to women, making them out to be nags who only want to trap a man and then change him. I know it's of it's time and all that, but it did irritate me a bit. But then there'd be a really good scene or McGregor would sing something, and I'd get over it.

We met up with Meru and Tony after the show in the same Soho pub. Tired, we headed home. I don't really know what they got up to, but apparently they found Soho's red-light area...

We were all so tired--them from jetlag and travel, me from stress and early-work--that even the slightly cramped and uncomfortable sleeping arrangements didn't keep us from falling asleep quickly. The three of them slept on my not-very-spacious floor, Meru and Mel on camping mattresses, Tony on an orange inflateable mat his mom... found. Tony's mom rocks.

Didn't really take any pics the first day. But don't worry. There are lots and lots to come...


Blogger Nat said...

Were the seats better or worse than the Patrick Stewart play? Ewan McGregor singing and dancing, man I wish I was there to see that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you would of liked it Nat! I was suffering from Jet Lag and my eyes were so close to closing but the fact that it was Mr. McGregor up there singing and dancing (and the rest were pretty awesome too) I stayed wide awake. Which is also good 'cause from what she hinted Nicole had to go through a lot to get the tickets.

Thanks Nicole!



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